In addition to thoroughly reading through this FAQ section, the following resources can provide a perspective on what to consider when writing your application :
Techstars Entrepreneur’s Toolkit
Nex Cubed Master Class Recordings
Forbes Business Plan Template for Entrepreneurs
Strong applications will clearly articulate the following elements of their venture:
- Problem and Solution: Have you identified an important and unmet need, paired with a compelling solution that addresses the problem? What insight can you provide for where the world is heading, and through your concept or venture, in what ways might you be moving in another direction that represents a better* future for more people? (*easier, more sustainable, faster, etc.) For some prizes, this includes a clear description of the minimum viable product or working prototype.
- Addressable market and distinctive market position: What is your addressable market, and how big is it? How are you poised to serve this audience (and compete with other businesses)?
- Business Model and Customer Acquisition: What is the plan to acquire new customers or users, distribute the product or service, and generate revenue. What are the current metrics on month-to-month growth and traction (if pre-growth, what is your plan to measure and scale the business)?
- Quality of Team: Who is helping you build your vision? What makes them a dedicated and creative founding team with the experience or skill-sets to succeed?
A Minimum Viable Product, as defined by Eric Reis (the author of Lean Startup), is a version of a new product or service (e.g., product design/sketch, wireframe, demo video, landing page) that will allow your team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.
If you are applying for a prize that requires an MVP, we encourage you to visit the following resources:
- Agile Alliance
- A Minimum Viable Product Is Not a Product, It’s a Process by Jim Brikman from Y Combinator
- How to Plan an MVP by Michael Seibel from Y Combinator