What criteria do you use to select your companies?
In order to maximize your 12 weeks in the LAUNCH Incubator, you should have a complete product, product market fit, some traction but have not raised a Series A.
Only when the product is complete and you have a core team can you focus on the essential process of growing your customer base, landing world-class investors, and forming transformative partnerships.
We look for driven founders who execute at a high-level in a large market.
What is demo day like?
We don't believe in Demo Days. Every week our founders pitch between 5 and 25 investors, gaining feedback about the business and pitch throughout the entire program.
LAUNCH also throws events throughout the year and our Incubator classes have a chance to participate in these.
We advise and assist our founders in raising money during the Incubator. Our hope is that at least half of our founders have raised their capital before Demo Day.
What are the deal terms?
We invest $100,000 for 6% of a startup. When you graduate, should you meet the syndicate requirements, we can syndicate your deal for another $100,000 (or more). We cannot guarantee the syndicate amount. The result of this model is that we signal to the market that we are willing to invest at your “graduation valuation,” which is a very good signal!
Most incubators invest at a low valuation when you join and push angels to hit a much higher valuation 12 weeks later. We’ve found that our model keeps everyone in sync when it comes to valuations.
My team is not based in the Bay Area, can I participate remotely?
No. Onsite, in-person participation is mandatory. Many founders come to the Incubator for 12 weeks from around the world. Alumni include startups from Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Portland, Seattle, New York, Atlanta, and London. Getting in front of the greatest investors and founders in the world is a huge component of the program.
We’ve already received funding, are we still qualified to apply?
Yes! Most of our startups have raised an angel round and have launched products. The LAUNCH Incubator only accepts seven startups per class. This allows us to be very selective in picking startups that are on solid footing and whose founders can leverage our program to get a solid Seed round -- or perhaps even a Series A.
Can I be an LLC and come to THE LAUNCH Incubator?
One of the main goals of the LAUNCH Incubator is to have you pitch to over 200 investors here in Silicon Valley over 12 weeks. Those investors never invest in LLCs because of tax issues. LLCs are great vehicles for legal and venture partnerships, but they are not the standard for venture-backed startups. A Delaware C corp is the standard. The LAUNCH Fund only invests in C Corps as well. As such, if you choose to use an LLC structure for your startup, you should convert to a Delaware C corporation.
I have a great idea, but I haven’t built an MVP. Can I still apply?
If you just have an idea, you’re really not that special. Everyone has ideas, don’t give yourself too much credit for yours! A prototype is worth a thousand powerpoint slides -- build one!
Do you have specific verticals that you focus on?
We are vertical agnostic. We look for great companies in any/all verticals.
Do you have office space we can use for the duration of the program?
We do not provide office space. (We may from time to time arrange meeting space but it’s not a guarantee.)
When do you have classes?
We start classes on a rolling basis. For the most up to date deadlines, please check the homepage.