Hundreds of entrepreneurs applied for a chance to be part of GrowLab’s Fall 2012 program, slated to begin November 19, 2012. ALL applications were reviewed and a final decision is close to being made! Stayed tuned for the announcement of the new cohort, happening soon.
Whether you applied to GrowLab, or are thinking about applying next time, this sneak peek should give you a better sense of how the GrowLab application process works.
Companies applying to GrowLab do so through the GrowLab Cohort Program Application. The application includes questions like:
- “What problem are you solving? What other solutions currently exist? (Or do they?) How are you different from other solutions that exist?”
- “Please share any domain expertise you and your team have in this area”
- “What is your biggest roadblock/pain point right now?”
Entrepreneurs are encouraged to fill out the application in full and provide as much detail as possible. The application stays open until you press submit so you can go back in and make updates right until the deadline. The application also allows team members to contribute to the questions helping us get a full picture of the team.
The GrowLab program is particularly suited for startup companies that are ready for venture capital financing. Some of the clues that your company is ready include:
- A working beta product or prototype
- Co-founders – particularly a hacker and a hustler
- Product-market fit with traction
Competition is stiff, but it is not just about the product. GrowLab founder Leonard Brody has said that his selling point comes down to team. Entrepreneurs with a deep knowledge of their startup’s domain are particularly impressive. Ability to take feedback and execute is very important, because advisement and mentorship is the basis of the program. Remember, there is a difference between grit and stubbornness.
The Selection Process
We do read every single application in order to make the best decision possible – for GrowLab and the startup companies. Only some applicants will be selected for follow up communication but all applicants can expect to receive a decision one way or the other. Those “shortlisted” can expect to be contacted by various members of the GrowLab team. Being invited back for multiple interviews is a good sign as before being accepted all the GrowLab founders will meet the entrepreneurs.
Hunters of Talent
Part of GrowLab’s mission is to be hunter of talent, finding the best entrepreneurs in the world and give them a chance to accelerate their startup in Vancouver. The GrowLab founders travel the globe going to technology and startup events, and sometimes they meet an entrepreneur or startup team that has to be a part of the next cohort.
During an event in Calgary, AB the Mover team, a startup that graduated from our last cohort, briefly met Mike Edwards and learned about his Executive Director position at GrowLab. Later as they were hopping in their vehicle and leaving they noticed Edwards trying to hail a cab. They picked him up and managed to car-pitch their way to a spot in the program!
Upcoming events that the GrowLab team will be attending include:
- National Angel Summit – Halifax, Nova Scotia (October 24-26)
- How To Web 2012 – Bucharest, Romania (November 7-8)
- Founder Fuel Demo Day – Montreal, Quebec (November 8)
- 48 Hours in the Valley – San Francisco and Palo Alto, California (November 12-14)
If you’re local to Vancouver there are a number of startup community events happening every week where you may have the opportunity to meet the GrowLab team.
Our Neighbours: Launch Academy
Launch Academy is a pre-accelerator program in Vancouver for early-stage startups. Entrepreneurs with a Launch Academy membership receive a hot desk in an office shared by the GrowLab team. Over the course of a company’s Launch Academy membership, GrowLab founders may become interested in what that company is doing.
The GrowLab Farm Team began as a way to provide support for startups that have moved beyond the ideation stage, and yet aren’t ready for the GrowLab accelerator program. Three companies were chosen for the inaugural Farm Team, all of whom were previously Launch Academy members.
Although a membership with Launch Academy does not guarantee acceptance into GrowLab, and Launch Academy actively encourages their members to pursue whatever option is best for them (i.e. bootstrapping, or an accelerator in Los Angeles), a relationship between Launch Academy members and GrowLab may form.
We just want to say a resounding thank you to everyone who applied for the program. We appreciate having the chance to learn about up-and-coming startups. Keep an eye out for an announcement of the GrowLab Fall 2012 Cohort!