General Questions

Am I eligible for the H2 Ventures Accelerator Program?

The short answer is yes, if you are an entrepreneur with an idea for a digital product, service or business in financial services (fintech), data, analytics, artificial intelligence, insurance, digital security, marketplaces, real-estate or related spaces we want to hear from you. You can apply online and we will be in touch.

What happens if I am accepted into the H2 Accelerator?

Glad you asked. If you are accepted, your startup will move into our Sydney CBD offices and we will immediately get to work setting up your company and a company bank account (this may already exist). Once your company bank account exists, we’ll write you a cheque.

For the next 10 weeks you will work night and day to build your minimum viable product for launch (this may already exist), refine your business model (how your startup will make money) and preparing your pitch for Series A fundraising. We will have regular workshops, lunches and dinners with invited experts who will advise and mentor you. We will also introduce you to people who we think may be able to help you with your startups needs.

Around week 10 we will have an interim Demo Day at which startups pitch their business to a carefully selected, invite-only audience. From then we will help you to raise your Series A round while continuing to work on your product. In week 20 we will hold our Expo Day with 300+ guests, including investors and journalists, invited to attend. We hope to close your Series A round by week 20 or soon after.

How can we get funding for our startup?

Apply online now.

How much do you invest?

$50,000 AUD cash plus an extra $50,000 that covers the costs of being a part of the H2 Accelerator program in return for a (10%) equity share in the startup. The goal is to give you enough money and support to build an impressive prototype and business proposition, which you can then use to get further funding.

We don't really need money. Does it still make sense to apply?

Yes. The money is a very small (but important) part of what we provide. The real value is in the non-monetary benefits of being part of the program such as: being co-located with H2 Ventures and our other startups; as well as attending regular workshops, lunches and dinners with experienced and influential people in the investment and technology spaces.

I'm a female founder, should I apply?

Please do! We are eager to find more great female led startups to join the H2 family. Typically, we do not get as many female founders applying and we are keen to change this. Please let us know if there is anything else we could be doing to make this more appealing to you.

What if we're doing something expensive?

We’ll still fund you, but you will spend the first 3 months building an impressive proof of concept to take to Series A investors to raise more money. Typically, the startups we back will require significant expansion capital. Our job is to help you prove your business model so that you can raise that capital at a higher valuation meaning you, the founder, keep the lion’s share of the equity in your business.

We've already been working on our startup for a while. Is the H2 Accelerator appropriate for us?

Yes. We think that the value added to your startup as a result of going through the program will far outweigh the equity you give up.

We've already taken some seed funding. Can we still apply?

Yes.

Do we need to write a business plan?

Not to apply, just fill out the online form. We base our selections on our application forms and personal interviews. If you are selected for the program, we will work with you to develop a pitch deck and business plan for Series A funding.

Do I need a live demo to apply?

No. We love demos, but understand that you may not have one yet.

Can a single person apply for funding?

Yes, but the odds of being selected are lower. Startups are a lot of work and teams of 2-3 founders tend to be more successful.

I have a great idea for a startup, but I'm not technical. Will you still fund me? Can you help me find programmers to implement my idea?

If we like you and like your idea we will fund you. We would like you to have a clear plan for getting your technology built.

Can we be a part of the program without being in Sydney?

We expect at least one founder be based in Sydney for the duration of the program. You will find it very beneficial being co-located with us and the other startups. However we understand everyone has different circumstances and can make exceptions for founders with families and have had teams that fly in and out at regular intervals throughout the program. We have also made exception for a small number of international teams who are growing their businesses in international markets. Regardless, all participating founders need to attend H2X week and the H2Expo. We look at these on a case by case basis.

We have two ideas. Can we submit two applications?

Sure. But if you get accepted into the second stage, we will ask you to select one idea.

How is your portfolio doing?

Will you fund multiple startups working on the same idea?

We would potentially fund multiple startups with similar or overlapping ideas. Many businesses in the digital financial services and data spaces overlap so if we have many investments in this space there is a good chance some will overlap. We see this as a good thing for our startups, providing more opportunities (e.g. partnerships, mergers) than threats.

Are you only looking to fund younger people?

No ageism here. We love to fund older more experienced industry professionals so long as you are willing to take the risk of starting a business. If you have an idea and think you have what it takes to execute on that idea then we would strongly encourage you to apply whatever your age.

In the docs it says H2 has the option to appoint a board member, can you explain?

Do you have a dedicated mentor program?

We do not mentor-match startups with mentors, instead we invite mentors to regular sessions throughout the program. As part of the program we will introduce you to mentors we think can help your business.

Why do you charge a 50k services fee?

H2 invests $100k into the business, The $50k in cash goes straight into your bank account for you to spend as you wish, the other $50k is a services fee to H2 which covers the cost of the program. 

What does a company look like when they finish?

A typical startup that finishes the program is about to start capital raising, with most teams going on to raise approximately 4-8months post accelerator. Once the program is complete it is up to you to find your own office space, however you will always be apart of the H2 family.

How hands on / available is the H2 team?

We sit with you in the Startup Hub and are available at all times for you to ask any questions you may have. We purposely sit near you so that you can lean on us throughout the program.