Launching 100 tech startups in 3 years
The H2 Ventures Startup Accelerator program is a leading Australian startup accelerator based in Sydney. Each year we have a summer cohort starting in February, and a winter cohort starting in August.
We like startups in the financial services (fintech), insurance, realestate, cyber security, data and analytics, artificial intelligence and related fields. Read our Request for Startups to get a better understanding of what we are looking for.
Companies we've helped grow include Stockspot, Equitise, Simply Wall St, Macrovue, HashChing, Spriggy, Deposits.org, Valiant Finance, Edstart, Birch Finance, Tapview, SuperAlbert and LoanDolphin.
The H2 Ventures Accelerator Program runs for 20 weeks with 8-10 teams (typically 2-3 entrepreneurs per team) invited to join the Program in each intake. Successful teams will be drawn from around the world and will be based in Stone & Chalk in Sydney for the duration of the Program.
Ideally we would like teams that are cross functional with at least one hands-on technologist (engineer/coder) and at least one member with significant and relevant domain experience but we will consider any individual or team that applies.
Applicants will need to demonstrate their ability to deliver a working minimum viable product and initial proof of market within 3-6 months with the aim of raising a Series A round of capital within 6-12 months.
There are significant financial and non-financial benefits from being a part of the H2 Accelerator
Invest $100,000 ($50,000 cash) into your startup in return for a minority (10%) equity share.
House your startup in our central Sydney CBD office space alongside us and our other startups.
Assist you to establish a professionally run business that is ready for third party investment.
Fill any knowledge gaps you may have with our H2X startup development program, supported by visiting industry experts and mentors.
Run regular group lunches, dinners, pitch sessions and mentoring sessions as well as 1-on-1 feedback and focus sessions to keep you on track.
Give you access to our network of financial services and technology industry leaders.
Prepare you for and lead you through the Series A capital raising process to increase your chances of success.
Founding team of 1 to 4 people
At least 1 founder will commit to working on the business full time for 6 months
Able to be based in Sydney for 6 months - we welcome applicants from anywhere
Have an idea that is in the digital financial services (fintech), insurance, digital security, data/analytics, marketplaces, realestate or related spaces.
Step 1 - Fill in our very simple online application. The sooner you apply the better your chances as we will have more time to review your application.
Step 2 - If you make it through to the second round, you'll need to complete another more detailed online form so we can understand a bit more about you and your idea.
Step 3 - If you make it to the third round you will be asked to participate in a series of interviews (in Sydney or via video chat) before we make our final selections.
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, insurance, digital security, data/analytics, marketplaces, realestate or related spaces we want to hear from you. You can apply online and we will be in touch.
How long is the program?
20 weeks plus 6 weeks free desk space as you prepare to "leave the nest".
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 12 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 12 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. We hope to close your Series A round by week 20 or soon after.
How can we get funding for our startup?
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 minority (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.
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?
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 ideas?
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 require 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.
We have two ideas. Can we submit two applications?
Sure. Go for it!
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 or related 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.
It takes a village...
The success of our startups is supported, in no small part, by the amazing mentors who work with our founders as they undertake their journeys to building successful world changing companies. Our mentors have experience in financial services, ventures capital and building high growth technology startups.
Applications for the Feb 2017 intake are now open, please apply here