How to apply successfully for any blockchain incubator/accelerator?

A Practical Guide For Making Your Application Stand Out

Ellie Geo
Ellie Geo
Oct 12 · 5 min read

Standing at the doorstep of the third Starfleet accelerator program, we’ve gathered all we’ve learned so far to guide seed-stage blockchain startups during the whole application process. You’re very welcome! :)

As the global community of blockchain entrepreneurs expands at a fast pace, the ecosystem strives to support and nurture the most promising projects. More and more experts in the industry are now branching out to blockchain-focused startups, incubating and accelerating their DLT-based solutions.

Straight to the point, after two remarkably successful editions of our Global Blockchain Acceleration program æternity Starfleet, we’ve decided to gather a bundle of tips and tricks to assist all the great projects out there in their way to a successful application. Because, let’s face it, having a smashing idea is one thing, but uniting the right people to sell this idea and get funding for it is a whole other story.

Before applying

Usually, the application for investments in blockchain projects consists of several sections: basic company information, founders/team information, idea, blockchain utilization, and contacts. Some accelerators, like Starfleet, include a legal and current progress part, as well as a video introduction in the application form. So, do your homework and prepare well for those 15 minutes.

As Nikola Stojanow, CEO of AE Ventures, says:

“We can’t set a ‘minimum’ requirement because each application is unique. We take loads of aspects into consideration before making a decision. Either you just have a raw idea or a pre-product, there are various types of projects that get investment from us”.

Sounds scary? Worry not!

Here are some things to chew over. #practicaltips

Form a crystal-clear business vision

First and foremost, make sure to develop and present a vivid mental image of what you want your business to be in the future, based on your goals and ambitions.

The safest way to formalize and communicate the project’s vision is to write a vision statement. Luka Sucic, Head of Starfleet, advises to

“make it short and understandable — long rambling statements are never effective when it comes to a successful application.”

Once you get that lucid business vision, you will be able to:

  1. Prove your idea is solid and worthy for ANY blockchain accelerator and
  2. Will stay away from heading in the wrong direction.

Don’t be shy to brag about your project’s problem-solving feature

What is your company going to do? Will it solve a real-world issue(s)? No matter how this question is set in the application form of the various blockchain accelerators, it’s super important for each candidate to provide a well-defined answer.

Sell the ardent team

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The majority of startup incubators and accelerators (including us) size up the founding team which, in the best-case scenario, should have the know-how to cover the crucial parts of their business (i.e. deep tech startup requires a deep tech cofounder). According to Luka Sucic:

“For most seed-stage startups, the best predictor of success is the founding members. We’re scanning for evidence that the founders are smart, effective, and strong-minded.”

A little extra: if there is a requirement for a team video, be prepared to answer questions that demonstrate your expertise, such as what do you understand about your business that other companies in the field just don’t get? Meanwhile, try to keep it as simple and personal as possible. Don’t read your pitch from a screen, just share your story in an authentic and genuine way — as you explain this to any interested person who happens to sit next to you on a 3h long flight (i.e. who you are, how you met, how long you have been working together, why you’re awesome).

Keep the energy up

Recorded on video or written, your energy is more influential than you realize. It’s about keeping the people who will read/watch your application engaged and interested in not only what you say but also how it’s been said. Prove that you are passionate about blockchain technology and the idea you work on.

Did we say “blockchain”?

Explaining the mechanism of how your solution use blockchain in an understandable way is, let’s say, one-third of your route to the successful accelerator application.

From what we’ve seen and according to Valentin Alexiev, Tech and Blockchain Analyst at AE Ventures,

“blockchain usage has not achieved mainstream adoption yet and many businesses are still struggling to wrap their heads around the concept and the practicality of its real-world use cases.”

So, research, educate yourself, discuss before sending your application to a blockchain accelerator.

Don’t overdo the specs providing

Be ready to provide a Go-to-market strategy, MVP, or business model… but don’t cram in everything.

The best way to make a strong case for your project when you’re applying to a blockchain accelerator is to find the balance between the specifics you provide and your over-enthusiasm that could easily push you to burden your application with excessive promises.

Further, it is easy to make some projections or valuations on how you would get your first 100 or 1000 customers. What’s more laborious is sitting down and coming up with an actual strategy or traction or early growth…and this is something the majority of the accelerators will aid you through mentorship programs and advisory support. Nevertheless, without a viable product and a brief customer profile, the majority of the accelerators won’t take a second glimpse at your application.

Why should you apply to a blockchain accelerator?

The blockchain-based accelerator can help expand the size and value of your startup in a short period. In addition to capital which is the life-blood of any business, accelerators can help drive seed-stage companies forward by providing:

  • Strategic Mentorship — “insider” guidance and perspective on entrepreneurship
  • Networking — access to savvy and influential people in the blockchain industry
  • Validation — immediate “startup stamp of approval” on the global blockchain map

It’s time to remind you that the applications for Starfleet 3 are now open!

Blockchain startups from all around the world can NOW apply and participate for free in our acceleration program! The selected teams get 4 weeks mentorship, up to $100k funding, and 6 months of acceleration on

DEADLINE 20.10.2019

Read some of the FAQs about the Starfleet Accelerator 👉 here.

Also, make sure to follow AE Ventures on social media so you won’t miss any of the following exciting news!

Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Instagram | Reddit | Medium

AE Ventures

AE Ventures is an investment company providing initial funding, acceleration and advisory support to blockchain projects. The company also runs æternity Starfleet — a full-service global acceleration program for seed stage startups utilizing blockchain.

Ellie Geo

Written by

Ellie Geo


AE Ventures

AE Ventures is an investment company providing initial funding, acceleration and advisory support to blockchain projects. The company also runs æternity Starfleet — a full-service global acceleration program for seed stage startups utilizing blockchain.

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