The Great Application: 5 things to keep in mind
The application deadline for the February 2018 course of the InnoFounder incubator, October 4th, is just a week away! We asked the InnoFounder jury to spill the beans and give out some last minute tips about what really makes an application stand out.
It goes without saying that the great application is all about cohesion — making a compelling case that your business idea is innovative, viable and scalable. In the InnoFounder guidelines, you can find a complete list of the criteria upon which we assess every application. With that said, knowing what the selection panel pays special attention to is pretty helpful in figuring out what to focus on in your application. Especially when you have to pen down your amazing (but probably extensive) business idea in a limited amount of characters.
We asked the members of our jury to sum up the things that really makes an application shine.
1. Convince us you can create something people really want.
To me, it is crucial that the business idea is both innovative and well designed. The application must not only prove that there is a significant market for the entrepreneurial idea and that something new, based on knowledge, is created. It should also make it clear that the team behind the application is able to develop products and services that can make a difference for the individual user.
— Anette Krath Poulsen, Owner, [inclusion] by AKPDesign
2. Stay clear of tunnel vision.
As an entrepreneur, you easily get stuck focusing on every single tiny detail of the product and then forget what the market really demands. It is important to always keep your finger on the pulse and ensure that the product you develop can scale with demand.
— Trygve Aaby Damn, CTO/CMO & Partner, Volt ApS
3. Know the market you’re trying to penetrate.
It’s not enough to be aware of your direct competitors on the market. You have to really understand what you will need to do to get the users attention: Is your product or service fresh and different enough to disrupt the way the problem you’re trying to solve is currently being solved?
— Hanne Harmsen, VP, Talents & InnoBooster, Innovation Fund Denmark
4. Make sure your business model is bulletproof.
Is the business model clear? Does it provide value for customers? Will it create the basis for an economy in the company that will be attractive for investors and provide for the necessary funding in combination?
— Jørgen Bardenfleth, Chairman of Arkitema, Lyngsoe Systems, Accelerace, Dubex et al.
5. Have good people.
As a venture capital investor, I have often seen what a great team can do to a project — and vice versa. Therefore I put a lot of emphasis on having the right mix of competences in the team and the passion they project. In this way, we can ensure that the project has the best possible chances of commercial success.
— Sten Verland, PhD, Senior Partner, Sunstone Capital
It is of vital importance that the team behind the individual and attractive business case understands that the ability to execute on the critical success factors is crucial. My experience is that there must be a team with different competencies, but with the same drive, dedication and goals. They must also be able to attract and utilize resources as well as skills and experiences from outside.
— Ivan Tyrsted, Board Member, Business Angels Southern Denmark
Take a look at the current InnoFounder batch to get a sense of what sort of ideas we are looking for. We accept business ideas in all sectors. And of course, remember to check out innofounder.dk and carefully read the guidelines — especially 3.2 and 4 is really helpful.
Still have questions? Write them down, get ready to take notes and give us a call! +45 33 69 33 69 (weekdays 9 am — 12 noon).
Get cracking and good luck with your application,
The InnoFounder team