Submit your best startup accelerator application: follow these successful examples

A breakdown of some of our favourite applications for the Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP) and how you can apply it to your own.

Co-authors: Maxine Lee, MAP Accelerator Manager & Jeremy Kraybill, MAP Chief Entrepreneur-in-Residence.

In preparation for your application to MAP this year, Jeremy and I have prepared a few resources which we hope will help guide you with stage 1 and stage 2 of our selection process.

The MAP selection process happens in 4 stages:

  1. The selection process begins with you submitting an online form and 3-min video
  2. A 3-min presentation to our mentors at pitch night
  3. A 40-min interview with the MAP team and alumni
  4. A 3-min pitch + 17-min interview with the MAP selection panel

Maxine’s Feedback:

My review of Kind’s Application Video

Li presents a powerful and personal problem statement, which grabs your attention within the first 12 seconds of the video.

Watching this pitch, I get the sense that Li has deep knowledge of where his industry is headed and how it will affect his customers’ purchasing behaviour.

Li talks about progress specifically and it’s time-bound: ie: “I took the concept to market 2 months ago, interviewed 90 carers and through online and offline channels, converted 5 leads”

My review of Smileyscope’s Application Video

What grabs my attention is how Evelyn quantifies her problem statement: ie: $250m is wasted on equipment and staff time. Their solution also makes a clear linkage to how these costs are saved by using Smileyscope.

I like how the team talks about traction — when you have a pre-revenue product, it can be challenging to quantify your progress. However, other great traction points can include: relevant partnerships (especially brand names), distribution channels, funding or in-kind support.

Evelyn’s market size isn’t over-inflated. As Jeremy mentioned in the application workshop, try to calculate your market size from the bottom up. For example: Instead of a top-down approach which presents the biggest possible global market value — What departments within hospitals does your specific product solve a need for? How much are those specific divisions willing to spend to solve this problem? How many divisions do you think you’ll be able to sell to over the next 12 months? What does that sales cycle look like?

Jeremy’s Feedback:

My review of Allume’s presentation at Pitch Night

The problem statement bombards us with facts a little bit, but then ends with “You need to own the roof above your head, and you need $4,000 to pay for it up front.” Great simple summary of the problem statement that everyone can understand.

Andrew talks less about the technical solution, and more about the value proposition to both tenants and landlords. The business model has a lot of moving parts, but he does a great job of breaking it down into easy-to-digest segments.

He ends with a very direct connection between their current project and how MAP can assist in making that happen.

This was a team that didn’t have a long track record in the energy space, but was pitching a big idea in a huge space where there are surprisingly few competitors. The underlying business model they’re pitching is about as complex as it gets for us, but they do a great job of breaking it down into problems and solutions for landlords and tenants.

My review of CNSDose’s presentation at Pitch Night

Great setup. Most people have encountered depression in some form, but Ajeet points out just how immense the problem is and even sources his facts. I like facts to be sourced (verbally or on the slide) when they seem surprising.

DNA testing isn’t a simple thing, but the description of the process was very simple and easy to understand in the language of someone’s visit to a doctor.

Ajeet didn’t spend much time on team, because the time he spent upfront describing his own background as a depression researcher establishes a clear and strong link to the business.

This is another pitch that has a very complex underlying business model, and Ajeet doesn’t go into all the gory details; just points the major features to convince the audience it will work.

We see a lot of medical/technical pitches that fill slides with complex diagrams and figures; CNSDose’s slides really help to simplify and clarify a DNA testing business.

That’s all for now folks! Stay tuned for more resources over the next few weeks.

Additional Resources:

MAP18 Application Workshop Slides

MAP17 Accelerator Showcase Pitches


MAP Overview

MAP’s aim is to create a more entrepreneurial Australia and our mission is to launch high-growth ventures into the world. We believe that innovative, scalable businesses will play a crucial role in driving prosperity for Australia in the years to come.

Originally founded in 2012 as a startup accelerator, MAP has since evolved into a centre of entrepreneurship that supports founders at all stages of their startup journey.

MAP fosters innovation and entrepreneurship in the startup community by connecting and up-skilling thousands of entrepreneurs through its talent development and accelerator programs. MAP provides the funding, networks and expertise to accelerate the growth of world-class business, bringing leaders, University of Melbourne alumni and investors to our door.

For more information please visit our website: themap.co

Enquiries: map@eng.unimelb.edu.au