We fund you, connect you, and drown you with mentoring and knowledge to help you achieve MVP. Through massive action and iteration we help you gain traction to kick ass.
One on One meetings, amazing speeches, Skype calls, and access to some of the brightest CEO's and entrepreneurs around.
100 Days is not a lot of time. We keep you late, force you to get out of the building, and keep track of your progress weekly. It's go time.
Once product market fit is reached, we start helping you obtain customers. The velocity of a dollar is extremely valuable.
You will receive training by the best VC's in the area. Understand how and what to pitch. Practice daily with the other startup teams.
You get $50,000 in seed investment upon acceptance into Seed Sumo for 10% equity in your company. You also will have an opportunity to get a $100,000 convertible note if certain milestones are met during the program, as well as the opportunity to pitch to angel investors and venture capitalists at the end of the program during our Investor Demo Day.
You also have access to great perks.
If you have never been through an accelerator, probably not. We have companies that apply with $1M+ in revenue already. We’ve had companies start with fully developed products and we helped them with business model, introductions, financing, and more.
However, if you have already been through an accelerator, contact us to discuss our Sumo Fund.
We’re also looking for companies that can have national or worldwide reach. Specifically, we don’t fund biotechnology companies, restaurants, consultancies, or other local service oriented companies.
We fund companies that are solving BIG problems in BIG markets.
The Seed Sumo program will provide you with the healthiest possible start and greatly improve your chances for success and sustainability. Once we invest, we’re motivated to help you succeed by introducing you to people who can help, assisting you with strategy, finding more investors, and generally helping you to succeed. That’s a good deal for both of us. Like you, we’re entrepreneurs. We think that the value of the learning, networking, and coaching provided by the program is of tremendous value.
An amazing workspace. We provide working and meeting spaces, as well as a nice lounge all with super fast and reliable wireless Internet access. View the Perks page to see what each company automatically receives, they are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Basically, we’ll help you get everything covered with minimal expense. We just want you to focus on creating a great product while you’re here, and not have to worry about all this other stuff.
We provide the seed funding to get you going, but you may well need more funding to really make it. Near the end of the three month program, we’ll organize an Investor Demo Day where angel investors and venture capitalists from all over the country will check out your technology and listen to your pitch. Usually we have about 200 investors that are exposed to the teams. We’ll coach you so you’re as effective as possible, and do everything we can do help get you follow on funding. We may also fund your company further ourselves in some situations with our Sumo Fund. So far, about 85% companies have received follow on funding and/or immediately became profitable after Seed Sumo ended.
Seed Sumo wants to be viewed as a co-founder. In a nutshell, we don’t want any special or controlling interests in your company. We won’t ask for a board seat or for any uncommon investor rights. You will still run the show.
While we don’t screen applicants that way, it does make things more difficult. We look for great, balanced teams who have a full range of skills. We strongly advise you to seek co-founders who balance your skill-set. For example, if you’re a strong developer, you might consider adding someone with business and/or marketing experience. If you’re a great business evangelist with no developer, it’s very unlikely we’ll accept you into the program, so go find a rock star developer to join you.
Check out FounderMatch. We also highly suggest your local tech meet-ups, and a healthy dose of networking.
That’s up to you – we don’t provide a place to live. If you’re accepted into Seed Sumo, we immediately assign someone on our end to help you find housing. It hasn’t been much of a problem for past founders.
We will choose great founders who are proposing products that solve real problems or create meaningful innovations. For us, it’s about the team. Because of this reason, we’re less likely to accept single founder companies. The best things you can do to strengthen your application are:
– Round out your team with business, technical, and other necessary skills.
– Make progress on your prototype or product and reference it in the application.
– Show us you’ve really thought about your business and have gotten off your butt to do something about it.
Not in the same class/program, but sometimes otherwise, yes.
No. We receive thousands of applications per year, which is why we have an application process. Systematically emailing some or all of our mentors in order to try to influence them before being accepted into the program will hurt you more than it will help you (because they’ll complain about it to us). The mentors are dedicated to helping the companies that we select, but most are not a part of the selection process. Please don’t bombard them with emails.
Please don’t stop by our offices without an appointment. This is not a good example of persistence on your part and it will negatively influence your application.
No. It’s your company so you can come and go as you see fit. But we do require that you be primarily based on site during the program. This benefits you because you can take advantage of the numerous learning opportunities, networking and coaching that will be provided. Seed Sumo is a major commitment, and we expect you to be around most of the time.
No. It’s your company, so you’ll live where you want to.
Yes. Anyone from anywhere can apply, and we’ve funded many non-US companies in the past. You do have to be legally in the U.S. during the program, of course. Once accepted, we can help with legal/immigration issues by leveraging our contacts and network to help. However, we cannot help with them in advance of acceptance to Seed Sumo.
No. We do provide you with space, but it’s up to you because it’s your company. Seed Sumo locations are fully equipped and have both traditional and lounge-like space. You don’t have to work from the Seed Sumo space unless you want to. We do believe there is a great deal of value in being in the space because the other companies and mentors interacting there present a great opportunity.
It’s your company, so you’ll be hard at work on your product. About two or three nights a week, we’ll organize informal educational sessions with our mentors. We also expect many of the mentors to drop in to Seed Sumo at various times throughout the program. In general though, you’ll be working on your product each day, just like all of the other founders in the program. We don’t tell you what to do or when, but we create an environment that is conducive to helping your startup every day. And we’ll make sure you have lots of experienced mentors around to help you.
Yes. As long as you and your team can be in the USA legally for the duration of the three month program, please do. We have accepted overseas founders in the past and love getting applications from all over the globe.
We’re certainly not in the business of stealing ideas, and we won’t show your application to anyone outside of Seed Sumo. Each year, we see thousands of applications and many of them include similar ideas. For this and other practical reasons, please don’t ask us to sign an NDA. Our application does not ask for your “secret sauce” and there is no reason you have to disclose this to us if you’re not comfortable doing so. We hope that our reputation speaks for itself on this topic.
Yes, if you are a strong front end or back end developer, apply to be a HackSumo. If you are a strong addition to any team, add yourself to cofounderslab.com and tag yourself “seedsumo”.
Yes, apply to be a Sumo Associate.
Yes. We think it’s best not to outsource what you are, but it obviously works in some cases. We’re happy to consider any application. Just remember that we’re primarily focused on the team.
We try our best to notify applicants at least 1 month before program.
Nope. Just fill out the informal online application – that’s all you need for us. In fact, we probably don’t want to see your business plan if you have one.
Check above for details. We encourage applicants to submit by the early deadline so we have more time to get to know your team. It also allows you more time to demonstrate progress and traction during the application process.