How to ace the FoodStars selection process?

Dear founder,

If you are reading this, you’re probably taking steps to become part of the FoodStars Impact Accelerator or you’ve already begun with the process.

This article will prepare you with insights into what we hope from our ideal startup partner during the selection process. For your convenience, we’ve broken the expectations into five stages: Before applying, First round of selection, Second round of application, Final round of application and Due diligence & joining us!   

 

Summary:

Before applying

Check if you qualify

Have clarity on why you are applying

Plan your application procedure

 

First round of selection

       A short 10 question application form.

Wear your heart on your sleeve

Apply early so we can give feedback

Keep your answers precise

Avoid exaggeration at all costs

Second round of selection

An elaborate information form and a 1 minute video.

Ensure you set aside sufficient time

Prove it’s possible, through a great product or service introduction video

Breakdown the important numbers   

 

Final round of selection

The FoodStars Acquaintance Days.

Prepare to talk to different stakeholders

Resist the temptation of getting carried away

Highlight the strategy

Leave no loose ends

 

Due Diligence and joining us!

 

Have the necessary documents and information ready to share

Update as you go

Be responsive

 

Other tips

 

  • Engage in our open events
  • Talk to our alumni about their experience
  • Hire a lawyer to go through the Participation agreement
  • Find out more about The Hague and Netherlands

 

 

 

Before applying

 

Have clarity on why you are applying

Our best applicants apply to the acceleration verticals/programs as part of their strategy to go from A to B. Some of the ways you could benefit are one-on-one sessions with experts, personalised mentorship, extensive network access, peer-to-peer learning, investment and deal making readiness/support. Identify which aspects of the program are most important for your team and what precise areas are your priorities to take them to the next level(s). Be ready to discuss them during the selection process!

 

Plan your application procedure

In order to go all the way, you first need to be well informed about the whole process. Different stages will require certain preparation. We also try to provide you with insights at various points during the selection. Being aware of next steps will not only allow you to be well-prepared but also will allow you time to work/implement the feedback.

 

First round of selection

A short 10 question application form. Click to see.

 

Wear your heart on your sleeve

At FoodStars, our bets are on the jockeys! Who is your team? What is your mission? Why are you going to make a difference? And why should it matter? Answer these questions with passion.

 

Apply early so we can give feedback

Should we be convinced of the startup-accelerator match, we are able to kick-off the partnership right away. Once we have the final number of startups, we’ll stop looking. Why wait when you can get started with the acceleration already, right? Why postpone the important expert or partner introduction session? We’d also like to get to know you and your team really well. We anticipate the same feeling from your side. Let us give ourselves the best chance to do this! Besides, if you don’t make the cut, you’ll have time to work on the feedback and make a stronger case again before the deadline.

 

Keep your answers precise

You’ll notice that all the questions in this round are restricted to 350 characters. A good team knows its story, impact and competition; and is able to express them in simple easy-to-understand terms. These are the things we want to understand here. This allows us a chance to get a sneak peak of who you are. The details are for later rounds.

 

Avoid exaggeration at all costs

All our best performing startups have one thing in common- they’re not afraid to be vulnerable when working with us. Your honest answers allow us to have a clear idea of where you stand and how we can provide a personalized program to your advantage. For example, some of your numbers might not be thorough. Being a startup, this is understandable as long as you are explicit about the incompleteness. So say it like it is. Don’t risk your credibility!

 

Second round of selection

An elaborate information form and a 1 minute video.

 

Ensure you set aside sufficient time

In this round, the focus is on detail. It might be hard to tell a great application from a good one but it’s always easy to pinpoint a sloppy application. Try and ensure you have enough time to provide all the relevant information via the information form and the 1 minute video. When unsure, clarify your remarks so you have the best chance of invitation to the final round. Especially give yourselves a head start if you have a lot more homework to do.

 

Prove it’s possible, through a great product or service introduction video

Show us you’ve done the groundwork, when you submit a 1 minute video to showcase the tangible side of your proposition. We’d like to see the functionality and uniqueness here. Need us to sign an NDA? No problem, email it to aditya@worldstartupfactory.com.  

 

Breakdown the important numbers   

Are you looking to hire employees? What is the equity split? What’s the revenue forecast? How does your burn rate look like right now? etc. Some of the questions in the information form will test the sustainability of your business. We are not looking for startups with the most optimistic projections. The ideal startups, we expect, would have done their homework and are able to reason how they plan to improve.  

 

Final round of selection

The FoodStars Acquaintance Days.

 

Prepare to talk to different stakeholders

The selection process is the all important carousel at FoodStars Acquaintance Days. You’ll receive 360° feedback even before you join us! This is quite unique to us. On this day you’ll have one-on-one conversations with some of the people who’ll work with you during the program –

  • Founders of FoodStars: Getting to know the team and the story
  • Partner/Expert: The business opportunity and potential
  • Journey mentor: The fit with the program
  • Investment mentor: Investor readiness and possibilities

You’ll receive a debrief along with the invitation to help you prepare. Following the carousel and a short break, you have a fireside talk planned with the FoodStars team where you can get all your remarks about the program answered. We recommend a individualised preparation to talk to each of these stakeholders!  

 

Resist the temptation of getting carried away

You’re scheduled to talk to each stakeholder for about 15 mins. We’ve seen this happen often, where founders tend to get stuck in the interaction eg: tech features.  And we totally understand where it comes from. Take note that everyone you talk to on this day is prepared, courtesy your information form and video. So stick to your plan and try to go through all the talking points. Respect the time keeper!

 

Highlight the strategy

While we like unique products, we LOVE great strategies. Refer to the talking points in the carousel. Step 1. Understand your market, competition and growth etc. Step 2. Be prepared to talk about how you’re going to jump the hurdles.

 

Leave no loose ends

We understand, sometimes, the time might not be enough to answer all questions and remarks. Offer to follow up, in case more information is needed to finalise the selection.    

 

Due Diligence and joining us!

 

Have the necessary documents and information ready to share

Following the invitation, you’ll go through a due diligence of your company and background checks. This is a standard procedure. You’ll receive a clear checklist and explanation of the procedure.  

 

Update as you go

Do you have a new partner or have struck a good deal? Have a you hired a new executive? Did you win a competition? Etc. That’s exciting! Keep us posted with such developments. If you are facing some problems, we would be happy to lend support as well.   

 

Be responsive

From our experience, we know that this is a time taking process. When you co-operate by being swift in your reaction, we can kick-off our partnership at the earliest date. Return all the information and documents in time!

 

Other tips

  • Engage in our open events (see)
  • Talk to our alumni about their experience
  • Hire a lawyer to go through the Participation agreement
  • Find out more about The Hague and Netherlands

 

Hope we were able to clearly manage your expectations, should you need more clarifications don’t hesitate to write to aditya@worldstartupfactory.com with subject line “<company name> application process questions”.

 

Good luck! We welcome your application.

 

On behalf of FoodStars,

Aditya Putta

Impact | Startups | Startup Selection Lead