Virtual Accelerator— ONESIXONE Founders Program
UPDATE 2/15/22: Post has been updated to serve as a reference and FAQ for those interested in our 10-week Founder’s Program.
UPDATE 5/26/20: Just 1 day after launching, our founder’s program was featured in ABC’s WCJB TV 20 https://www.wcjb.com/content/news/UF-inspired-group-helps-startups-during-the-pandemic--570777501.html
Twice per year (Spring & Summer), we select 6–8 early startups founders to participate in our 10-week program; covering topics from building product and landing your first few users/customers, to forming your team and raising capital.
We believe there are many individuals out there who were born to rewrite history, to build innovative solutions to existing problems, but they may not have the appropriate resources to make it happen. It’s our mission to help these founders connect with the people and resources necessary for them to scale their startups.
The program will feature the following:
1. Weekly virtual masterclasses taught by one of our guest lecturers. In the past we’ve had a former VP of growth at Spotify, Chief Ethics Officer of Airbnb, former CEO of Priceline.com, Founder of ProctorU, and Co-Founder/CTO of WhatNot (the fastest growing marketplace in history).
2. Weekly 1on1s where founders have the opportunity to tell us the challenges they’re facing and request specific assistance.
In addition, you will be connected with industry-specific mentors throughout the course of the program and in the final week, you will have the opportunity to pitch accredited investors at our virtual demo day.
The application to our upcoming cohort is always listed front and center on our website: onesixonegroup.com
ONESIXONE Founder’s Program FAQs
What kind of companies / ideas qualify for the program? Which ones are not a good fit?
This program is designed for high growth potential startups/ideas (ex. Enterprise software, SaaS products, etc.) with a large total addressable market (TAM). It is not designed for lifestyle businesses, coaching/consulting companies, or small businesses that aren’t scalable. There’s nothing wrong with these types of businesses, it is just not our area of expertise/focus.
If your idea/business is solving a huge pain-point or problem, that’s a very good sign. We don’t necessarily mean like trying to solve world hunger, or cure cancer (these are great things to pursue, but you will likely not be able to make significant progress in just 10-weeks).
Having revenue will not be a factor in the selection process. However, the ability to move quickly in testing assumptions and iterating on product will be a large factor. For example, if you’re applying with an idea you came up with last week, we will be looking at what you have done since then (built an MVP or landing page, surveyed potential customers, found co-founders, etc.)
Who is a good fit for this program?
College students, recent grads (or dropouts), or anyone else who has a lot of ambition and believes they can make a dent in the universe by solving a problem or fulfilling a need. Someone with the bandwidth to spend the 10-week period working long hours each week on their startup.
Candidates must have a long term outlook and a vision for what they’re creating. However, they must also be coachable and be willing to adapt as they learn from their customers/users.
What criteria will be used for the selection process?
Ultimately, we are investing in people. Ideal candidates are hackers, builders, starters, and/or individuals who have the curiosity, passion, and drive to start a “project” and stick with it until the end. A few examples are someone who created a mobile app in high-school, or started an organization to achieve a goal, or even someone who would take car engines apart and rebuild them for fun (these are just random examples).
Startups are extremely hard to pull off successfully, and require an immense amount of focus and hard work over an extended period of time. Therefore, we want to know that you will have the perseverance to see this through and are not just following some trend (ex. trying to build a blockchain or AI startup only because these things appear to be trending suddenly). With that said, a good candidate is someone who has started something in the past and can demonstrate significant progress made as well as lessons learned from the experience (even if it failed); as opposed to a candidate who might have had numerous great ideas, but moved from one project to the next, without making significant progress on any one of them.
Are there any costs associated with the program?
ONESIXONE Ventures will take 2% stake in each venture in exchange for participation in our program; this number is negotiable. We would rather take a great founder into our program and get less than 2% or no equity than to pass because a founder is not willing to give up the equity. There are no hidden fees. Everything we do at ONESIXONE Ventures is focused around our long-term vision to help early startup founders succeed. Having stake in your venture allows us to dedicate more of our time and resources to helping your you succeed, even after the 10-week program is over.
What will I get for participating in the program?
Throughout the program, you will get access to the following:
- Private weekly classes with a successful entrepreneur about a topic relevant to early stage founders
- Access to mentors and industry experts
- A network of other founders at a similar stage
- Opportunity to pitch to group of investors during our demo day at the end of the program
Will I get funding for my startup / idea?
The 10-week program will conclude with a session on how to raise capital for your startup, led by an investor. In addition, at our virtual Demo Day, you will have the opportunity to pitch accredited investors for capital. ONESIXONE has officially launched its own venture capital fund in February 2022, and we will typically be investing in companies that participate in our program.
Essentially, you are not guaranteed any funding, but if you complete the program, put in the work, participate in all sessions and your startup looks promising at the end of the 10 weeks — we will put you in front of numerous investors and will play an active role in helping you get the funding you need to scale.
Do I need to move to Gainesville, FL for this program?
No. Our program is 100% remote. All of the sessions will be hosted through zoom.
Why did we start this program?
Less than 5% of all venture funding is available to startups in the entire southeast region of the US (2019). While our program will accept founders from all over the country, our focus is in regions outside of the big tech hubs in places where venture funding might be hard to find. There is also a gap in the southeast US when it comes to funding and high quality educational programming at the pre-seed stage. While this has started to change due to COVID-19, there still are not nearly enough venture firms investing at this stage, or accelerators supporting companies at this stage, and this is typically when startups need the most amount of help.
The partners at ONESIXONE Ventures have a burning passion for startups and education. This program is the intersection of those two things. This is also the largest problem we feel that we have a pretty good shot at solving.
What is the time commitment like?
Aside from college class work and/or your job, you are expected to be spending most of your waking hours working on your product/company. 10 weeks is a short amount of time, but a significant amount of progress can be made if the founders work very hard. As far as the weekly events our program has, the time commitment is a total maximum of about 3 hours per week with a minimum of 10-minutes per week. These events are outlined below:
60–90 minutes: Weekly speaker sessions (optional, but highly encouraged)
10 minutes: Weekly 1-on-1s
How will I be monitored?
We will not be monitoring you to find out if you’re spending 10 hours/week or 80 hours/week on your startup. Although, it will become clear pretty quickly if you are or aren’t putting in the time. However, this is your product/startup, and if you’re not excited about it, nobody else will be. We will check in with you each week to see what progress your team has made and what roadblocks you’re currently facing.
Where does the name OneSixOne Ventures come from?
~1.61 is the golden ratio (also known as the Fibonacci sequence). It’s the natural way that things grow, and naturalists argue it’s the most efficient way for growth to occur. Our mission at ONESIXONE Ventures is to create an environment for entrepreneurs and startups to grow in an organic way.
How did OneSixOne Ventures start?
We started hosting networking events in early 2017 in Gainesville, FL — and they quickly became very popular for startup founders in the region. We started hosting roundtables and began talks of building an accelerator. In March 2020, in response to COVID-19 forcing all of our in-person events to be cancelled, we decided to launch a virtual accelerator. We know that even in this time of uncertainty, many investors are still looking for great startups to fund and many of them have already started doing so through zoom.
To learn more, visit http://onesixonegroup.com