via press release:
DALLAS & OKLAHOMA CITY (March 6, 2014) – Launching its third program year and seed investment fund after seeing breakout success in fundraising for its 2013 startups, VentureSpur, the venture accelerator and seed fund with operations in Dallas and Oklahoma City, announced the details of its 2014 program today.
Major announcements include program berths for up to 12 startups in 2014 at its two facilities, versus the 7 accepted last year. Also announced, the accelerator has attracted additional entrepreneurial mentors, added a new focus area for Dallas, and has allocated substantially more capital for follow-on investment and bridge convertible notes at the end of the program.
The accelerator’s new focus area is in mobility and technology for restaurants, retail and entertainment, with an emphasis on engaging the many Dallas-area corporate headquarters of major national chains. The accelerator will also continue with a focus on the rapidly growing educational technologies market, towards which 4 of the 7 startups in 2013 were aimed. The program has numerous mentors and partners with experience and connections in these areas, who will be assigned to startups.
Ideal startups for the program have a competitive founding team that is developing an innovative product or service likely to have significant impact in a large potential market. Startups do not need to be market-ready, but must be prepared to raise a large angel investment or Series A venture capital round at the end of the program.
The accelerator is currently accepting applications at its website and startups do not need to be in the focus areas to apply:
The accelerator provides each startup admitted to the 12-week program with seed investment of around $25,000, free office space, highly accomplished entrepreneurial mentors, hands-on workshops, free business services, intensive pitch practices and an opportunity to present at its two Pitch Day events at the end of the program to raise a next investment round. In exchange for participation in the program, the accelerator accepts around 10% of the startup’s equity in the form of founder’s shares.
During the program, the accelerator may make follow-on investments of up to $150,000 in selected participants and helps all of the companies to find investors to fill a $250,000 bridge note prior to raising their next round of funding. This follow-on investment has been instrumental in catalyzing outside investment in prior program years.
The 2014 program will start on Monday, July 21 and will run throughFriday, October 10 with Pitch Days scheduled for mid-October in Dallas and Oklahoma City. The accelerator has also announced early-admission deadlines, allowing companies to be notified of admission to the 2014 program within 2 weeks of application. These early-decision deadlines are on March 21, April 18, and May 23 with final application deadline on June 16 and final admissions on June 30, although all slots may be filled earlier.
The accelerator has seen significant funding success among its 2013 startups with members of the class raising more than $1.1M in new investment after Pitch Day on multi-million dollar valuations and within 90-days of graduation.
In addition to program activities, the accelerator has also added major community outreach activities, including its Black Box Breakfast Seriesfeaturing program mentors telling their success stories in 10 pictures in 10 minutes and insight on a contemporary business topic from board member Mike Whitaker. It has also added Community Open Office Hours, during which the accelerator’s Managing Director meets one-on-one with potential applicants.