Accelerator applications close Friday
Are you a high-tech startup & past the idea stage?
Then you have four more days to apply for Cincinnati’s high-tech OCEAN Accelerator, which will launch its fifth cohort in January 2019.
The accelerator program runs January through May. Ten companies will be selected, each of which will receive $50K in seed money in the form of a convertible note.
But the accelerator doesn’t just focus on your product — it also emphasizes your mission, OCEAN CEO Scott Weiss said.
“We’re one of the only accelerators in the world to focus on the founder,” he said. “It’s a holistic accelerator.”
OCEAN is a faith-backed accelerator — an organization “where faith and entrepreneurship intersect,” states its website.
The accelerator is open to everyone, and the entrepreneurs accepted into the program will have challenging conversations about their core missions, Weiss said. The accelerator curriculum also focuses on investor readiness, value proposition design, and revenue assumptions.
Founders must move to Cincinnati for the duration of the accelerator program. On average, between 150 & 200 founders apply each year. Of the 40 companies selected for the last four years of cohorts, about one third have been international, one third have been from the Cincinnati region, and another third have been from elsewhere in the US, including Georgia, New York, California & Washington, D.C.
Founders aren’t required to remain in Cincinnati after the accelerator is finished, but usually about two thirds do, citing lower cost of living and support in the community, Weiss said.
Additionally, about 60 percent of OCEAN accelerator alumni successfully raise money after the program — the average raise is $700K.
The OCEAN accelerator organizers prefer B2B startups that are post-MVP, in order to move the products faster, Weiss said.
In 2016 & 2017, the OCEAN accelerator demo day saw the largest demo day audiences in the world, he added.
No Dayton companies have accepted an offer to participate in the accelerator — yet.
“OCEAN exists to equip entrepreneurs to bravely step out and change the world,” Weiss said. “If you want training, go elsewhere. If you want to be equipped, you, your heart, your mission, and you want community around you to help you step out, then come here.”