Accelerators often receive applications numbering in the hundreds (or even thousands) from aspiring startups. Unfortunately, while a tiny percentage of them make it through, the majority tend to fumble and trip up over their pitches.
According to Bikesh Lakhmichand, CEO of 1337 Ventures, early stage startups fail at this stage because they’re not getting enough help. “We’re seeing a real gap even as we’re vetting through hundreds of applications from startups applying for funding,” he said. “As much as there’s an evident growth in innovative ideas, there’s also a rising pile of ‘not there yet’ applications in terms of being a validated startup.”
Alpha Startups, a pre-accelerator programme organized by 1337 Ventures in partnership with the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) of Malaysia, was formed to fix this problem. Their goal is to help early stage startups smoothly progress from a raw idea to validated minimum viable product (MVP), which is vital for fundraising, traction and investment.
Alpha Startups consists of an intensive five-day bootcamp where selected teams of entrepreneurs, developers and designers will receive close guidance from experienced industry mentors, while at the same time testing and validating scalable product or startup ideas together with their peers.
At the end of the day, teams that successfully complete the pre-accelerator program will be equipped with a validated product proposition, solid marketing strategy, practical product roadmap, and pitch deck. These will put them in good stead when they apply to the funding program run by 1337 Accelerator and other recognised investment organizations throughout Malaysia.
The program will take place from 19 to 23 May 2014. Those interested to join should send in their applications by 14 May 2014, in the form of a one-minute video pitch covering the product, market, execution strategy and why they think they are the best team to solve the problem.