Frequently Asked Questions
These are the most common questions we get, and if you don't see something answered here, don't hesitate to reach out!
Q: Are there other programs to help me if TVA isn't a perfect fit?
A: Yes. TVA has a Partner Program that accepts up to 2 companies per year that generally are further along or working on inflexible time horizons. It is a company by company review, so reach out if you're interested.
Q: Do I have to live in Telluride?
A: Yes. We expect you to live here full-time during program. After the program, we do not require you to re-locate to Telluride, but we do everything in our power to make it a hard decision to leave!
Q: Does my entire team have to be part of the program?
A: At least one other team member must be a part of the program. We generally seek teams between 2 and 5 people in size.
Q: Can I keep my part-time job during the program?
A: No. We expect a full-time commitment to your business.
Q: Are there specific verticals that TVA focuses on?
A: Not explicitly, but we certainly have deep network of mentors and industry leaders in the Outdoor, Health & Wellness, Travel & Hospitality, and Energy spaces.
Q: What happens if I fail?
A: We invest in people, not just the ideas. We also know that we're playing in the startup world where the harsh reality is that a lot of businesses just wont make it. As investors and partners in your business, know that we're not here to force you down a path that doesn't make sense and that we're committed to you and our relationship for your entire entrepreneurial career.
Q: What options are available for housing?
A: Living in any mountain town or major city these days is tough for housing. We work in advance of each program to secure short term rentals for our teams, and if teams want to stay longer, we'll do our best to help you find something long term too. It's not guaranteed, but we have as good a network as anyone in town and can generally help take short term rentals off the market and get entrepreneurs in them.
Q: What happens on a powder day?
A: Local tradition instates that if we receive more than six inches over night, all work is off for the morning. While not possible every time, we do our best to encourage everyone to make the most of living in Telluride!
Q: What does the curriculum look like?
A: This isn't a school and you won't be in a class. This is about helping you build your business, and we're sensitive to the fact that many entrepreneurs must also continue running their businesses at the same time. We have an average of 8 hours a week of programming, and we work to customize content for teams to ensure that we cover relevant topics as is needed by the startups.
Q: What is the review process for TVA?
A: We have two selection committees. The first is made up of key mentors from the program to narrow down the top 20. They review your application and will reach out to others in the network that might have more insight on your business and potentially commit early on to helping out specific teams. The second committee is made up of a mix of local founders, key stakeholders, and investors that are familiar with working closely with startups. They will dig deep on due diligence and ensure that we believe we can help provide each startup an unfair advantage compared to their competition.
Q: Should I be worried about anyone stealing my idea?
A: Ideas are a dime a dozen. It is the execution that counts. In reality, unless you have a hardware invention, it is often not even a topic worth concerning over. We have experienced council to help you protect your ideas if it makes sense during the program. Otherwise, like entrepreneurial communities around the world, you'll be surrounded with other like-minded individuals pursuing solutions to their own problems. After all, how will you ever know if you have a good idea or not if you never share it with anyone?
Q: Isn't it hard to get in and out of Telluride?
A: The added challenge is worth it. Starting December of 2016, there will be daily flights in and out of Telluride, otherwise flights are generally plentiful and affordable if booked in advance through Montrose with flights to San Francisco, LA, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and JFK. The car ride or shuttle is just over an hour and we often joke, is shorter and far more beautiful than commuting from JFK to Manhattan in traffic. Drive a little further to Durango or Grand Junction and flight options more than double.
Q: Where can I find more information on Telluride itself?
A: Learn more about the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Telluride at Telluride.me
Q: What is my team or one of my founders is from outside the US? Does TVA offer assistance with this process?
A: We accept applications from founders all over the world. We realize that we are operating in a global economy! However, you do have to be legally in the U.S. for the duration of the Accelerator program. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide assistance until your company is accepted into the program.
Q: Is working out of the TVA office space mandatory?
A: All TVA teams do work out of the TVA office space, and we highly encourage this! The space has hyper fast internet and offers lounge, conference space as well as desk space to accommodate most meeting and work environments. As TVA mentors often just drop by to chat with teams - that opportunity can be highly valuable. Also, the space is ski-in ski-out!
Q: What is a typical day like at TVA?
A: For detailed overview of the program - please check out our Program page.
Q: Can I contact any of the mentors after I submit my application to begin establishing a relationship?
A: We do not recommend this. We receive hundreds of applications for our program. If you reach out to a mentor, we are the ones they complain to, and this reflects poorly on you.