Inspiring Innovation, Investing in Success

FAQs

How much funding do the winning companies receive when they participate in the Telluride Venture Accelerator (TVA)?

Each winning company will receive a $25,000 investment; $500,000 in perks; access to game-changing mentors and an exclusive investor network; the opportunity to work in an inspiring location with other innovators; and more.

What areas do you fund?

Our focus areas include:
• outdoor products
• recreation
• tourism
• natural and organic products
• health and healthy living
• energy, water, and education.

We prioritize companies producing cutting-edge technological products and services such as software, mobile, mobile apps, and hardware.

This year’s Telluride Venture Accelerator will not fund in the areas of biotech, restaurants, or businesses solely-focused on the Telluride regional market.

Who’s behind the program, and what is the goal?

The Telluride Venture Accelerator is a non-profit initiative of the Telluride Foundation. The goal of this effort is to reignite Telluride’s long history of innovation and entrepreneurship (learn more). The Telluride Foundation believes that through promoting an ecosystem of entrepreneurship, we will strengthen our local community and support positive social change.

How do you choose which companies to accept into the program and fund?

Above all, we are looking for exceptional people with innovative ideas that solve problems, are scalable, and have high growth potential. We are most likely to accept businesses with a team in place, a team that has what it takes to execute on its idea.

Does the Telluride Venture Accelerator require a stake in my company? If so, what sort of control am I giving up?

Once we invest, Telluride Venture Accelerator is a partner in your success. Unlike other incubators which require as much as eight percent equity in your company, we ask for half that.

We expect to have the same rights as any other investor in your business but we are a passive investor (we don’t want a board seat). You make the decisions and you control the future of your business.

Our accelerator brings measurable value with its learning opportunities, mentoring, networking, and investor access. Should you sell your company down the road, we intend to reinvest those proceeds back into our accelerator, allowing us to support future participants and bolster our mission to spur innovation.

How is the Telluride Venture Accelerator ownership share calculated?

The Telluride Venture Accelerator funds a flat $25,000 for 4% of equity. For some, we appreciate that this valuation may appear lower than their current valuation. However, later investors are used to seeing accelerators as funders and their investment is not considered a “financing event”. Please contact us if you have further specific questions.

How can we get funded after the program ends?

Near the end of the five-month program, we host an investor pitch day where we invite our entire network of angel and venture capital investors (both in-person and online) to learn more about your company.

We will provide coaching so that your pitch is effective, and we will do everything in our power to help you secure follow-on funding.

Besides the funding, what does the Telluride Venture Accelerator provide?

In addition to the $25,000, our goal is to provide an environment that breeds innovation and creativity and best allows you to focus on advancing your business. This includes access to our mentors; co-working space in The Peaks Resort and Spa; meeting spaces; reliable, high-speed internet, and specific perks worth over $500,000.

Can you tell me more about the educational and networking opportunities?

The Telluride Venture Accelerator offers a range of opportunities each week, including:
• Informal gatherings: The Telluride Venture Accelerator will host numerous gatherings that offer you the opportunity to meet other entrepreneurs, share experiences and grow your network.
• Mentor workshops: Our mentors are well-equipped and readily available to have deep discussions on whatever subject areas are of interest to our participants. Topics include investor pitches, marketing, protecting intellectual property, etc.
• Visiting expert workshops: The Telluride Venture Accelerator will invite specific experts who provide additional real-world expertise to our participants. They will include highly successful entrepreneurs, angel investors, securities experts, venture capitalists, etc.
• Office hours: Following each workshop, our mentors and visiting experts will hold office hours so you have the opportunity to hone in on the specifics of your business.
• Entrepreneur-in-residence: The Telluride Venture Accelerator will host up to two entrepreneurs during the five-month program. These will be high-profile, successful entrepreneurs who will join us to both work on their next business and be available as a unique resource to our participants.
• Regional resources: When of interest, we will take advantage of regional resources that could be helpful including the renowned scientists and resources at Los Alamos National Laboratory or entrepreneurial gatherings in Boulder/Denver.

Does the Telluride Venture Accelerator have information on housing availability and cost of living in the area? I understand Telluride can be expensive.

Immediately after you have been selected as a TVA winner, a member of our team will provide you with local resources to help you understand the housing options and secure housing. Generally, studio apartments can be found for $850 – $1,000 per month.

Do I have to be in Telluride for the entire residential five-month period?

The Telluride Venture Accelerator is an intense learning experience and, as such, we require that you be primarily based in Telluride for the duration of the program. Participants can of course take trips as often as needed.

Do I have to stay there after the program ends?

You are free to settle your business wherever makes the most sense for you. That said, we will do our best to make Telluride an inviting longer-term home for you and your business.

Is my company “too far along” or “too new” to apply to TVA?

The Telluride Venture Accelerator does not put age restrictions on our participating companies. We embrace promising ideas and up-and-running businesses generating less than $1 million in revenue and established within the last five years.

I am a single founder. Can I get accepted into the Telluride Venture Accelerator, or do you only look for teams?

We prefer well-rounded teams that have a range of skills and experience, but we will consider founders who are looking to build a team. We do believe that the chances of success are higher when a company is led by a diverse team or co-founders who balance each others’ skill sets.

Can my organization apply as a non-profit?

While we admire the work of non-profits and are one ourselves, our program has the capacity to work only with for-profit entities at this time.

When is the deadline to apply and what’s the overall timeline?

The 2014 applications are closed. We encourage applicants to submit early in the process so we can maximize the time to get to know you and your business. All applicants are given equal consideration and all will be notified at the same time about any decisions.

Is there a submission area for business plans? What does my application need to include?

The application is the main way we learn about you and your business. We do not request or accept formal business plans. We request a video which we find to be a great way to hear your ‘pitch’ and to get a sense for your team dynamic. In addition to well-crafted videos, we appreciate when candidates submit their applications with succinct answers to the questions asked while providing sufficient detail in areas like the business model.

Can I apply if I’m not from the United States?

Yes, assuming you and your team can be in the US legally during the five months residential program.

Should I be worried about protecting my intellectual property?

The Telluride Venture Accelerator is focused on keeping your intellectual property safe and secure. First and foremost, our application does not ask for proprietary information and therefore there is no need for you to provide any should you choose not to. Secondly, any information you provide TVA will not be shared outside the accelerator team.

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How much funding do the winning companies receive when they participate in the Telluride Venture Accelerator (TVA)?

Each winning company will receive a $25,000 investment; $500,000 in perks; access to game-changing mentors and an exclusive investor network; the opportunity to work in an inspiring location with other innovators; and more.

What areas do you fund?

Our focus areas include:
• outdoor products
• recreation
• tourism
• natural and organic products
• health and healthy living
• energy, water, and education.

We prioritize companies producing cutting-edge technological products and services such as software, mobile, mobile apps, and hardware.

This year’s Telluride Venture Accelerator will not fund in the areas of biotech, restaurants, or businesses solely-focused on the Telluride regional market.

Who’s behind the program, and what is the goal?

The Telluride Venture Accelerator is a non-profit initiative of the Telluride Foundation. The goal of this effort is to reignite Telluride’s long history of innovation and entrepreneurship (learn more). The Telluride Foundation believes that through promoting an ecosystem of entrepreneurship, we will strengthen our local community and support positive social change.

How do you choose which companies to accept into the program and fund?

Above all, we are looking for exceptional people with innovative ideas that solve problems, are scalable, and have high growth potential. We are most likely to accept businesses with a team in place, a team that has what it takes to execute on its idea.

Does the Telluride Venture Accelerator require a stake in my company? If so, what sort of control am I giving up?

Once we invest, Telluride Venture Accelerator is a partner in your success. Unlike other incubators which require as much as eight percent equity in your company, we ask for half that.

We expect to have the same rights as any other investor in your business but we are a passive investor (we don’t want a board seat). You make the decisions and you control the future of your business.

Our accelerator brings measurable value with its learning opportunities, mentoring, networking, and investor access. Should you sell your company down the road, we intend to reinvest those proceeds back into our accelerator, allowing us to support future participants and bolster our mission to spur innovation.

How is the Telluride Venture Accelerator ownership share calculated?

The Telluride Venture Accelerator funds a flat $25,000 for 4% of equity. For some, we appreciate that this valuation may appear lower than their current valuation. However, later investors are used to seeing accelerators as funders and their investment is not considered a “financing event”. Please contact us if you have further specific questions.

How can we get funded after the program ends?

Near the end of the five-month program, we host an investor pitch day where we invite our entire network of angel and venture capital investors (both in-person and online) to learn more about your company.

We will provide coaching so that your pitch is effective, and we will do everything in our power to help you secure follow-on funding.

Besides the funding, what does the Telluride Venture Accelerator provide?

In addition to the $25,000, our goal is to provide an environment that breeds innovation and creativity and best allows you to focus on advancing your business. This includes access to our mentors; co-working space in The Peaks Resort and Spa; meeting spaces; reliable, high-speed internet, and specific perks worth over $500,000.

Can you tell me more about the educational and networking opportunities?

The Telluride Venture Accelerator offers a range of opportunities each week, including:
• Informal gatherings: The Telluride Venture Accelerator will host numerous gatherings that offer you the opportunity to meet other entrepreneurs, share experiences and grow your network.
• Mentor workshops: Our mentors are well-equipped and readily available to have deep discussions on whatever subject areas are of interest to our participants. Topics include investor pitches, marketing, protecting intellectual property, etc.
• Visiting expert workshops: The Telluride Venture Accelerator will invite specific experts who provide additional real-world expertise to our participants. They will include highly successful entrepreneurs, angel investors, securities experts, venture capitalists, etc.
• Office hours: Following each workshop, our mentors and visiting experts will hold office hours so you have the opportunity to hone in on the specifics of your business.
• Entrepreneur-in-residence: The Telluride Venture Accelerator will host up to two entrepreneurs during the five-month program. These will be high-profile, successful entrepreneurs who will join us to both work on their next business and be available as a unique resource to our participants.
• Regional resources: When of interest, we will take advantage of regional resources that could be helpful including the renowned scientists and resources at Los Alamos National Laboratory or entrepreneurial gatherings in Boulder/Denver.

Does the Telluride Venture Accelerator have information on housing availability and cost of living in the area? I understand Telluride can be expensive.

Immediately after you have been selected as a TVA winner, a member of our team will provide you with local resources to help you understand the housing options and secure housing. Generally, studio apartments can be found for $850 – $1,000 per month.

Do I have to be in Telluride for the entire residential five-month period?

The Telluride Venture Accelerator is an intense learning experience and, as such, we require that you be primarily based in Telluride for the duration of the program. Participants can of course take trips as often as needed.

Do I have to stay there after the program ends?

You are free to settle your business wherever makes the most sense for you. That said, we will do our best to make Telluride an inviting longer-term home for you and your business.

Is my company “too far along” or “too new” to apply to TVA?

The Telluride Venture Accelerator does not put age restrictions on our participating companies. We embrace promising ideas and up-and-running businesses generating less than $1 million in revenue and established within the last five years.

I am a single founder. Can I get accepted into the Telluride Venture Accelerator, or do you only look for teams?

We prefer well-rounded teams that have a range of skills and experience, but we will consider founders who are looking to build a team. We do believe that the chances of success are higher when a company is led by a diverse team or co-founders who balance each others’ skill sets.

Can my organization apply as a non-profit?

While we admire the work of non-profits and are one ourselves, our program has the capacity to work only with for-profit entities at this time.

When is the deadline to apply and what’s the overall timeline?

The 2014 applications are closed. We encourage applicants to submit early in the process so we can maximize the time to get to know you and your business. All applicants are given equal consideration and all will be notified at the same time about any decisions.

Is there a submission area for business plans? What does my application need to include?

The application is the main way we learn about you and your business. We do not request or accept formal business plans. We request a video which we find to be a great way to hear your ‘pitch’ and to get a sense for your team dynamic. In addition to well-crafted videos, we appreciate when candidates submit their applications with succinct answers to the questions asked while providing sufficient detail in areas like the business model.

Can I apply if I’m not from the United States?

Yes, assuming you and your team can be in the US legally during the five months residential program.

Should I be worried about protecting my intellectual property?

The Telluride Venture Accelerator is focused on keeping your intellectual property safe and secure. First and foremost, our application does not ask for proprietary information and therefore there is no need for you to provide any should you choose not to. Secondly, any information you provide TVA will not be shared outside the accelerator team.

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