Click here to apply for the 2014 Cherokee McDonough Challenge. For more details about the application and our expectations, please see below.
Thank you for your interest in the Cherokee-McDonough Challenge. This year, we are using the Gust platform to host and manage our application process. Before proceeding, please read through the following guidelines to understand what level of detail we hope to see in your application.
The application is divided into two main parts–your public and private profile. Your public profile is visible to everyone on Gust. Your private profile will be kept hidden unless you choose to share it. If you so decide, you will be able to share your executive summary, slide deck, and additional information (i.e., your private profile) with other accelerators, investors or entrepreneurs. We want your venture to be successful, and we believe that leveraging Gust beyond the Challenge can be of significant value to you.
In addition to answering seven questions associated with the Challenge application (all very short and easy to answer), you are also required to submit an overview slide deck (a 2-minute video pitch is optional, but appreciated). Below are some things we are looking for in your slide deck.
Slide Deck: (required)
i. Team: why are you and your team the right group to make this venture a success? Ditto for your advisory board, consultants and service providers.
ii. Market Opportunity: tell us more about the trends in your industry. What are your customers’ pain points? How does your company make their lives/work easier, more productive or more enjoyable? What is the size of the market for your technology, product or service – that is, the Total Available Market, Serviceable Available Market and Serviceable Obtainable Market?
iii. Company’s Solution: tell us more about your technology, product or service. How do you make money? How will you find, attract, secure and retain customers? What is your go-to-market strategy? What risks does your company face and how can these be mitigated?
iv. Environmental Innovation: what is the scale and nature of the environmental problem that your company aims to address? Tell us why you care about this particular topic.
v. Competitive Advantage / IP: how is your company’s offering better than what already exists in the market? Who are your competitors? What is your IP strategy? Have you obtained any patent protection or performed any related analysis?
vi. Pro-forma financials: estimate quarterly burn rate through the next 12 months, and yearly burn-rate thereafter through year 4. Please provide a high level breakdown of the budget. Also, focus on correlating capital needs and burn-rate to milestones; as much as possible, try to provide some level of sensitivity analysis (i.e., if X happens, then our burn-rate is likely to be in $XX-XX range, but in the Y scenario, our burn-rate should be only $XX-XX).
We invest in people as much as we do in business plans. And we want to support founders who are passionate and committed to their ideas. Consider sending us an informal two-minute video so we can hear the company pitch directly from you. We do not expect this to be a polished, professional video. Just talk us through your elevator pitch.
If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to apply now, or visit us at http://gust.com/organizations/cherokee-mcdonough-challenge/group_profile_submit_a_startup.