Here are our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Bizdom. If you can’t find the answer to your questions, please Contact Us!
Can any of the information about Bizdom change?
Yes. The information provided on our website and on all other Bizdom materials could change. The information provided represents plans at this point in time.
Is Bizdom a non-profit organization?
Yes. Bizdom is a non-profit organization and has tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
What are the standard Bizdom terms?
Startups accepted into the program receive $25K up front in exchange for 8% equity to the Bizdom non-profit fund, and up to $100K convertible note upon successful completion of the accelerator. We are a nonprofit organization, and will use all proceeds to fund future businesses in the cities of Detroit and Cleveland. It is a pay-it-forward model. Don’t need the seed investment, but want all the other benefits of joining Bizdom? Call us.
After the 3-month accelerator is complete, it is possible to receive additional mentoring, support and resources (including office space) from Bizdom. That offer is available at Bizdom’s sole discretion, and will be determined based on a team’s progress during the 3-month accelerator.
What is the application process for Bizdom?
1. Submit your Bizdom application online.
2. All applications received will be reviewed within 3 weeks following the application deadline.
3. Selected candidates will be invited to in-person interviews with our Bizdom leadership team.
4. Selected candidates will be invited to complete one or several deliverable assignments.
5. Selected candidates will be invited to have background checks and reference checks completed.
6. Selected candidates will be invited to pitch to our Bizdom leadership team.
7. Offers will be made to join our accelerator a minimum of 2 weeks before the accelerator session begins.
Once I submit my application to Bizdom, will I hear from Bizdom?
Yes. ALL candidates that apply to Bizdom will receive an email or telephone call from Bizdom within 3 weeks following the application deadline.
Why should I move my business to Detroit?
If I am accepted into Bizdom, do I need to headquarter my business in Detroit or Cleveland?
Yes. If you are accepted into Bizdom, the startup that we help you to launch must be headquartered in either the city of Detroit or city of Cleveland, and the business must pay all applicable city taxes. If your startup is currently headquartered in another city or state, that is a-ok. We can help you to relocate it to Detroit or Cleveland if you are accepted into our program. We are serious about this, as we are focused on helping these cities to build a core of innovative technology companies.
How many startups are you looking to accept into your next session?
That depends on the quality of the startups that apply. We expect to accept around 6 startups per session in both Detroit and Cleveland. We have 2 sessions per year in both Detroit and Cleveland: Winter and Fall. Check out our APPLY page for more details.
How is the Bizdom Accelerator Program structured?
Typical Day at Bizdom
Every day is different, but you’ll spend the majority of your time developing your startup, building your Minimum Viable Product, interviewing customers, researching competitors testing the viability of your concept, developing your brand and nailing your pitch. You’ll receive real-time mentoring, training, expertise, and other great perks from our extensive network and family of companies. You’ll also be challenged to ping-pong matches, attend great startup events, and you’ll become a part of an incredible family of companies.
Overview of the Accelerator Program
The Bizdom accelerator is a 12-week program built to help early stage startups build and test their startup, then raise the follow on investment needed to help it grow and scale. The schedule breaks down as follows:
Month 1: Mentor Matchup
During the first few weeks of the program, accelerator participants have the opportunity to meet with 50+ mentors to receive feedback, gain industry insight, and make invaluable connections that will help build and grow their startup.
Month 2: Product Development & Validation
The primary focus of the second month of the program is to fast track product/customer development and business validation. Founders will have access to workshops & trainings on topics immediately applicable to building their business. Topics include SEO, Negotiations, Startup Law, Startup Sales 101, etc.
Month 3: Fundraising Prep
During the final month of the program, startups will work with our experts to build a compelling pitch, financial model and fundraising strategy. Topics include Financial Modeling, Valuation & Term Sheet Basics, Pitch Deck, and pitch practice with successful startups and investors.
Months 4 and beyond
Bizdom alumni will always have access to the incredible Bizdom family of companies and network. Startups who make significant progress during the accelerator may be invited to remain in the Bizdom space for up to 6 months and will continue to receive support as they raise their next round of funding.
Can I join Bizdom’s accelerator and take classes or work at the same time?
Not likely. If you are accepted into Bizdom, at least one of your cofounders (preferably more) must commit full-time energy to launching your startup during our 3-month accelerator. That means no school, no work. That is a commitment that you make to yourself and a requirement for us investing in your startup. Take this opportunity to pour all of your energy into making your startup incredible so that you can increase your chances of succeeding, and position yourself to receive follow-on funding at the end of the program.
Even though our accelerator is a full time, intense experience, that doesn’t mean that you have to be here from 9am to 5pm. This is your startup, you are not our employee. You can come and go as you please, and you’ll have access to our workspace 24 hours a day if you’d like to work into the night.
If I have a team of cofounders, should we submit one online application or more?
Only one application per team is needed, but please include bios and contact information for all team members.
Does Bizdom invest in single founders or teams of cofounders?
We will consider both, but we strongly encourage teams of at least two cofounders. Creating scalable startups is challenging and takes a lot of hard work. Having a well-rounded team increases your chances of succeeding. That being said, single founders are still encouraged to apply.
How does Bizdom define “scalable”?
A scalable business is one that can scale/expand operations without significant capital investment. For example, a restaurant is not easy to scale because it would require significant investment to expand from one to two locations (finding a new location, buying equipment, paying staff, etc.)
How does Bizdom define “innovative”?
An innovative business is one that solves a problem in a better way. This doesn’t mean that you need to create the cure for cancer or a totally new invention. You’ll likely have a better chance of succeeding with your startup by identifying an existing market and then creating a better business model than currently exists.
What types of startups are a good fit for Bizdom?
Bizdom is looking to invest in the best and brightest aspiring entrepreneurs with innovative, scalable business ideas. While we support all entrepreneurial endeavors, we’re interested in investing in certain types of businesses that fit within our expertise. We are looking for early stage startups that are web or tech based, scalable and can get to beta, first customers, or work on product/customer development within 3 months with $25k. If you have raised additional capital in addition to our investment before or during our accelerator, that is great, too. Here are a few examples: Enterprise or cross platform software, healthcare, digital sales/marketing, IT, sports and gaming.
We’re not currently looking to fund traditional agency/consulting-based models, heavy manufacturing, brick and mortar retail, or pharma/biotech.
Who’s eligible to join Bizdom?
Candidates must be 18 years or older, and have an idea or existing early stage startup that is innovative, web or tech-based and has the potential to scale.