FAQ

PROGRAM APPLICATION BASICS

What types of startups are best suited for the Bits x Bites Accelerator?

Food technology startups that leverage foundational technologies in hardware, software, internet, biotech. We are also interested in consumer packaged good startups. For a list of types of food technology startups existing today, click here. Keep in mind that these are simply the known types of startups today, we are excited for the many yet unknown types to emerge in the near future.

What stage of startups are you looking for?

We accept startups as early as when it’s just a few friends and a great idea. We also accept startups that have been operating for a few years and are looking for a new spark.

How many teams will be selected?

Approximately 5.

When is the program?

Our accelerator has two cohorts per year, with the first batch starting on February 20, 2017 and ending with a Demo Day in late-June 2017.

Where does the program take place?

Shanghai, China

My startup is not based in Shanghai. Can I still apply?

Yes, we encourage teams from all backgrounds and nationalities to apply. You are not required to but we strongly encourage you to re-locate your core team to Shanghai for the duration of the program. Besides the importance of weekly office hours with your assigned coach, you benefit from the vibrant community of entrepreneurs, experts, and friends here. You are responsible for arranging your own visas (often required for foreigners) but we can connect you with the appropriate professional services.

What is your evaluation process?

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis (so it's better to apply earlier). Only select teams will be invited for an in-person meeting or a video call. The final teams that are selected into the program will be announced a few weeks after the application period ends.

Will the information in my application be treated as confidential?

Your application is your marketing pitch to join the Bits x Bites Accelerator and therefore should only contain non-confidential information. Please do not submit any formal business plans, trade secrets, or proprietary information about your product. All information disclosed to us in your application will be considered non-confidential public information. Bits x Bites will only treat information as confidential if the information is covered by a formal, written confidentiality agreement signed by us prior to disclosure.

Does Bits x Bites own the intellectual property developed by my company during the Bits x Bites Accelerator program?

No. Intellectual property developed by your startup is retained by your startup.

How do I apply?

Please click here.

PROGRAM DETAILS

Do you provide funding? What are your terms?

Yes, we provide a so called “1+1” funding mechanism. You will receive a funding round upon being admitted to the program, and another funding round on Demo Day on the condition that you successfully pitch other investors.

The 1+1 funding will not exceed 15% ownership of your company.

Do you provide living expenses?

No. We do not provide a separate stipend for living expenses.

What language is used during the course of the program?

Both English and Mandarin.

Do I need to compensate the mentors separately?

No. Mentors are passionate about food technology, and they want to make an impact and help others to do the same. But they’re also busy people with fast growing startups to run, breakthrough research to focus on, or multinational brands to manage. If you find that mentors are delivering real value over the duration of the program, you may find it in your best interest to engage with them in a formal, sometimes monetary, way during or after the program. We’ll make the introductions, but these decisions are between you and mentors.

How are startups and mentors matched?

In a personalized way. We spend a lot of time getting to know our roster of mentors, which allows us to understand their work, expertise, and passions. We also spend a lot of time getting to know you. Mentors have tremendous potential value to startups, and a good match for both sides goes a long way in realizing that potential. Because of varying needs and availability, we will make several suggested matches.

Why 120 days?

To survive and thrive in today’s fast-paced environment, companies must move fast and stay nimble in changing market realities. That’s why our program champions lean startup principles to starting a company and launching a new product. In 120 days, capable teams with raw ideas can quickly build prototypes, test the market, and make the necessary changes before launching a new company or product. This pace and flexibility is one important factor that has enabled startups to disrupt traditional companies in which new products could take years to develop.

Will you help me recruit?

No, but we will make introductions to potential key hires. We have a strong network across China and even international markets. We recognize having the right team dynamics is critical to a startup’s success and can remain a tough challenge no matter how big you grow. Our priority is to equip you with the tools to attract and retain the talent most suited for your team. You will also learn tremendously from the successes and failures from our mentors’ own experiences.

Will there be a kitchen available for prototyping?

Yes, you have access to a kitchen lab.

What equipment do you have in the maker shop?

You will have free access to an onsite maker shop. The equipment list is TBD.

Will you have a channel for me to test my product?

Probably. We do access to online and offline retail channels in major cities in China. We also have many partners in food systems across the world that we can tap into. We will have to assess, case-by-case, based on your specific product and its most appropriate channels.

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