1. Who is eligible to apply to a local SmartCamp event?
If your startup is less than five years old, privately held, have a minimum viable product, and you're interested in the opportunity to compete in a local event and vie for a spot in the LAUNCH Incubator, you should apply!
2. If I've already participated, or am currently participating in an incubator or accelerator, am I eligible for the LAUNCH Incubator?
Yes! Different accelerators and incubators provide different benefits for startups and we encourage them to do multiple, even at the same time. The LAUNCH Incubator is a good opportunity to acquire more funding and to access the Silicon Valley network. Read this blog post by Jason Calacanis on being in LAUNCH Incubator and Y-Combinator.
3. If I win my city event, will I automatically win a spot to participate as a semi-finalist at LAUNCH Festival?
No. If you win your city event, you will be eligible to win 1 of 10 spots in the semi-finals. Your application and the feedback from the judges at your city event will be reviewed by a committee of judges who will pick the ten semi-finalists.
4. How will you choose the 10 semi-finalists?
Startups will be scored based on the following criteria: 1. Market and Business Model, Team, Technology, Product Design.
5. Will I be responsible for my own airfare, hotel, and other expenses incurred in San Francisco if I participate as a semi-finalist at LAUNCH Festival?
If you are invited to participate in San Francisco as a semi-finalist, you will be responsible for your airfare. IBM and LAUNCH will provide startups with VIP tickets to LAUNCH Festival for two founders, hotel accommodations for the duration of LAUNCH Festival, and breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided at the event.
You will be notified about two months in advance so you will have ample time to purchase airfare.
6. Will I be responsible for my own airfare, hotel, and other expenses incurred in San Francisco if I win and participate in the LAUNCH Incubator?
Yes. You will be responsible for all of your accommodations should you be offered, and accept a spot in the LAUNCH Incubator. Many startups that participate in the LAUNCH Incubator come from other locations. They either commute to the incubator every week or they move to San Francisco for the duration of the class.