With applications open for the Intel Education Accelerator 2017 cohort, you may be wondering how best to get a spot in this unique program for companies trying to drive excellence in education and gain expertise and resources from Intel. First things first, you must be from a company that shares Intel’s dedication to accelerating innovation in K–12 education. A focus on data analytics and personalized learning doesn’t hurt either. Next, startups that have received some initial stage funding, are looking to grow, and have at least a working beta product or service are likely candidates to be considered further.
But what’s next? What else can set your application above the rest? We collected some advice from last year’s founding cohort that applicants might find useful.
Suz Somersall from KiraKira
“Be sure to include a personal story that shows your passion for your startup and its social impact,” KiraKira Founder Suz Somersall relayed. “Think about how your startup would benefit from the resources that a large company like Intel could provide. Most startups don't get access to resources like this at an early stage. Think about how you can hit the ground running and leverage this incredible opportunity!”
Dan Nash from Comprendio
Comprendio’s COO, Dan Nash, delivered a quick list of advice:
- “Clearly articulate the problem/solution fit and how you arrived at discovering the problem and building your solution. Focus on telling a story here and not just listing details about the problem and features your product has that solve it.”
- “Use a story to tell how a customer (and/or end user) would use your product and what the outcomes are. Be sure to focus on the human narrative of how your technology is used. Don't just describe the steps to using your technology, describe the experience a human has while using it. Include actual testimonials and data to demonstrate that your product is delivering value if you have them.”
- “Be open to sharing lessons learned. ‘This is what we planned, this happened, and this is what we learned.’ You're not going to get everything right the first time; embrace it and learn from it.”
Thomas Ketchell from Sutori
“Linking to customer references or product reviews will help your product stand out from the crowd!” Said Sutori CEO and co-founder Thomas Ketchell. “Definitely reach out to the Intel Education Accelerator team before applying and run through anything that isn't too clear for you in the application. Remember that you are also interviewing them, as they will become a strategic partner for your company, so you want to make sure it's a correct fit.”
Andrew Mason from FlashGrade
Here’s what Andrew Mason, the CEO of FlashGrade, recommends:
- “Learn as much as you can about the accelerator program before applying. There are a lot of accelerator programs out there and understanding why Intel's program is unique really helps on the applications.”
- “Make the team video genuine. In our case, we wrote down the agenda for the video with time estimates for all of the major points (team, product, traction, interest in the program, etc.) and then we went around in a circle discussing each topic. For us, it was helpful to shoot one topic at a time (e.g. ‘Let's do the intro now.’ We pointed the camera and did it.). Our video was not scripted and the partners of our company truly enjoy being together. I think that came across well. Remember to have fun with it!”
- “Keep Intel updated. We applied in April and were accepted in mid-June. That's almost three months of startup activity. Sending a short, but high level update whenever there is major news via F6S is a great way to keep Intel informed on the progress your startup is making.”
Lindsey Tropf from Immersed Games
“When we entered the Intel Education Accelerator, we weren’t aware of the many benefits that Intel could provide, from connections with engineers to tools to distribution channels,” Immersed Games CEO and founder Lindsey Tropf explained. “Take some time to research Intel and understand their organization and what benefits working with them can provide, so you can make sure you’re at the right point to make the best of the amazing new relationships you will build at Intel.”
Joachim Horn from SAM Labs
SAM Labs Founder Joachim Horn, kept his advice short and sweet.
- “Show stats and traction.”
- “Show proof of user testing and results.”
Hopefully this advice helps you fine tune your application to the four-month Intel Education Accelerator program, which runs from August 8 to November 29, 2017. Companies that want to apply should visit Intel.com/EduAccelerator and fill out the online application by April 17, 2017, at 12:00 p.m. PDT. Please reach out to us if you have additional questions and concerns. Intel is reviewing applications on a rolling basis, so submit sooner rather than later to improve your odds of entering this amazing program.