Apply to Matter.
Applications for Matter Five are now open and rolling until April 24th, 2015.
Read Managing Partner Corey Ford’s latest post on what it takes to be a great applicant here.
STEP ONE – Fill out the application.
There are two required parts to the application:
Part A – Questionnaire
This part of the application includes basic information about the makeup of your team, your company status, and geographic information.
Part B – AngelList
The AngelList application requires you to make a short video as well as answer some questions about your venture. If you do not have an AngelList profile yet, you may be prompted to create one. There is no way to make a “private” profile, but your application won’t be public.
STEP TWO – Interview
We will select strong applicants to come in for a 30-minute interview. From there, if we are still intrigued, we’ll have you do our mini-project, which will simulate what it’s like to be in Matter and will help push your venture forward regardless of whether you are selected or not. You’ll present your mini-project results in a one-hour long deep dive with us in a semifinalist interview. Successful applicants will then move on to the finalist round in late May.
Overall, we are looking for multi-disciplinary teams building scalable media ventures ready to move to SF for this 5-month, intense, collaborative experience combining design thinking + entrepreneurship + media. We define media loosely and think of it more like “the connective tissue of society” rather than content. We are a great fit for both pre-seed and seed-stage ventures, and have investment structures that work for each.
You are mission-driven
Matter supports early-stage media entrepreneurs building start-ups that make society more informed, connected, and empowered.
You have a solid team
Our target ventures are existing teams of 2-4 co-founders with skill sets covering technology, business, design, and storytelling. We like teams who have a history of working together. Start-ups are a roller coaster and we want to have some assurance that your team won’t blow up for preventable human dynamics reasons like most other start-ups do.
You are a for-profit venture
You are not a project, non a non-profit, not a team at an existing institution. What media needs more than anything else is business model innovation — and we’ve set up our constraints to help drive that innovation. You are pursuing a sustainable, scalable, for-profit business strategy and have built an early stage prototype of their product or service.
You will commit to working in SF full-time
All co-founders must work full-time out of the Matter space in San Francisco for the full five months of the program and attend the kick-off bootcamp and retreat, weekly speaker series and workshops, and monthly design reviews.
For more perspective on what we’re looking for, read this blog post.
At Matter, we provide intensive mentorship, space, and a $50K investment to help you build a scalable media venture through a human-centered, prototype-driven process rooted in design thinking. Our secret sauce is our culture of embracing fast experimentation and our community of entrepreneurs, media executives, and investors who help push our venture forward along the way. We are a great fit for both pre-seed and seed-stage ventures, and have investment structures that work for each. Our investment stake will depend on the stage and structure of your company and will be in the typical accelerator range.
We support you through a 5-month process that kicks off with a bootcamp and then consists of four one-month sprints to Demo Days in SF and NYC. At the end of each sprint is a Design Review that enables your team to get actionable feedback to implement in your next sprint. Each week you are supported through speaker series, mentor office hours, internal workshops, one-on-one coaching from the Matter team, and the intentional serendipity that occurs by working at the heart of a community of media innovators.
We encourage you to learn about Matter through the experiences of our current class and our alumni. You can follow the stories of our founders, team, mentors, and partners in our new Medium collection, A Matter-Driven Narrative.
What A Good Pitch Should Address
These are questions a good pitch should address, not just in a cookie cutter power point presentation, but in a powerful story.
What is your 1-sentence elevator pitch?
What is your mission?
What is motivating you to build this company? How does your company make society more informed, connected, and/or empowered? Why does your company matter?
Who is your customer?
Vividly describe the person (audience/user/customer) who will use your product/service and the context in which they will use it.
What problem are you solving?
What is the specific need you are meeting for your end user? (i.e. ___ needs a way to ___.)
What is your current solution?
What is the current way you are trying to solve this problem? (Your latest prototype solution.)
Why is this a big opportunity ripe to be solved now?
What big technological or societal trends make this the right time to tackle this opportunity? Where are you betting the world is heading? How big is this opportunity?
What is your business model?
How do you plan to be financially sustainable? How do you plan to generate revenue? Who ultimately pays for your product/service?
What is your growth hypothesis?
How will your venture scale in a sustainable way over time?
Why bet on your team?
Why is your team uniquely qualified to execute on solving this problem with this solution? How did you meet and how long have you been working together?
Why Matter? Why now?
What do you hope to accomplish in the 5 months of the program? What are your key next steps?