What happens at The i4 Center?
Can we get funding for our startup?
We generally only fund startups that are part of our Accelerator program. But, we can refer you to one of our partners after you tell us a bit about yourself.
Can anyone apply for The i4 Center?
Need incubation, innovation, shared services? Anyone can apply.
Accelerator: Usually we invite people to participate in a competition focused around solving a problem, then winners get invited into The i4 Center accelerator program. So, make sure you sign up for our Updates so we can invite you to brainstorm solutions.
That said, if you have an idea or product you think is a game changer, apply online.
How much do you invest?
We invest a set amount for businesses going through our Accelerator program in exchange for 7% of equity. The amount depends on the country and type of business.
We also do large scale funding in conjunction with other funding partners.
Do we need to write a business plan?
No, we will guide you through a structured planning process without slaving over a business plan. If you have a demo… that’s another matter! We’d love you to come in for some “show and tell.”
Will you sign an NDA? How do I know you won't steal my idea?
No, we don’t sign anyone’s NDA. And, we’re chasing enough to not have time to steal yours. This is industry standard stuff.
Will you fund multiple startups working on the same idea?
We sure will, and we will encourage them to collaborate! In fact, we pull together clusters of companies with complementary solutions with the intent of solving bigger problems, which grows the pie for everyone.
We've been at it for a while. Is The i4 Center still appropriate for us?
If you’ve already scaled successfully from a fledgling business to an industry giant, you don’t need us. If you have some products, customers and market traction but have not ramped up to the big leagues, we should talk.
And if you have no product but a great idea (and a friend who is a wicked programmer with a cousin who sells ice to Eskimos), then let us know you want to be on our Accelerator track.
We've already taken some funding. Can we still apply?
Go ahead. Money may not be your obstacle, but there are other types of capital we can provide.
What if we can’t get done in three months?
We’ll still consider you, since the 3-month program refers to the Accelerator. Other entities may be a good fit for the incubation and innovation elements of The i4 Center.
Can we do it without moving to where you are?
Accelerator program.. the short answer is “No!” The magic happens in person, surrounded by others. You have to find an i4 Center near you, move there, and participate fully.
Incubation and/or Innovation program: you don’t have to move in with us, but you do have to attend meetings a few times a week.
We don't really need the money. Does it still make sense to apply?
Half (maybe more) of the startups we fund don’t need the money. And in fact the money is a only a small part of what The i4 Center does. The money we invest works more like financial aid in college: it ensures that the people who do need money can cover their living expenses while The i4 Center is happening.
What if we're doing something expensive?
We’ll still fund you, but instead of trying to build something launchable in three months, the goal becomes to build an impressive proof of concept to take to later stage investors to raise more money.
Do you only fund startups that write software?
No, we’ve funded lots of hardware startups too, as well as startups that only involve nominal amounts of software. We’ll consider startups in any field.
Can an individual apply for funding?
Yes, but the odds of being accepted are lower. A startup is too much work for one person.
I have a great idea for a startup, but I'm not technical. Will you still fund me? Can you help me find programmers to implement my idea?
We’ll consider funding you, but your chances are about ten times better if you find yourself a technical cofounder.
It’s much better if you find one yourself through friends of friends than if we introduce you to someone.
Teams thrown together for the purpose of starting a startup usually fall apart under stress. You need some kind of personal connection.
I am a REP Alumni and would like to consider participating in The i4 Center: how can I do this?
Simply fill out this expression of interest form and we’ll get back to you.