March 25, 2024

10 Questions Every Startup Founder Should Nail

Alright, founders, let’s cut to the chase. Applying to a program like ACT Accelerator is no easy feat. It’s more like a sprint, where every part of your startup — its heart, brain, and soul — is put to the test. These ten questions are your hurdles. Clear them with confidence, and you’re one step closer to the finish line. We’re not just looking for good answers; we’re after your startup’s essence, wrapped up in realism and readiness for the road ahead.

Dominick Ard’is speaks to the crowd

But even if you’re not applying to an accelerator, these questions are crucial to prep for any investor or VC meeting. Take the time to familiarize yourself with these topics and practice answering in a clear and compelling way.

The questions and what we’re really asking:

1. What is your startup’s mission, and how does it solve a pressing problem?

Forget the buzzwords. Tell us why you get up in the morning and why anyone should care.

2. Who are your customers, and how have you validated their need for your solution?

Show us you’ve left the building. Who have you talked to, and what have they told you that makes your solution a must-have?

3. What is the total addressable market size for your product or service, and how did you arrive at this figure?

Numbers talk. Walk us through your calculation and convince us there’s a big enough playground for your startup.

4. Can you outline your business model? How does your startup make money?

Here’s the deal: How do you plan to turn your idea into profit? We’re looking for the nitty-gritty, not just the dream.

5. Who are your main competitors, and what sets your solution apart?

Everyone has competitors. Who are yours, and why should customers choose you over them? Clarify your unique value proposition.

6. What are the key milestones you’ve achieved so far, and what are your next immediate goals?

Talk to us about the mountain you’ve climbed and the next peak you’re eyeing.

7. How does your team’s experience and background make you the right people to solve this problem?

We bet on jockeys, not just horses. What makes your team the winning bet? Be ready to share why you all are best equipped to run this to the end, even as the market shifts.

8. What challenges have you faced in your startup journey, and how have you overcome them?

Startups are tough. Share a moment when you thought it was game over, and how you flipped the script.

9. What are your strategies for growth and scaling?

If we give you the fuel, how will you press the accelerator? Detail your plan to take over the world, one customer at a time.

10. What has happened with your company since your application was submitted? (Or since last contact)

This is about momentum. Even a small win is still a win. We want to know if you’ve been working on this problem and see how dedicated you really are. Share your updates, and let’s see how fast you’re moving.

The takeaway

So, there you have it. These aren’t just questions; they’re a mirror. Take a good, hard look at your startup and be honest with what you see. At ACT Accelerator, we’re not just handing out golden tickets; we’re here to partner with founders who are as real about their startups as we are about accelerating them. If your answers to these questions spark a sense of excitement in us, we’re on the right track. Let’s get to work and make those big startup dreams a tangible reality.

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