Applying to AngelPad

Last night I attended a poker game sponsored by AngelPad (and kindly hosted by Pusher) who were looking to promote AngelPad as an accelerator to UK based startups. Thomas (founder of AngelPad) kicked off the evening by giving an introductory talk via Skype and holding a short Q&A session.

As there was a lot of useful information in that session I decided to do a write-up to help anyone thinking of applying who wasn't able to attend. Their deadline for their next season is this sunday and you can apply here.

I've add my own comments in [square brackets] to distinguish what Thomas said and my own take on what was said. 


On applying:

  • They typically get 2000 applications for 12 places
  • 90% of the application comes down to the video, some people who review the application may only see the video and nothing else. It's worth doing multiple takes to get it right.
  • What they expect to understand from the video is: team, business plan and what the startup needs to succeed
  • You'll only hear back if they're interested in you, they don't send rejection emails

On the startup:

  • AngelPad don't care about revenues or sector per-se, but they care about the core thesis of the business [presumably on the assumption that the actual product can pivot if the basic problem being tackled is significant]
  • Majority of AngelPad companies are b2b
  • Most consumer startups that apply to AngelPad aren't going after big enough markets
  • They're primarily interested in startups where the technology is the distinguishing factor
  • A measure AngelPad use is: Would this be an acquisiton target of a big tech company (linkedin, facebook, google, etc.)
  • They want startups with big potential [I read this as being startups capable of reaching $50m+ valuations given most of their existing startups are raising money in the $5m-$8m valuation range]

On the team:

  • There needs to be developers on the founding team
  • Team needs to have leadership/management potential

On what stage startups should apply:

  • They want teams that are already commited to the startup and are already working on it full time (i.e aren't still in day jobs).
  • Under a year old, they worry that startups that are older than that tend to lose momentum and drive.

On international applicants:

  • For international teams they're only interested in startups that plan to relocate to the US on a permanent basis [note this is different from YC where a number of notable startups like SongKick and Lanyrd have returned to the UK after the program]
  • They think it's too hard for startups to raise investment from US investors if they don't plan to stay in the US
  • They've had 15 non-american teams go through AngelPad so far, 13 of them are still in the US.

On British applicants specifically:

  • They've had three British startups (Postmates, Vungle, and Rolepoint) [they seem to have missed Buffer from their list]
  • They've found British startups do better than other international startups, possibly due to not having to deal with a language barrier.
  • They like British founders as they tend to have a greater focus on revenue