100 Days of Summer. Well, 99 to be exact. 99 days to accelerate your media start-up from what you think might be a great media venture to one that is actually on the path to becoming a great media venture. That’s the opportunity in front of you.

We’ve built the only place in the world that is set up specifically to help you achieve your dream of building the next great media institution. And we’ve done it by focusing on building a culture of experimentation, a community of 150+ mentors, and a structured 20-week program that constantly pushes you to get out of your head and into the real world — accelerating your path to product-market fit in a way that you just can’t do on your own.

Since our last cohort, our team has grown from 2 to 6, and we’ve been hunkered down making plans for how we will leverage this larger team to expand Matter’s impact on media+tech+entrepreneurship in 2016. We’re done planning and we’ve got some big announcements coming soon. But the announcement that we are starting with is the one media entrepreneurs have been clamoring for — the dates for when we are starting the next Matter class.

Get ready for Matter’s 100 days of summer. The next Matter cohort will start on June 13, beginning a 20-week journey to Demo Days in NYC and SF in late October.

(Update: We’ve rolled out the other big announcement — Matter is expanding to NYC and we will be selecting 6 SF-based teams and 6 NYC-based teams to participate in a program that interweaves experiences in SF and NYC for both classes.)

Our applications have been open for a while (we have a rolling process) but we now have a clear path to our Finalist Interview Round, which will be held May 2–13. We’ve streamlined our application process to make it easier to apply (don’t worry — if you’ve already applied using the old process we’ve already got your materials!). We’ve moved away from AngelList and are now taking applications directly. All you need to do is send us your pitch deck and answer some basic questions about your team, product, and venture. No more essay questions. No more videos. Everything you’ll send us should be materials you’ve already put together if you are serious about your venture. (In fact, why don’t you send them to us right now?)

Here’s the headline: With our dates finally set, we are really starting to dig into the application process right now. So if you want in, now’s the time to get our attention. Applications are open until April 7.

For more on the program and the application process, keep reading below. (And stay tuned to A Matter-Driven Narrative. I promise there will be a few more interesting things coming from us in the next few weeks…like this!)

The Program

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 your venture forward along the way.

We support you through a 20-week 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 our alumni’s eyes.

You can also follow the stories of our founders, team, mentors, and partners in our new Medium collection, A Matter-Driven Narrative. Read the reflection that Jesse Shapins, the CEO of a startup that was acquired by Buzzfeed, wrote about what he learned while in Matter’s first class.

To find out more about what we look for in the startups that we select, read “Here’s What We Look For.” To find out more about the application process, keep reading.

The Process

To start your journey, it’s simple. Just add your pitch deck and some readily available information about your team, company, and product here.

We’ve ditched the AngelList application questions and videos in order to make sure that everything we are asking for will be useful (and necessary) for you in all conversations you’ll be having with potential investors about your business.

That aligns with one of our core principles— that we should always design our application process to make sure that the application process itself helps accelerate your venture. We’ve been told on multiple occasions that our project in the semi-final round had advanced applicants’ ventures more in the 8 hours of the project than they have in the past 6 months. We’re now bringing that same principle to all stages of our process.

In essence, the application process is Act I in your acceleration.

Once you’ve sent us your pitch deck, we’ll set multiple eyes on it. If your deck piques our interest, we’ll invite you in for an initial 30 minute pitch session.

If we like what we see, things will start to get more serious. We’ll want to see how you go about building your business and test whether you can navigate the fog of entrepreneurship. We’ll give you a mini-project that lets you experience what it’s like to be in Matter by quickly testing the desirability, feasibility, and viability of your venture. You’ll complete the project and then share the results in a one-hour deep dive with our team.

If you make it past that stage, we’ll ask for due diligence materials to prepare for a final investment decision and we’ll invite you to have a coveted slot at our Finalist Interview Week in early May. (It’s 2 hours for you, a week for us.)

After that week, we’ll select at least six media startups to form Matter Six. If you are one of the “lucky” (aka “scrappy” aka “make your own luck’) teams, then you’ll do what it takes to prepare yourself to start the program in San Francisco in June.

It’s a competitive process so you need to bring your A game. Last class had a 2.5% acceptance rate. But there is one thing we guarantee: if you fail, you will fail forward. We’ve intentionally designed this process so that each step accelerates your venture, regardless of the outcome.

Take the first step on your Matter-Driven Narrative now by heading over to the Apply page on our website or if you know you’re ready, go ahead and fill out our application.

Your acceleration starts now. Good luck!


Originally posted on Medium.