The deadline is set. Applying is easy. Just send us your deck and answer a few basic questions about your team, product, and venture.
You’re excited…but how do you know if you’re a fit? Well, here’s what we are looking for:
Who are we looking for? In short: Multi-disciplinary teams building scalable media ventures ready to move to SF or NYC for this 5-month, intense, collaborative experience combining design thinking + entrepreneurship + media.
First, you are an early-stage media venture that is changing media for good. What do we mean by “media”? We define media loosely and think of it more like “the connective tissue of society” rather than content. We are looking for ventures that have the potential to make society more informed, connected, and empowered. You could — and should — be building something connected to media that looks very different than how media looked in the past.
We believe the future of media that matters is being created right now by entrepreneurs like you and it will be created through lots and lots of experiments. Matter creates a culture and community where those experiments can happen. Everything big starts small.
You might be a standalone platform or you might serve existing media institutions. We support both. We’ve invested in companies covering the spectrum of media experiences — from reading, to listening, to watching, to interacting — and we are just as interested in new monetization models as we are in distribution and creation.
We are needs-focused and solution-agnostic. The verbs — to inform, to connect, and to empower — are what’s important. The resulting nouns — your solutions — should be unexpected. Surprise us.
Second, you are a for-profit venture. Not a project. Not a non-profit. Not a team at an existing institution. You are a startup venture.
You’re probably still figuring out your business model but you are very serious about eventually cracking it. What media needs more than anything else is business model innovation — and we’ve set up our constraints to help drive that innovation. You seek a path to greater long-term impact by pursuing a scalable strategy that will attract for-profit investment. You understand that you’ll have to eventually generate lots of revenue for other early stage investors to take a risk on you.
You may not be a Delaware C-corp now, but you are on the path to becoming one because you know, for better or for worse, that’s the only language that investors know how to speak. We’ll make sure you are set-up structurally to be investable to future investors, before we close the dealwith you. (But we’ll help you figure out how to get to there.)
Third, you have a committed and capable team ready to move to SF or NYC full-time for the duration of the program.
We like teams who have a history of working together. Startups 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 startups do. We believe the best teams have a unique combination of skill sets across business, technology, design, and storytelling. You’ve built an early stage functional prototype of your product or service. But, whether you realize it or not, we don’t expect it to be fully representative of what will come out the other side of Matter. Overall, we want to make sure that you have the skill sets to rapidly execute towards your vision and the mindsets to successfully navigate the fog of entrepreneurship.
In terms of location, do you have to be living in San Francisco or New York City right now? No. But you will need to move your team there by the start of the program.
Acceleration happens through culture and community. And you have to be physically present and dedicated to make that work. Our community is grounded in our SF space located in the heart of a pretty innovative neighborhood. And we’re building a space for our first NYC class right the in heart of The Media Capital of the World.
It’s up to you to figure out how to get here. If you have to battle immigration, figure out how to win. So far, we’ve had teams successfully make the leap from Israel, Hong Kong, Finland, Canada, Argentina, the UK, Ireland, Boston, New York, Chicago, Raleigh, San Diego, LA, and, of course, right here in the Bay Area.
Just be the scrappy entrepreneurs that you are and you’ll figure it out. There’s a community waiting for you. Does this all sound hard? Sure it does. But you wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t up for the challenge, right?
Fourth, you are a pre-seed or seed stage venture with an early-stage, functioning product that is ready for acceleration.
Our program is proven to work for companies at various stages — whether you’re pre-funding with a working prototype or in the midst of closing a $1.5M seed round with a launched product. Our investment structure is based on a sliding scale of fresh money raised by the start of the program, so it will work well in any fundraising scenario. Either way, you must be dedicated to learning what works and what doesn’t in order to first achieve product-market fit and then to scale. To learn more about how we think about “early stage,” read Matter Associate Pete Mortensen’s post on The Real Value of Acceleration.
The application process is designed to be Act I in your acceleration process. Whether or not you become part of the lucky and scrappy 2% who make it into the class, you’ll advance your venture through this process.
Good luck! Make this your turn to Matter.
Originally posted on Medium.