Enterprise, Wearables and Data: What We’ve Seen in This Year’s Applications

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It’s always interesting to look into the metrics around our application process.
We don’t release all the stats, but here’s a sneak peak.

Where do people find us and which sites do they apply on?

We accept applications on our website, f6s.com and Angelist. This year our site and f6s.com were pretty close. We are a founding member and the US launch partner for f6s, so have been using their platform to drive applications and give away free startup resources for a few years now. Angelist started taking applications a little over a year ago and don’t market them as heavily, which is where I assume the disparity comes from.

As for how people find us, being consistently ranked in the top 10 of accelerators is extremely helpful, as is your everyday google search. We also show up and speak at lots of events throughout the year and of course our favorite are the mentor referred companies. Yes, we’re a little like VC’s in that a trusted referral makes our decision much easier. But we look at and consider each and every application.


What kind of tech are they building?

While we always have a few consumer apps sneak into our applicant pool, most of the companies fit our basic criteria of the majority of their revenue expected from businesses. This means b2b2c is perfectly acceptable.

That’s where we’ve seen a major uptick in wearable and IoT. With successes like Validic, a lot of startups are considering more heavily the use of connected devices in enterprise and government.

Flowing from the hardware connections comes data. Lots of uses of this data, and it really doesn’t matter where it comes from. A person, a machine, the web…all produce data that can lead to information that will ultimately lead to action/outcome. We’re excited about all parts of the information flow, from collection to dissemination to analytics to application.

It’s going to be a great year at Tech Wildcatters!


The Rockstar + The Next Class + The Fortune 500

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Once our team mapped out a plan for 2015, our team didn’t take time to sit around or relax over the holidays…we got down to business.

First, remember how I was on the hunt for a rockstar Program Coordinator? Well, we found her. Meet the amazing Maggie.

Next, Gabriella and I have both been reviewing the hundreds of applications coming in for the program (the deadline has been extended to the 23rd, by the way), meeting teams and I’m keeping Skype in business with calls to founders all over the US and around the world. This being my first time through the process, I’m overwhelmed with the passion I’m hearing from the founders and the ideas they’re bringing to the table. How will we narrow it down to the sweet 16?

Well, behind the scenes, we’ve been meeting with our mentors and have hosted one major review session with our investors to look at the companies applying for Tech Wildcatters. We’ll have another review session once applications close this Friday. We’ll then be reaching out to the finalists and inviting them to Quick Pitch, a private event with our investors here in Dallas on February 3.

The 16 companies selected for the Class of 2015 will receive their formal invitation to join Tech Wildcatters after Quick Pitch.

Today, I’m also excited to share that Tech Wildcatters has launched the first-ever Corporate Innovation Network. This is our answer to the question major corporations bring us often, “How can we work with a startup?” It bridges the gap between early stage companies and the Fortune 500. This is exclusively available to the alums in our network and the companies we select to be part of the Class of 2015.

We’re the first accelerator to be offering a program of this kind, so I encourage you to read more about it and the inaugural corporate partners, here. It’s a game-changer folks.

Told you 2015 was going to be big. Just wait…we’re just getting started.


Introducing Our New Program Coordinator!

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66057_10101178408586700_1014476726_nHi! My name’s Maggie and I’ll be the new Program Coordinator here at TW!

I’m so excited to jump right into my new role and to meet all of you.

How’d you hear about Tech Wildcatters?

A great friend of mine referred me to the job description and I felt like it was written for me.

An organized creative with stellar communication skills? Um, yeah. I’ve got a background in graphic design and copywriting but I love order and efficiency most of all.

When I met Molly and the rest of the TW team, I was even more excited! They’re a killer team that gets stuff done – efficiently and intelligently. They’re well-spoken and fun and I got why people wanted to work with them – for the same reason I wanted to join them. I love the energy! It’s so exciting how that energy mirrors what’s going around our offices – Downtown is exciting and moving. It’s young and growing and energizing.

Man, you really like Downtown!

I’ve lived Downtown for almost seven years – and I’ve been car-free for about five of those. I love walking everywhere and running into familiar faces. Just walking my two dogs can turn into an adventure quickly when I run into somebody I know. The Downtown community is very tight-knit, and it’s just one very cool family.

I’m pumped to be here – and looking forward to my first program starting in March.

I’d also like to introduce the seven interns we’ve hired to help with this year’s program: Michael, Thao, Stephanie, Rui, Jean, Carolina and Prateek. They’re going to be a tremendous help and I know we’ll have fun learning the ropes together!

A Look Into 2015, Applications and “Leveling Up”

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The day before 2015, Gabriella, Clarisa and I sat in a restaurant, laptops and brains wide open. We met to talk about 2014 and our team goals for this year. We came with lists upon lists of things we want to accomplish and big dreams and goals. But it didn’t go quite as we planned (isn’t that how plans work?).a01ca090cf09894fe55193c073d4aba1

It’s true we have some seriously ambitious and exciting goals for the year, and we did spend a good amount of time mapping some of those out. But at one point, the laptops shut and we got serious. All the goals and projects we brought with us to the table were showing a trend. And we decided we’d instead just talk about what 2015 would be all about for us and for Tech Wildcatters.

Leveling up.

Now don’t get me wrong, clearly Tech Wildcatters has been on a different level since it’s inception in 2009. We’ve been on a “hockey-stick-kind-of-ride” since the beginning and we continue to rank in the top 10 around the nation each year (thanks Inc. for the shout out in 2014). We’re also internationally recognized as one of the top B2B accelerators for startups. But what happens when you get to the top? Well if you’re the kind of people we are, you know you’re just setting the baseline for what you want to do next.

We’re flattered with all the attention, of course. But quicksand can be just as cozy as a top 10 list — and if you stand there too long, you’re not going to enjoy the result. So there’s an onus on us to push the limits again, to pull others with us too…as we want startups to continue getting even more benefits from this unique model we offer, and those that our friends in the accelerator community do too.

So that’s what we’re gonna do. Level up.

In 2015, you’re going to see some big things from us. You’re going to see a class of stellar startups selected by our incredible investors and managing partners, plucked from the largest amount of applications we’ve received to date (which by the way, you still have time to apply). You’ll see stronger relationships and opportunities to work with some seriously legit corporations here in our backyard. You’ll hear more about our alums, especially the ones that hit a certain point in the success of their company. And you’ll get a Pitch Day you’ve never been to before.

And yes, we’re cramming that all into one little year.

To all of you who contributed to making our 2014 as wonderful as it was. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We’re nothing without our investors, our mentors, our alums, our partners and our community (Dallas and beyond). Thank you for helping us get to where we are, we’re so very excited to take you all with us to the next level.

Molly – Executive Director, Tech Wildcatters