Maze X is the pan-European impact accelerator based in Lisbon that targets tech-based startups that are solving social or environmental challenges. The last cohort has already raised €1 million in funding on the 6-month period since the end of acceleration. On the next cohort, this could be you. If you want to make it to the 2020 cohort, here are some valuable tips on how to master your application.
4 Recommendations to join Maze x Startup Accelerator
Getting into the most attractive startup accelerators is hard. You must navigate a thorough and generally long application form to prove your startup is the best fit for the programme. Maze X believes that truth is your biggest ally in the process. Nonetheless, there are some things that all startups can do to increase their chances, namely:
- Recommendation 1: Clearly show how Maze X can support you. Acceleration programmes are different from each other and offer resources suitable for different phases of development. More than looking for the “best startup”, accelerators look for the best match, which means finding the startups to whom they can add the highest value to. Thus, in the selection process, it is important that you make clear what your main challenges and priorities are, and why you believe Maze X in specific can help you achieve them.
- Recommendation 2: Have a critical reflection on your traction to date. Traction is an important element for Maze X as the programme is focused on helping startups scale, as opposed to develop products. Thus, try to be as clear as possible in stating the level of traction you have to date and how such traction has influenced the development and improvement of your product (How many users/clients have you had to date? What major feedback have you received? What learning lessons did you get?)
- Recommendation 3: Do your due diligence on Maze X. Acceleration programmes are a strong commitment for both sides, the programme and the startups. If you never participated in a startup accelerator, do your research first. The assessment during the selection process in order to find a match should be undertaken not only by the programme’s team but also, and especially, by the startups. Be critical and be proactive. During the interviews, ask Maze X how we can best add value to you; take the initiative to ask the alumni founders how their experience was; read the available materials (on medium) about the programme.
- Recommendation 4: Take advantage of the process. When applying to most programmes, and Maze X is no exception, the selection process is an opportunity for founders to practice several useful skills for their ongoing growth as startup leaders. Actively and consciously test and work on your communication skills, on your capacity to be succinct in answering questions, in implementing new business metrics. Application processes are very competitive. Even if you are not selected, with a constructive mindset, you will always extract value from the time you invest in reflecting on your business.
Why join Maze X?
Maze X is a 3-month accelerator programme that supports impact entrepreneurs who are solving the world’s most pressing problems with the capital, skills and networks they need to achieve their vision. Their 2020 cohort kicks-off on May 4th and offers:
- 3-Month Acceleration Work + 6-Month Follow-up Support (Incubation and Growth)
- €7,500 Equity-Free Stipend (Cash, no strings attached)
- 9 months of FREE co-working space at Casa do Impacto
- Corporate pilot testing opportunities, a dedicated team of experts, entrepreneurs-in-residence and mentors, a network of impact investors
- European roadshow to showcase impact ventures in other high-growth European startup ecosystems including the Web Summit
The last cohort of Maze X are developing solutions on the areas of circular economy, such as RNTERS, sustainable consumption, such as Goodbag, or Bios that uses carbon waste to grow healthy food. MyPolis, an App developed to promote democracy within millennials, and Chatterbox, a platform to integrate migrants and refugees, are currently implementing corporate pilot projects with PLMJ and BNP Paribas respectively.
The last cohort has already raised €1 million in funding on the 6-month period since the end of acceleration.
Rita Casimiro, Head of Acceleration at MAZE says “It is clear to us that the businesses of the future are those that see social and environmental challenges as economic opportunities and that offer all their stakeholders what they are increasingly demanding: sustainable and innovative solutions.”
MAZE is leveraging its experience accelerating over 60 impact startups and its impact VC fund, in partnership with Mustard Seed, to attract the most promising entrepreneurs from across Europe to position Portugal as a European hub for high growth impact investing and entrepreneurship.
Who is behind Maze X?
Maze X was conceived and initiated by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations and MAZE, with the law firm PLMJ and BNP Paribas joining as founding corporate members. Hospital da Luz Learning Health and Casa do Impacto joined as acceleration partners. Maze X is a member of the Global Accelerator Network.