It’s a good time to be a startup in Arizona. Events like PHX Startup Week along with collaborative spaces like CO+HOOTS and Seedspot that have been popping up in recent years seem to be wildly effective—Realtor.com named Tempe a “Next Top Tech Town” just this April. Now there’s a new program in place to help local entrepreneurs achieve success.
Altima Business Solutions, a business management consulting firm based in Chandler, recently launched API10X, a 12-week accelerator program for local entrepreneurs. The program promises access to capital, expertise, skills, and talent for entrepreneurs who want to gain traction and create jobs.
Throughout the 12 weeks, participants will take part in weekly coaching and one-on-one mentoring. Through this coaching they will work towards leadership development, digital media exposure and sponsorship. The accelerator also offers access to a $250,000 loan with zero percent interest. Altima Business Solutions will sponsor the accelerator internally, but they hope to turn it into a standalone program that can be run by cities and other organizations.
Applications for the 2017 program are open. According to the program’s website, they are looking for second-stage startups with qualities like “the most traction, most experienced teams, [and the] most advanced products.”
The first step to being chosen is filling out the application, which asks for basic information as well as more thorough responses, like what the startup ultimately aspires to be. This is each startup’s opportunity to make a lasting first impression. The program’s website encourages applicants to be truthful, concise, and clear while making sure to utilize media resources such as videos or social media links.
From there, the program chooses some teams to interview by phone for 20 minutes each. They will ask questions clarifying points from the application, and they will ask each startup to make its case for why it should be included in the accelerator.
The next step is a call for more information. This means asking each startup to provide the deep stuff—financial information, traction numbers, demos, media releases—basically anything that can add to the startup’s case.
After this, a team of diverse advisers discusses all of the competing startups. They will be evaluating each application on five key aspects: team, business model, degree of innovation, potential market, and motivation. Then, after the decisions are made, the program notifies the selected startups and the on-boarding process begins.
The program costs $2000 to attend. Local business owners can learn more about API10X and apply on the program’s website.