Application Tips: Video

In your application video, we’ll want to see two things:

  1. Your team
  2. Your product/solution

We impose a one-minute limit to these videos because it’ll focus your efforts on highlighting the most important things about the team or product that you’re working on. If you can’t easily explain what you’ve been working on, and why you’ve been working on it, then it’s going to be very difficult for you to manage to do so during the accelerator program when you’re sitting in front of CEOs and decision-makers from multi-billion € companies as part of Mentor Madness

We receive many applications for the program from companies all over the world, and it would be next to impossible to look at all the applications if we have to watch more than a minute. Remember, it’s an introductory video — if we think it’s interesting, we’ll progress you to the next stage of the selection process.

There’s just no easier and more effective way to communicate the value of what you’re building, better than a demo video. Film allows founders to show off their personality, and offer a slice of who they are as person. 

I’ve reviewed thousands of applications over the years, and one minute is more than sufficient to set up the demo in the video. Remember, it’s meant to be an introduction to the startup and problem, so just dive into the good stuff, and show us as best you can, don’t just tell us about it. 

We want to get to know you, since your participation in the Techstars Accelerator is not just for the three months during the program, but for life. Let your personality flow through the video, and if you can, try and entertain us a little! Keep it light, be creative, and show off your sense of humor. Being able to think creatively is a critical component of the entrepreneur experience, so if you showcase your creativity, we’ll be a lot more inclined to start thinking of you as an entrepreneur. 

Production value is not important to me — it can be quick and dirty. Years of experience have shown that a well produced video at this stage of the process is NOT a leading indicator of the quality of a startup. Do not worry about fancy transitions or effects, we’d argue that probably isn’t the best use of your time or money right now. We’d rather see you execute, get traction, and prove the value of your product. So, keep your video simple, for now. If you can get a testimonial video from a client or a respected, trustworthy board advisor/mentor, then try and include them as well. 

Lastly, we recommend uploading your video to YouTube, and setting its privacy to Unlisted — putting a password or using a convoluted system will only prevent us from seeing the video. We appreciate you may not want the whole world to see it (the public setting in Youtube), which is why we recommend setting it to ‘Unlisted’.

I’ll leave you with this thought: When I watch the video, do you want me to think: “Should I stop this video now, or do I want to learn more about this company?” If you don’t appear passionate about your company, why should we be excited about it?