Frequently Asked Questions
Twice a year, we handpick 20-30 promising startups and take them to the next level with our 3-month accelerator program in Shanghai. We work intensively to help build their China team, find product market fit, and outline market-specific growth strategies. Near the end of the program, we focus on financial modeling and refining investor pitches in preparation for our capstone Demo Day, where startups present their innovations to a carefully curated, invite-only audience of media, mentors, and investors. After the event, our team gets to work getting you funded, which means not only finding and encouraging investors (including ourselves), but also closing them!
Chinaccelerator doesn’t end on Demo Day. Startups are encouraged to work from the Chinaccelerator offices rent-free until the start of the next program so that they can continue to take advantage of all our resources. We also have a vibrant alumni network who contribute to and share in the resources of the program wherever they go. This culminates at our annual SOSV Skydive event that brings together our 350+ portfolio companies, 600+ mentors, all of our friends and co-investors, and of course the SOSV team from around the world.
We chose to locate Chinaccelerator in Shanghai because it is the most international city in China — a gateway from the world to China and from China to the world. While lack of government support is cited as the second-greatest challenge to entrepreneurs globally, the Shanghai municipal government plays an important role in supporting startups and venture capitalists.
Stage: Seed – Series B valuations (USD 2m – 30m)
Horizontal: Software, Mobile, Internet
Verticals: Education, WeChat, Fintech, Adtech, Health, E-commerce, Fashion, Real Estate, SaaS
Target Markets: Global vision; China / SE Asia emerging market expansion
Top KPIs: Key problem worth solving; 2 cofounders ideal; have traction (at least an MVP)
We accept and review applications on a rolling basis, some teams may be accepted before others, however, it usually takes 4-6 weeks to process all applications. During this time, we may contact you for further information about your application and about your company in general. If you don’t hear from us by March 1st or August 25th, your team has not been selected.
No. We simply see too many ideas and too many companies to sign an NDA. The more open you are about your idea the better we will be able to evaluate it. This being said, send only as much information as you are comfortable disclosing; we won’t force anything out of you. If you are accepted, you will have access to experts who will counsel you about how best to protect your intellectual property (among other things).
We invest the program in your company, which costs us (Chinaccelerator) $30K USD per team on average. We also offer a total of $55k investment into each company via convertible notes, which include a $30k note from SOSV, and an optional $25k note from our investment partners. These convertible notes convert at next financing round. In addition, Chinaccelerator will receive a warrant that provides Chinaccelerator with an option to invest up to a pre-determined amount at the conclusion of the program at a pre-determined valuation. The exact amount and valuation of Chinaccelerator’s subsequent optional investment will vary depending on the specific opportunity, the experience of the team and the stage of the business and the product.
We’ve proven that this is enough money to survive for the duration of the program and crank out a substantial prototype for demonstration, while spending a bit on marketing, devs & coder outsourcing, web services etc. Once you’ve made it that far, you’ll present your idea to investors for a chance at additional funding. During the program, you’ll also get a great space to work, wifi, fully functional office with private meeting rooms, legal services, product UX advice, marketing help, the Geeks on a Train trip, Demo Day in Shanghai and more. Finally, the connections and advice that you’ll receive when you start your company with Chinaccelerator will prove immeasurable.
Yes. Your entire team needs to be in Shanghai during the duration of the program. It’s the best way for us to help you during this critical period of growth.
The Chinaccelerator program does not currently invest outside of the business accelerator program. However, individual advisors of our company are looking to make direct seed or angel investments, so please feel free to simply contact us with inquiries and we’ll put you in touch with the right people for you.
Different mentors will be coming in and out of the Chinaccelerator space at periodic times but the schedule will be set well in advance (as much as possible) and you’ll be invited to the group calendar to stay on top of it.