Articles for September 2009

The Schedule Ahead

With one more week before the submission deadline, it is time to share our detailed schedule for the next couple of months, for our applicants and partners to book early and get properly prepared.

Specific dates and details follow:

– September 30: Submission deadline for applications

– October 14: Notification of rejection or acceptance for the interview phase

– October 27: Submission deadline for business plans

– November 7: Interview date

– November 8: Notification of acceptance for the final presentation phase

– November 21: Start-up day, presentations

– December 1: Incubation starts

In greater detail, successful applicants of the first phase will be invited to submit a lightweight business plan, and also prepare for an interview. A detailed template for the business plan will be provided, to secure the minimum amount of information required and ease the process. The interviews consist of a brief presentation, followed by an extended Q&A session with the Openfund executives. Applicants who succeed in this phase will eventually be invited to pitch their ideas to a wider audience, including Openfund executives, investors, advisors and other selected participants. At the end of this day, up to 5 applications will be invited to participate in the Openfund.

It is clear, we expect the following weeks to be pretty hectic, and we look forward to delivering significant added value through these processes to all of the participants.

Submission deadline – 2 weeks to go

As you already know, the deadline for you to submit your application is fast approaching. September 30 is the final date to submit your application or to make any corrections to an existing submission (the last version will be the final).

With only two weeks remaining for our submissions deadline, and while we have already put our hands on the applications submitted so far, the results are more than encouraging. Already a significant number of ideas have poured in with a substantial fraction being from around the world – most notably Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Most submissions are closely aligned with the core concepts the Openfund stands for: innovation, global market focus and of course entrepreneurship in software, the internet and mobile. We expect the remaining ones to be improved towards the right direction, as early senders have received detailed feedback on ways in which to improve their submissions.

Closing we’d like to repeat that applicants should not hesitate to submit as much information as possible regarding their idea, its current status and their team. Ideally, all aspects of the project should be described clearly along with any figures and other details outlining the market it’s aimed at. Other than that, any prototypes, working demos or videos of the project can (and should!) accompany the proposal.

Building a strong team that can flex in whatever direction the incubation period takes us, is also critical to our evaluation grid. Any relevant information (previous achievements, work experience, type of background – all well summarized) is very important to us, and can be substituted only by a well put together Linked-In or similar profile. We also encourage you to send us a link of yourselves in video pitching the idea – that would definitely give you an edge over other submissions!

We wish you the best of luck, rest assured that we are working towards making this a reality.