Do I need to make a professional video for my accelerator application? [Steve Dunn]

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

[Steve Dunn is co-founder of and 3 x accelerator alumnus]

Most accelerator applications ask for at least one video to support your application. During the 3 accelerators I attended, I asked the program managers about what they were looking for with these videos. I had worked on some documentaries in the past, a few with government funding, so I had a keen interest in making professional videos.

Some of the program managers suggested that the video to accompany the accelerator application, gave them a quick insight to the founder's personalities and their attitudes. When they watched the video's, some program managers said they were looking to see if the founders were positive, fun, and likeable. They were also looking to see if the founders were arrogant or uncoachable.

Some of the fellow teams in the accelerator told me they had spent only a few minutes making their videos, whilst others had spent weeks on it. But the program managers generally told me, they were not necessarily looking for a high production value/big budget video to support the application. Many said it did not need to be like something you see on Kickstarter for a crowdfunding campaign.

As a minimum some of the program managers suggested all we need to do was to simply put our smartphone on our TV cabinet, get into the camera frame, press record, sit on the couch, and talk.

As we only have two minutes to talk in your video, some program managers suggested we should write a short script, an be very precise. Here is a simple format a program manager suggested we follow for the video to accompany the accelerator application;

●Introduction to ourselves-30 seconds

●Talk about why we came up with the idea and how we met-30 seconds

●Talk about the problem and how our product is the solution–30 seconds

●Talk more about the product, and/or how you are excited to get into the accelerator program-30 seconds.

In the end, the program managers advised us they weren't looking for a Hollywood style or Kickstarter style production, but at the same time it doesn't hurt making the video more interesting if we want to be creative. The video could be made interesting by shooting it at an unique location, such as in a lab or in a potential customers premises, or it could involve a quick demo of the MVP. We could rehearse the script or talk for two minutes unscripted, but at the end of the day, the program managers always expressed that the video should be all about 'founders just being ourselves'.

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