This letter is dedicated to all the co-founders who are interested in getting investment from APX and joining the 100-day tailormade program. Here is advice regarding the first step: sending us your pitch deck and company information.
First, we highly recommend you to read more on:
The perfect pitch deck, a blog post written by our Co-Managing Director Jörg Rheinboldt. Hear it directly from top management what on what we expect from a great pitch deck.
In the instance that you are an overachiever and believe that you can do more than what our Co-MD recommends, then you can run over to Your way to a kickass pitch deck to get more tips on how you can take it to the next level by properly leveraging the power of design. Also, why hear from only one Co-MD when you can hear it from both? Zoom onto Henric Hungerhoff’s blog post: “Are you APX ready” to understand what it takes to get investments from APX.
Now that you did the prep work, what are some key things to keep in mind when filling out the form on https://apx.ac/looking-for-funding/ (or any of the other APX secret pages that you were lucky enough to be given so that you can send us your info). We believe that the form is quite straight forward but perhaps there are a few fields that we can provide a few more clarifications:
- Contact info: Double-check your email address and make sure that there are no typos, otherwise, we can’t contact you.
- Year founded: We understand that this information can be a bit tricky. Do you put in the date where you first had your idea while drinking with your cofounder in a bar or while you were in the shower in the Himalayas or do you put the date where you decided as a cofounding team that you are doing this or do you put the date when you first decided to go full time? This is up to you. We recommend that you put the date where you have first decided to make this a public news. We do a quick internet search. If you put in a different date then we find on databases or LinkedIn, that is not a good look. On the other hand, do not put the date when you first had the idea and was not working on it seriously, like 4 years ago because we assume that you were unable to get sufficient momentum and this will hurt your case.
- Do you need to be incorporated? The short answer is no. The not so short answer is that you are welcome to send in your info before you have incorporated, just keep in mind that we cannot invest in you until you have a business account, which means that you will need to be incorporated in order to open that account. You can do that after you have been accepted to join APX. Just remember that the longer you put this off, the longer you will get the money.
- Shareholder structure: If your shareholder structure is not somewhat balanced (ex: split evenly as 33% 33% 33% between 3 cofounders), it would help us that you explain why. For instance, why does one cofounder own 65% and the others have 20% and 15%. In the instance that the cap table is not balanced, let us know if you are open to balance it out after investments.
- Number of founders: In case you were not aware yet, we do not invest in solo founders. It’s not to say that we don’t believe that it is not possible to create a successful business on a venture path as a one-person show, it is simply that one way of limiting our investment risks is to double down on cofounding teams rather than solo founders.
- Founders responsibilities: Tell us why each founder is the best person in the world to make this company a +100M company. It’s nice to know that one founder is the heart and soul of the company, another one is the analytical mind, and the other is the “get shit done” cofounder but that only tells us that you are complimentary on a superficial level. Tell us about the relevant domain experiences, skills, accreditations, track record, etc. of each co-founder. Basically, what makes you world-class. Remember that we invest in people. This is your chance to make yourself shine. Also, include a LinkedIn link. If you can’t even have a well developed and connected LinkedIn, how can you network, build a company, and raise money with investors?
- Can at least two founders participate in the program full time (100 days in Berlin)? Remember, this is a dealbreaker for us. If you can’t join us for 100 days, then our money is not well invested as the strength of our value lies in our program and access to the network of experts and mentors that we can connect you with. Startups need more than money and business is done in person.
- How did you find us?
We know that you used the internet but what did you use on the internet? You did some research, cool! Which website or article did you find us on? What keywords did you use? We would love to know that!
Finally, in case you were not aware of our dealbreakers, we do not invest in hardware. If you have any other questions or want to learn more about our investment scope, I encourage you to check out our FAQ: apx.ac/faq. We designed it based on the thousands of questions that we have received from founders and in our experience, 99% of the questions can be answered there.