3. Network like crazy.
After we applied, we reviewed the list of Excelerate Lab mentors. We asked anyone we knew on the list to write a letter of recommendation for us. We also went to the Excelerate pre-selection cocktail hours and made sure to schmooze with the folks running the show. And then we followed up several times via email.
Bonus tip: Everyone and their mother will be trying to suck up to the directors of the program. The directors are going to shake hands with a million people. It’s likely that they aren’t going to remember you, even if you do get a chance to meet them. Instead of taking this route, introduce yourself to the intern who planned the event you’re attending. You’ll have more time to strike up a real conversation. He or she is more likely to remember you when it comes time to making final selections.
4. Get lucky.
Our company, GiveForward, is a crowdfunding platform for out-of-pocket medical expenses. Coincidentally, right before we applied, the Director of Excelerate Labs had come across a situation where his wife’s colleague needed to raise money for medical expenses, so he immediately saw the need for our services. Moral of the story – no matter how awesome your company is, sometimes it really just comes down to being in the right place at the right time.
Photo Credit: Ethan Austin