To get into ubi i/o you have to:
- Submit an application
- Complete an interview with the jury.
The big challenge is to stand out amongst dozens of applications. Here are some tips to help you understand what criteria matters to the jury and how to get their attention.
The application form
Tip 1: Before you begin
Carefully read the whole process and make sure you understand all the questions in the application form. Before applying, make sure that you and your team will be fully committed to this project. Here’s a word of advice from one of our alumni: “When going to the US, you have to be fully committed. You must not go only to return.” Adrien Gendre – Head of product Development @ Vade Retro
Tip 2: Invite ubi i/o alumni
Try to connect with some of our alumni for a lunch, dinner, drink or coffee and get their experience and feedback on your product and on the different steps of the application process. They are a few now since this is the second edition (you can also contact our French Tech Tour Alumni) if you are lucky you may have a chance to meet them.
Tip 3: Apply early
By submitting your application early, you considerably increase your chances of getting into our acceleration program as you will be giving the jury an appropriate amount of time to review your application. Our advice is to copy and paste the questions from the application form to a word document and take the time to diligently answer them all to the best of your ability.
When it’s all set and done, make sure to proofread your application multiple times using different sets of eyes to make sure you’re ready.
Tip 4: Be concise in your application
When you are filling up your application form, it can be tempting to write in-depth responses. Our jury will go through dozens of applications. This means you have to catch their attention. So here are some tips:
- Avoid buzzwords
- Be really specific
- Give metrics and results.
The Silicon Valley is known for its cruel elevator pitch (1 min pitch), so you have to show that you are able to articulate your idea clearly and concisely. Silicon Valley’s experts will evaluate you and your offer but you need to be aware that some of them may not be experts in your specific field. Be clear and precise while conveying your pitch and you’ll have a better chance to be our next success story.
Tip 5: Your business
Be sure to put forward specific verticals of your business so we’ll be able to direct your application to the best jury depending on their expertize.
You will be asked to evaluate and present your financials for your expansion in the US: be realistic and take advice from people who have experience in entering the American Market.
The person reading your application will have a lot of experience in this area, and not being thorough with financial matters is an indicator that you are not ready.
Know the problem you are solving, if you don’t you won’t get the attention of your audience. That’s how it works in the Silicon Valley.
Be aware of your competition, what your competitors do and how you differentiate from them. Being a leader in France or in Europe doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be successful in the Silicon Valley but your differentiation and how you can beat your competitors will be the best argument in front of your potential clients, partners or investors.
Tip 6: Come prepared
You will only have 15 minutes to present your business and your U.S expansion plan. The jury will be very specific with their questions on your market, your competitors and your strategy so be prepared to dig into these subjects.
Remember that the jury will already have a lot of information on your product / service due to your detailed application, so you will have to fill in the gaps and not repeat what is already known.
Tip 7: Know the program
Be sure to look over our program and understand exactly what it is that we do. The more you know about the program, the better you will be able to tell the jury what you need and expect from our ubi i/o acceleration experience. The motto goes as follow: Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.
Tip 8: Be concise
Give thorough and short answers. That will give the jury the opportunity to go in depth by asking more detailed questions in order for them to evaluate your application and your value proposition appropriately.
Tip 9: Show us how you comprehend your US expansion
The interview will be your only opportunity to put forward your personal skills. The most important skill you can have in the Silicon Valley is to adapt quickly to a really different culture. Show us what you’ve learned and your ability to question and to listen to advices to get the most out of the accelerator program. Just as much as we like to hear your successes, we also would like to hear about some of your shortcomings you may have gone through while building your company. Failure isn’t taboo in the Silicon Valley, you have to be ready to accept failures and learn from them. Show us how listening to your customers has given you an advantage in your market. The people who succeed in the Silicon Valley are quick learners. Show us that you are committed to your expansion in the U.S and that you already have built your ecosystem in France because that’s how it works here.
Tip 10: Tell us what your growth strategy is
We don’t need the best growth strategy since ubi i/o mentors will help you on this subject during the program. We just need to hear about your milestones and your readiness to grow your team, your business and your scalability once you are successful so the jury can evaluate if the program will be profitable for your company.