FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is Founders Club?


The Circle: Founders Club is a digital first business accelerator to help create, facilitate and accelerate early-stage startups through focused mentoring, shared business services, funding support, and key business connects.




Why is it called Founder's Club?


The name of Founders Club was chosen to encompass two things we believe in at Hunch Ventures , and The Circle. At Hunch we prioritize people over ideas; what this means is, we are perpetually focused on scaling up individuals so that our investments scale with them. We are about the entrepreneur, and not just the idea. At The Circle, we put the entrepreneur at the center of a lifestyle where the goal is innovation. We excel at creating the experential model that allows people to realize their professional potential. Putting these two elements of entrepreneurship and lifestyle experiences together, we came up with Founders Club.




What is a Business Accelerator?


Startups are great at innovation, constantly agile, and ready to tackle problems of increasing complexity. Corporates, investors, and industry experts are masters of scale; they know how to maintain and iterate operations, manage expansions, and replicate best practices. A business accelrator aims to align startups with these experts in a closed ecosystem where everyone is constantly adding value to each other. The model of the Founders club is built along five pillars, Mentorship, Funding, Corporate Innovation, Business Services, and Global Access. Each one of these pillars maps along one aspect of the startups growth journey.




What is the stage of startup (e.g. seed stage, Series A, etc.) are you looking to scale?


We are built to scale early stage startups. The model and the experts we have lined up are in-line with our goals of taking early stage founders, and scaling them along certain criteria. We will look for startups with a working business model, paid customers, and a team that has grown beyond just the founders.




Would you be interested in more mature startups, that have previously raised Series A funding etc.?


We are most definitely interested in attracting a diverse range of startup founders to our accelerator. However, based on our applicants and mission, we will need to prioritize for early stage startups where necessary.




What is the role of Hunch Ventures?


Hunch Ventures provides the funding to run the program, and the network to introduce eligible startups to various angel investors. Hunch has invested in excess of $100mn in various companies that align with their investment philosophy and will act as an advisor for the team running the accelerator during its operations.




Are you looking for startups from any particular sector?


We are a sector-agnoistic accelerator, and we have a very diverse set of advisors, partners, and mentors. If you as an applicant feel that we should align more resources from your particular sector, we would really appreciate your feedback. Drop us a note at fc@thecircle.work.




What are the different criteria you use to evaluate startups?


As mentioned elsewhere, we are looking for a team of great founders who have a good dynamic between them. This startup team should have a product or service that has paid customers, and has shown sustained growth over the past year.




Do you consider idea stage startups?


Currently we are not looking at Idea stage startups. However, if you reach out to us and let us know of your plans in the upcoming year, we will check in with you when you feel ready to be part of the Founders Club.




You have emphasized people over ideas, what do you look for in these people i.e. founders?


We are looking for individuals and teams who have demonstrated capacity for innovation, hard-work, ethics, and empathy. We are a diverse and eclectic group ourselves, and we feel that this drives a lot of our own innovation.




What is the process to join the Club?


You need to apply on this link < https://www.f6s.com/thecirclefoundersclub/apply> and share your pitch deck. Once our internal team will review the application, you will be invited to pitch to the Jury for final selection.




Who could apply for this program?


You are the Founder/ Co-founder of a tech startup Your product should have gained some traction in the local market (paying clients or revenue generation through customers) Your startup should have preferably been through a prior funding round (seed stage) You have a dedicated team working on the product/service




What will I get if I get selected for the program?


You get tool and resources to help scale your business, increase sales, and raise funds You will be part of an individualised program that will work with you for upto 6 months to help achieve your goals You will get dedicated relationship managers to act as an extended team member and coordinate with the external ecosystem You will get meeting room and seating space credits at the Circle.Work, which is a thriving innovation hub with a strong entrepreneurial community You will get the opportunity to pitch to a selected network of investors, called the “Circle of Angels” You will also get marketing and business connect opportunities in India and international markets




Would I get funding if I get selected?


There is no upfront funding available, but Founders Club will facilitate funding from its investor network for startups who fulfil their criteria.




Which are the companies sponsoring the Founders Club?


Founders Club is backed by Hunch Ventures, which has a portfolio of investments in excess of $140mn. The values of the Founders Club are an extension of Hunch’s vision of creating long term partnerships and relationships while taking pride and pleasure in growing together.




Do I need to be based out of Delhi-NCR to be part of the program?


No, Founders Club program will be virtual in nature, with the option for the startups to be based out of the Circle.Work, which is a collaborative and creative hub for innovation in the heart of Gurugram.




Do I have to pay to be part of this accelerator?


Yes. We are charging a nominal fee to ensure commitment and seriouesness on all sides. There is no equity involved, and it's a direct fee of Rs.60,000/ 6 months for a startup in the virtual program. Companies choosing to be part of the Hybrid program can contact us separately so we can customize the fee as per their requirements




What is the program duration and structure?


The program is of 6 months duration, and each startup will get a customised program basis their requirements and goals.




Is there any equity exchange as part of the program?


No, there is no upfront equity exchange when you get selected in the program. There is a success fee that we charge when our startups raise funds, which can include sweat equity part, details will be shared with startups at the time of onboarding.




Who are your program partners?


We have formed strategic alliances and partnerships with business service providers, government agencies, corporate entities, and diverse tech platforms. In choosing our partners we leveraged our existing community and network, along with reaching out to experts and companies that we felt aligned with the mission of scaling startups.




When will the program start?


The first cohort of the Founders Club opens for applications in the mid of August 2020.





5th Floor, Huda Metro Station,

Sector-29, Gurgaon-120002,

Haryana (IN)

Ph: +91-11-411-83787

E: foundersclub@thecircle.work

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