Does my startup have to work with VR, AR, or spatial computing?
RLab is most interested in applications from companies that work specifically in our focus areas of virtual and augmented reality, and spatial computing. However, we will also consider applications from companies working on other future interfaces, such as voice or natural language processing, brain-computer interfaces, gesture-based or haptic interfaces. If your startup’s products are at the cutting edge or adjacent to these areas, please apply.
Is my company too early or too far along to apply to the program?
The Accelerator is designed for startups ready to take on investors. Whether you have a product or just a prototype, whether you’re piloting with a few customers or already in the market, whether you’re looking to explore new business models or validate an existing one, we’d encourage you to apply. Every startup is different and we will consider startups at many different points in the seed or pre-seed stage, as long as we understand your goals and are convinced we can help you grow.
Can I apply again if my application was rejected in the past?
Yes, all past applicants are encouraged to apply again. A lot can change in a few months or a year, especially in a startup. If we reviewed your application for a past program or cohort, please highlight in your application any progress you’ve made since then..
How many teams will be in the cohort?
We are looking for between 5 and 8 teams for the Fall 2019 Cohort of the Accelerator.
Is there a cost for applicants?
There are no fees to apply or participate in the Accelerator program. However, startup teams will be expected to relocate to New York City for the duration of the program and will be responsible for any expenses related to travel and accommodation.
What funding level does joining the accelerator come with?
Potential equity investment is usually between $50,000 to $100,000. Companies who join the program are NOT guaranteed an investment. The funding comes from Super Ventures and will be negotiated with the venture capital firm on a case by case basis depending on the stage of the company and the market rates. RLab is providing the programming.
Is the Accelerator a residency in New York City?
Yes, the Accelerator is a residency that requires you to be based primarily here at RLab in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. While you are here, you can take advantage of many mentorship, networking, and learning opportunities. From meetups to corporate events, RLab is a robust hub of activity for the XR community in NYC. The frequent activities, tours, and meetings here draw hundreds of investors, corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, and others engaged in these emerging technologies.
Does the whole team need to physically be in NYC for the duration of the program or is it possible to participate for some portion remotely?
A majority of your founding team needs to be in New York City for the duration of the program. You do not need to work from RLab the whole time, and some members can participate remotely. However, we would encourage teams to bring at least two members to this program, to take full advantage of the opportunities for network-building and collaboration.
How many members of the team are allowed to participate?
You can bring as many team members as you’d like. We understand that team sizes can vary widely at seed-stage startups, though most teams that participate in the Accelerator are between 2 and 10 people. RLab has ample room for your team with 16,500 square feet of coworking space, classrooms and meeting space, and event space. However, if your team has more than 10 people, we may not be able to guarantee that everyone on your team will have their own desk every day.
When are finalist interviews? Is it possible to participate in finalist interviews virtually?
Finalist interviews will take place the week of August 5. If it is not possible for you to be in New York City on short notice to do the interview in person, we will arrange a video call.
How does RLab evaluate the team during the application review and interview process?
We are looking for passionate teams, disruptive technology and applications, and big ideas with valuable market opportunities. We are also looking for evidence that you have the right team to tackle the problem you set out to solve or the opportunity you believe exists, and you’ve made some progress in building your business. We strive to create cohorts with diverse teams, products and challenges. We provide many opportunities for participants to learn from each other, as well as from the mentors and subject-matter experts in our community.
Is housing provided for teams that are relocating to NYC for this program?
RLab does not provide housing for participants, but we are happy to provide guidance in finding suitable accommodations.
Can I apply if I’m outside New York City or the United States? Does RLab help with visas or travel arrangements?
Yes, teams from anywhere in the world are invited to apply for the Accelerator. You do have to be legally in the U.S. during the program. Once you are accepted, we may be able to help with legal or immigration issues by leveraging our contacts and network, but you will be responsible for your own immigration and travel arrangements.
Do I need to have a company formed?
Most teams seeking to participate in the Accelerator have formed a legally viable company. We may consider teams that have not yet formed a company, if your team is otherwise ready for acceleration.
Does RLab offer human resources or staffing to help with the build of a new product or service?
RLab can leverage our extensive network in New York City to help your team find the talent and resources, technical or otherwise, that you need to see your project through. For example, we can help you find relevant pools of talent, from professionals working in NYC to student interns through our university partnerships, or help you find relevant meetups and other events for client and user acquisition for example.