How do we become part of Imagine K12?
Apply online for our upcoming cycle. The program runs once per year, in the fall.
Should we incorporate our company before applying?
No. If you have not already incorporated your company, we recommend that you wait to do so because it's easier to start with our standard paperwork than to transfer an existing LLC or S Corp to a C Corp.
We've been working on our startup for a while. Is Imagine K12 appropriate for us?
We have worked with companies that already had users and revenue before they applied to Imagine K12, but it will depend on your situation. You can always apply and we can discuss. The mentoring, networking, distribution, and testing provided in our program create value for most early stage companies.
We've already raised some funding. Can we still apply?
What funding do we get if selected?
Imagine K12 will immediately invest between $14,000 and $20,000 once a company has been accepted, depending on team size. Typically, solo founders receive $14,000, pairs receive $17,000, and larger teams receive $20,000. If a company is not incorporated at the time of selection then we will guide the founders through the process of forming a C Corp before proceeding with Imagine K12’s investment. In addition, every accepted company will receive a convertible note for $80,000 from the Imagine K12 Start Fund upon presenting at Demo Day in January.
What does Imagine K12 get?
In exchange for funding, mentoring, and other aspects of the program, we will get an equity stake in your company. This varies from 2 to 10% depending on the stage of the company, but it's usually between 6 and 7%.
Does Imagine K12 provide office space?
No, Imagine K12 is not an "incubator" in the sense of providing common office space. We do provide a common area for meetings and events, and we encourage teams to spend time in our office, but founders also need to find their own space. In most cases you will work wherever you live. We actually believe this is the best environment for early stage startups.
What if we're building something that takes longer than 3 months or is bigger than angels can manage?
If we fund you, the goal will be to build a compelling prototype or demo to raise money from appropriate investors. Our rolling admissions process and the additional funding provided by the Imagine K12 Start Fund give teams the opportunity and resources to spend several months working on their products before and after the formal program. It’s better to launch a product before Demo Day if possible, but it’s not a must.
Do we need to submit a business plan?
Don't create a b-plan just for us since the information we want is covered in the application form and personal interviews. Demos are a big plus. If you have a business plan already, however, feel free to include it with your application.
Can a single person apply for funding?
Yes, but we admit that we prefer multiple founders. It is harder to succeed with just one person.
I have a great idea for a startup, but I'm not technical. Will you still fund me?
We'll consider funding you, but your chances are probably ten times better if you find a technical co-founder before applying.
Do we need to move to Silicon Valley?
Most of what we do is based around face-to-face interactions in an intense timeframe. One founder can live outside the San Francisco Bay Area during the program, but the CEO and the others must live in the Bay Area during the 3 month program. They will also need to return for a few weeks in January to prepare for and participate in Demo Day. We recommend that founders plan to stay in the Bay Area at least through the end of February to take advantage of fundraising opportunities.
Do you require a video in your application?
Yes, this is a must-have. You can upload it to YouTube or elsewhere. Please follow the video guidelines.
Do we have to start a company in the US for you to invest in us?
Yes, but that's usually not a problem. It's easy for foreign founders to start US companies (much easier than remaining here physically), and investors and acquirers prefer them.
Do we have to be US citizens?
No, as long as you can get here for at least three months. We don't provide visas, but we can point you toward people who can advise you.
Do we need to have a proven idea before applying?
We expect you to apply with a compelling idea relevant to the K-12 market. That said, we are looking for nimble teams that can pivot as needed, and team strength is a priority in our selection process.
I'm interested in edtech, but I'm not ready to start my own company yet. How can I get involved?
Check out Education Entrepreneurs and attend a Startup Weekend Education or Bootcamp event. Join a local edtech Meetup group. Volunteer in a school to see how tech is used in education.
Are you hiring?
Not at the moment, but many of the companies from our program are. Check out the listings.
Are you looking for investors?
We are always looking for investors in our companies, but at the moment Imagine K12 is not accepting any outside investment.