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.
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 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.
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.
Imagine K12 will immediately invest $20,000 once a company has been accepted. 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 Safe for $80,000 from the Imagine K12 Start Fund upon presenting at Demo Day in January.
What exactly do we mean by an equity stake in your company? To be specific, we ask for common stock representing a given percentage (usually 6%) of the post-money fully diluted shares of the company, where we assume the existence of a 10% post-money option pool for future employees. We feel this is a fair and company-friendly approach. If you need further details, we can discuss specifics at the time of your invitation to participate in Imagine K12.
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.
Yes. Most of what we do is based around face-to-face interactions in an intense timeframe. The CEO and most of the co-founders must live in the Bay Area during the 4 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.
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. Read up on the tips industry insiders have to offer in the US Department of Education Office of Educational Technology's Ed Tech Developer's Guide.