General FAQs About Engage


 

General

Who are the backers of Engage?

The corporate partners contributing capital, expertise, time and resources in support of Engage include AT&T, Chick-fil-A, Cox Enterprises, Delta Air Lines, Georgia-Pacific, Georgia Power Foundation, Inc., Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Invesco Ltd., The Home Depot, UPS and Georgia Tech.

When and where is the program?

The first fall cohort runs from Aug 14, 2017 through October 20, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. Startups accepted into the program will be offered space in Technology Square in Midtown Atlanta.

When is the application deadline?

July 8th 2017 at 11.59PM EST

Do I have to be in Atlanta for the entire program?

Yes – but you will be running and operating your company throughout the program so significant travel is expected. We require you be primarily based on site during the program. This allows you to take advantage of numerous learning and networking opportunities.

Do I have to stay in Atlanta when the program ends?

No. It’s your company. We actually want you to you to locate wherever is best for your company. You may decide to relocate to Atlanta to be close to the customers and partners formed during your time at Engage.

How involved are the corporate partners in the program?

Extremely involved. In almost every case the current CEO of each corporate partner is on the board of Engage Ventures and the companies themselves are invested as limited partners. You won’t find that level of involvement anywhere else.

At Engage we connect startups with corporate innovators differently. You will interact directly with senior executives, champions and operators in each of the corporations.

Executives also serve as advisors to our startups. Advisors will help you strategize on go-to-market and help you improve at selling, piloting, analyzing and expanding within their and other organizations.

What’s in it for the corporate partners?

Besides the economic returns on the Engage venture fund. The corporate partners involved benefit from keeping their ear to the ground on the latest technical innovations, companies, and business models.  Additionally, Engage provides:

  • A platform to work with the most talented entrepreneurs in the world
  • Getting out of the Silo – shared learnings and strategies across the corporate partners involved
  • Opportunities for investment, partnership or acquisition
  • Extension of existing corporate R&D efforts

What else does Engage provide? Office space, legal, etc?

Engage provides office space, Wi-Fi, LaCroix, and Coffee.

We also offer legal support through partnerships with leading firms. Working with a top firm that is familiar with market terms and early stage financing is crucial.

Design, IP and PR resources are also available to portfolio companies along with over $200k of additional benefits from our partners.

With our proximity to Georgia Tech and the Advanced Technology Development Center, startups also have access to a full hardware and prototyping workshop. This includes thermal chambers, CNCs and 3D printers. The whole works.

Where will we live while we’re there?

Engage will provide a list of potential housing locations, but participants will make and pay for their own living arrangements. the $75k is primarily meant to cover any travel and living costs incurred from participating in Engage.

As a founder in the program – what will a typical day look like?

Once a week we’ll have talks from guest speakers, including startup founders, venture capitalists, and executives from well-known companies.

You will also meet with advisors from our corporate partners and seasoned entrepreneurs you are matched with at the beginning of the program, you’ll be responsible for coordinating these meetings so it depends on your schedule and travel.

Does Engage have job openings? Internships?

Engage is not currently hiring, but our portfolio companies often are.

Hiring is one of the hardest things founders do. The average founder dedicates 50% of their time to the task. Engage helps our founders by rolling up our sleeves and making introductions to the best people we know for critical hires, working with you to rewrite job descriptions, and walking through comp strategies.

What is Engage’s relationship to Georgia Tech?

G.P. “Bud” Peterson, the president of Georgia Tech, is on the board of Engage.

Engage Ventures LLC is offering space and other services through a contract with the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), which was established at Georgia Tech to launch and build technology companies. You will have access to ATDC experts, facilities, rapid prototyping facilities, and wealth of resources.

 

Funding

How much funding do Engage companies receive? Terms?

Our standard model is we’ll invest $75,000 at terms dependent on the individual situation.

In addition to the $75k in initial funding, Engage Venture Fund I will co-invest larger amounts, $250k-1MM in subsequent financing rounds in select portfolio companies. This investment is at market terms set by the lead investor in the particular round. We can both lead or follow.

What stage of companies do you fund and accept in the program?

We fund companies that are close to or have already built their first product and are looking for scale and access to distribution. This typically means that companies have already raised seed funding. We can probably work with any company that hasn’t already raised $5MM+

What are you looking for?

We invest in great entrepreneurs pursuing large market opportunities with products that delight their customers. We are particularly interested in technically-leaning teams in the IoT, AI, FinTech, and logistics tech spaces and business models with recurring revenue potential. We are interested in a wide range of areas, particularly as our founding companies spread across many markets.

What are you NOT looking for?

We’re open to a wide variety of markets and stages. Specifically, we don’t fund biotechnology companies, consultancies, or other service-oriented companies.

Companies should be targeting a market opportunity that is large enough to be a good fit with the venture capital financing model.

Do you fund companies that are competitive with each other?

We avoid accepting competitive companies into the same program class.

Why does Engage want stock in my new company?

Once we invest, we’re aligned and motivated to help you succeed. We will introduce you to advisors and potential board members; assist you with strategy; and discover more investors. That’s a good deal for all of us.

What sort of control am I giving up by granting equity to Engage?

You are still in full control. We don’t want any controlling interests in your company. We won’t ask for any uncommon investor rights.

 

Application

When is the application due?

July 8th 2017 at 11.59PM EST

We’ve already taken some funding. Can we still apply?

Sure, this is not an issue

We’ve already been working on our startup for a while. Is Engage appropriate for us?

Yes, in fact, we especially like this. We can probably work with any startup that hasn’t already raised $5MM+

We don’t really need the money. Does it still make sense to apply?

Most startups we fund don’t need the money. In fact, the money is only a small part of the value that Engage brings to its portfolio companies.

Do you only fund startups that write software?

No. We’ll consider startups in any field, including hardware. In fact, hardware companies will have access to prototyping and testing equipment through ATDC’s design studio.

When will I be notified if I am moving forward in the process after submitting my application?

Applicants will be notified if they are selected for an interview within two weeks of the application deadline.

Where do I send my NDA before I pitch you my startup idea?

We do not sign non-disclosure agreements.

I’m a single founder. Can I apply?

Yes

Is my age a factor in your selection process?

No

Can I send in a business plan?

No, please don’t.

Can I submit an application late?

Applications submitted after the deadline will be tagged as late. We cannot guarantee that we will review late applications.

Engage runs two cohorts a year so if you miss one, please apply to the next cohort.