October 18, 2018
Ep. #2, The Early Days of GitHub with Tom Preston-Werner
In episode 2 of EnterpriseReady, Grant chats with Tom Preston-Werner about how the open source company he co-founded, GitHub, rose up to bec...
Heavybit is a 9-month accelerator and venture fund that helps Seed and Series A developer and enterprise companies achieve breakout success.
Founders who have created category-defining developer and enterprise products and want differentiated partners to help them build and fund enduring companies.
Heavybit is a tailored experience for each company from start to finish. We only work with ~8 companies at any given time and we accept individual companies into the accelerator on a rolling basis throughout the year. Apply today!
In exchange for joining Heavybit we receive a small common stock position in the form of warrants. Our standard deal is 3% for seed stage companies and 1% for Series A companies.
Yes! Heavybit also operates an early-stage venture fund to invest in our accelerator member companies. We pride ourselves on providing flexible capital. We don’t have fixed requirements on ownership or deal structures. We understand that today’s world early-stage companies capitalize themselves on different schedules with a variety of mechanisms and we adapt on a company-by-company basis. Our typical check size is $500K in a seed round and up to $1M in a Series A. As such we normally don’t price or lead rounds.
No! While we’d love to invest in every company as they join Heavybit, we realize that some of our accelerator companies may already be appropriately capitalized. We’re looking to partner with the best founders long term and have no requirements for investment in order to join the accelerator.
No. Heavybit’s early-stage fund only invests in Heavybit companies. We believe that our structured approach to education, coaching, and strategic involvement significantly increases the value of our member companies and we don’t believe in partnering any other way than being all-in.
No. While we appreciate your interest, the decision to become a Heavybit member rests with founders. Only founders can attend regular office hours, founder dinners and partner sessions. If you’d like to get involved with the community, you should instead subscribe to event updates and the newsletter.
Probably. Our primary concern is that our members have achieved initial product/market fit and are ready to start thinking about how to scale their business. For an enterprise-focused company, this may be as little as a handful of PoC/Design Partners/Customers.
Yes. About a third of our member companies join at or after their Series A.
No, but understand that the definition of product is pretty broad and depends on the market you’re going after. We are looking for companies that have some form of initial product/market fit and a hypothesis around the right business model. In some cases this might mean that you’ve built an open source community related to the product, you’ve established early beta customers, or you’ve tested a number of pilots.
Yes. Heavybit has worked remotely with founders in Tel Aviv, Berlin, London, Stockholm, Taipei, New York, LA, Minneapolis and we’ve worked with completely distributed teams. We do suggest that you visit SF roughly every 6 weeks, but we recommend that even if you aren’t joining Heavybit. Developer-first software is a global phenomenon, but the density of potential customers, partners, and investors in the Bay Area isn’t available anywhere else. We schedule regular bi-weekly check-ins and progress updates, and we can offer you office hours via video calls.
After we’ve introduced you to the entire Partnership and team, we’ll announce your membership to the entire community. From here we get started on the following:
Check out what some of our members have to say about the program in our Member Spotlights.
Even though we accept members on a rolling basis, we limit the number of members in-program to around 8 at any given time in order to ensure every company has a curated experience with as much support as you need. While factory-style accelerators can work in search of initial product/market fit and funding, we believe that go-to-market fit and scaling your company into hyper-growth requires dedicated, detail-oriented attention. Since the program is batch-less, we still connect you with later stage alumni as many of them can also offer support and advice around some of your core challenges.
Heavybit alumni remain an active and incredibly important part of our community. We’ll continue to check-in periodically and work with you on your strategy and fundraising through your Series B and beyond if you need it. Many of our late-stage founders and graduates become mentors to newer Heavybit members and continue to attend founder events.
Our typical initial check size is $500K in a seed round and up to $1M in a Series A.
No. We normally don’t price or lead rounds.
No. We don’t want a controlling interest in your company, and we want to remain as aligned as possible with our founders as we help them succeed through the accelerator.
Not concurrently. We won’t accept multiple competitive companies at roughly the same stage as this creates conflicts of interest and prevents us from being fully aligned with any one set of founders. As our alumni network grows; however, it’s inevitable that there may be some overlap with a prior member company who has long since scaled into their Series A, B, and beyond. In these cases, while we’ll need to understand what new approach or market enables you to compete with said incumbent, we definitely want to talk and are happy to work with you if it’s compelling.
We accept applications on a rolling basis; apply at any time.
Our founders create and redefine categories. Tell us what unique insights you have into a problem facing developers and enterprises today and how you’re going to build a better future for them. If you have a pitch deck similar to those used for fundraising that’s usually a good start.
Submit your application at any time and if it meets our initial criteria, one of our partners will contact you to schedule a pitch meeting where we can discuss your vision directly and answer any questions you have about the accelerator. Due to the volume of applications we receive we regret that we can’t meet directly with every applicant, so please make sure that your application communicates your vision as effectively as it can. If after a first meeting it still seems like a potentially mutual fit, we go through a pretty standard diligence process e.g. you meet other Heavybit partners, we exchange metrics about the business, we might speak with select customers, etc.
We rent desks in our SoMa Clubhouse to member companies. This is not included in the cost of the accelerator program. Working from the Heavybit offices is optional (and we’ve got many remote members), although the benefit of working here is that you’re sitting side-by-side with like-minded founders and their early teams. Some of the best conversations, partnerships and learnings are shared serendipitously over coffee. Email email@example.com for more info.
Heavybit has had a diversity and inclusion policy since 2014. This is different than an anti-harassment policy because we don’t just believe in creating a safe and participatory environment for women and traditionally marginalized groups, we believe they’re essential in shaping the future of software and want to make room for them to contribute. Some of the ways we embody this value include: