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Frequently Asked Questions

The Basics

 

What is Heavybit?

Heavybit is a 9-month accelerator and venture fund that helps Seed and Series A developer and enterprise companies achieve breakout success.

Who should apply for Heavybit?

Founders who have created category-defining developer and enterprise products and want differentiated partners to help them build and fund enduring companies.

When should we apply?

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!

What happens in the accelerator?

This.

What does it cost?

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.

Does Heavybit invest in 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.

Do we have to wait until our next funding round to join Heavybit?

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.

Can you just invest in our company without us going through 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.

Who Should Apply?

I’m not a founder, should I apply?

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.

We don’t have Seed funding, should we apply?

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.

We’ve already raised our Series A, should we apply?

Yes. About a third of our member companies join at or after their Series A.

I don’t have a product, should we apply?

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.

I don’t want to move to SF, should we apply?

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.

How the Accelerator Works

What happens once I join the accelerator?

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:

  • Personalized Plan & Partner Office Hours: For your first month in the accelerator we’ll meet with you to determine our joint priorities, help you build out your priorities, and determine an initial plan of action for the next 9 months. After that you’ll meet with Partners every two weeks for both progress updates and operational advice. These sessions are meant to ensure you’re executing against the plan and adapting it as necessary. Your progress is benchmarked against alumni and other companies we track in the space.
  • Advisor Office Hours: We continually design 1:1 office hours and advisory sessions based on the priorities you set in your ongoing interactions with Heavybit partners. These happen twice a month and between these and Partner hours, you can expect at least one session per week. Example areas of focus include early hiring, sales compensation, performance reviews and OKRs, sales strategic and operations, lead generation, demand generation, onboarding and developer evangelism.
  • Group Sessions: These monthly calls are for founders only and give you a chance to compare progress, share tactics, and discuss resourcing with your fellow founders. Example discussion topics include marketing, messaging, venture debt, fundraising, and engineering management.
  • Speaker Series: These monthly in-person presentations happen in the Clubhouse and offer founders a chance to meet experts in sales, marketing and product design. A complete catalogue of Speaker Series videos live in our library. While you can watch these videos after the event, founders are encouraged to attend Speaker Series to talk in-person to the speaker and network with the broader community where they can meet potential hires, consultants and partners.
  • Founder Dinners: These events happen every 8 weeks and are a chance for founders to share stories, ideas and learnings over a meal. Heavybit’s current in-program accelerator founders and alumni are invited to attend and we curate the seating and conversation to ensure you’re getting the most out of your interactions at this time.
  • DevGuild: DevGuild is a community and twice yearly conference featuring the CEOs, founders, and top execs at leading developer, infrastructure, enterprise, and B2B SaaS companies defining the future of software development. In the past we’ve held conferences specifically on evangelism, product marketing, pricing, enterprise-readiness, content, demand gen and developer experience. Attendance is capped at 200 people and the outcome of these conferences beyond immediate learnings, have included new hires, customers, and users for our member cos.
  • Broader Community: Because Heavybit’s team, advisors, investors and founders have deep domain expertise in developer and enterprise go-to-market, our broader community represents an amazing place to learn and a great network to help you scale. Through our Slack sub-communities in marketing, sales and product, our DevCoJobs job listing site, and through direct introductions and connections made at events — founders have met some of their best allies, customers, employees and friends.

Check out what some of our members have to say about the program in our Member Spotlights.

How many teams are in the accelerator at one time?

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.

What happens after 9 months?

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.

How the Fund Works

How much do you invest and what does it cost?

Our typical initial check size is $250K in a seed round and up to $1M in a Series A.

Do you lead or price rounds?

No. We normally don’t price or lead rounds.

Do you take a board seat?

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.

Do you fund companies that are competitive?

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.

How to Apply

When is the next application period for the program?

We accept applications on a rolling basis; apply at any time.

What should I include in the application?

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.

What should I expect as part of the application process?

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.

What happens once I’m accepted?

We’ll extend a formal offer to you to join Heavybit via a standard warrant agreement. After you accept we’ll schedule your onboarding into the accelerator and dive in together!

Other

Does Heavybit provide office space?

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 vibe@heavybit.com for more info.

What is your position on diversity and inclusion?

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:

  • Pipeline & Outreach: Heavybit actively encourages women and founders from traditionally marginalized groups to apply to the Heavybit accelerator. We’ve done so by seeking them out via joint events with women in technology groups, producing female founder dinner events, and offering our space to professional groups that support women and under-represented minorities. If you run a group focused on diverse founders, we’re happy to discuss ways to work together. If you’re a founder, we encourage you to apply to the program.
  • Visibility for Diverse Experts: We believe that diverse domain experts should be given the forum to share their insights and we know our member companies and broader community are better for it. Our conferences feature at least 50% women and minorities on stage. As preparation for these types of events, we spend hours helping speakers prepare for their presentations and coach them through the process of presentation development. Heavybit also actively reaches out to diverse experts to publish their content and helps them shape the content and further distribute it to our membership.
  • Hiring & Staff: Heavybit has always had an employment equity statement associated with its job listings. Perhaps more importantly, since our inception in 2013, our staff has always been fairly diverse with at least half of us being female, racialized minorities, and/or queer. That said, we own our privilege and recognize the need to continue to model diverse hiring practices to our member companies. Some of the ways we’ve done that have been to create unconscious bias resources and events, and to introduce teams to stellar and diverse candidates.
  • Diversity and Inclusion Committee: Heavybit’s Diversity and Inclusion committee has met monthly since 2014 to design new proactive activities and events in furthering our commitment to a participatory culture.
  • Conduct: While we believe an anti-harassment policy is the least we can do to create an inclusive culture, we know it’s just and responsible to be deliberate about the safety and participation of the community. We have an anti-harassment policy and procedure and take complaints very seriously.