NDRC has announced that as of today, applications are open for this new accelerator which, for the first time, offers successful applicants a €100,000 investment using SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity) and ‘founder friendly’ terms.
The bi-annual programme will feature 12 chosen startups (6 per cohort), each receiving coaching from dedicated Entrepreneurs in Residence including Jules Coleman (sold Hassle.com for €35 million), Marc McCabe (Sequoia Scout, SV Angel, early Airbnb), Allison Kopf (Forbes 30 under 30, XFactor VC Partner), and Pat Phelan (sold Trustev for €50 million).
"I believe it's a huge opportunity to find the next homegrown Stripe/intercom/trustev and to scale them from Ireland. It's thrilling to be involved with the team, this is a huge statement by the Irish government given their level of involvement here. I'm also really excited by the gender balance policies too, I know it's an important topic for the team at NDRC and I'm excited by their thoughtfulness around this," comments Pat Phelan.
Likewise, 40 top entrepreneurial mentors who have built or exited companies worth a combined net value of €10 billion will also participate. They include Mark Cummins (sold Pointy to Google for over $100 million), Bobby Healy (Co-founder of Cartrawler, valued at over €500 million), Aine Kerr (Led Storyful through €18 million acquisition) and Marina Gorey (Co-Founder of SuperAwesome, valued at over $100 million).
Pioneered by Y Combinator in late 2013, the SAFE instrument has been proven to provide simple and transparent terms, reduce paperwork, and lower legal costs and friction for founders. Essentially, there are only two terms to negotiate: the valuation cap and discount. Likewise, these simple terms make it easier for follow-on investors to understand.
In addition to SAFE, NRDC is including a side letter with two additional clauses. The first is an “information” clause that allows for their own reporting requirements; the second is a “most favoured nation” clause that allows NDRC to elect to inherit any more favourable terms that are offered to any subsequent investors following the NDRC investment and prior to a next equity round."
“These terms are highly flexible for startups - we want to make sure the best founders can and want to join, regardless of whether they've raised capital already or not,” said Jon Bradford, partner at Dynamo Ventures and NDRC Chair Investment Committee. “SAFE agreements have been universally welcomed by top Irish VCs as a ‘founder-friendly’ approach. This is a positive development for pre-seed investment in Ireland and Europe and brings us in line with the best of US thinking.”
Beyond the €100,000, startups will also receive 12 months of free office space, UX prototyping support, design experts, and professional pitch deck designers and delivery coaches, as well as access to the Dogpatch Labs Corporate Innovation team and network for market insights, route to industry and potential pilots.
Leveraging NDRC’s reach, startups will have access to an ‘Extended Mentor Network’ consisting of over 1,000 mentors from companies including Google, Intercom and Unilever.
The programme commences on 21 June and a Demo Day is slated for September. Applications are now open and close on 2 May at 11:59pm GMT. NDRC is hosting a Lunch & Learn Ask Me Anything tomorrow.
The accelerator is supported by venture capital firms including Frontline, Atlantic Bridge, ACT, and Delta Partners, with each committing to mentor participating startups.