Incubator FAQs

Basics

How does the Incubator work?

We find entrepreneurs building cool things with financial data and then give them support to accelerate their growth. Our program is 5 months long, with three week-long bootcamps and then a Demo Day. Access to mentors and experts between bootcamps provides further resources to the entrepreneurs.

Do I need to move to Silicon Valley?

No. It’s expensive here and the traffic is terrible. Companies in our program stay where they are. During the 5 months of the program we bring all the companies to Silicon Valley for three week-long bootcamps, and then we bring you here for Demo Day. Everything else is done via phone and email.

What will I learn?

In the bootcamps we cover at a high level every business function a fast-growing startup needs. Strategy, brand, distribution channel, marketing, selling, growth hacking, HR, PR, raising money, etc. Because most (but not all!) of our companies are fintech, we cover a lot of regulatory issues and how to deal with banks. Between bootcamps you have access to mentors and experts who can help you dig deeper into each of these topics.

Tell me more about the mentors and experts

Each company in the Incubator will be assigned a 1:1 mentor, who is an experienced executive who will coach and guide you during the program. Subject matter experts are available for virtual office hours to help you deal with issues from messaging to sales strategy to product management. See list of mentors and experts here.

In addition, the Incubator staff works relentlessly to help companies: providing introductions, asking pointed questions, or rolling up our sleeves to join your team on a project.

Who should come to bootcamps?

Generally speaking, the founding team should plan on attending the bootcamps. Once a company is admitted to the program, and as bootcamp agendas are finalized, we work with each team on their attendee lists.

How long is the program?

About 5-6 months. We’ll kick off our next cohort with Boocamp 1 in late January 2019. Bootcamps 2 and 3 and then Demo Day will follow roughly every six weeks thereafter.

How much equity do you take?

None. As in zero. We don’t do this to be investors, we do it to showcase all the amazing things entrepreneurs can build with Yodlee data.

How much money do you provide?

Also none, although we do cover your costs to come to the bootcamps and demo day (travel, lodging, etc).

Do startups have to pay fees to participate?

No way.

So what’s in it for me?

Free access to Yodlee’s APIs for 12 months. Depending on your user count, that can be worth well over $100,000. Dedicated technical support during your implementation of the APIs. The teaching from bootcamps and mentors. Meeting other entrepreneurs and sharing stories and support with them. Plus access to the broader Yodlee ecosystem. We’ve been selling to banks and fintech companies for 18 years, so we know a few people.

You also get free or reduced-price access to service and technology providers through partnerships that we have struck and through our membership in GAN.

Do I have to use Yodlee?

While in the program, yes, absolutely. In fact, at Demo Day you will need to demo your implementation of Yodlee. But when the program is over, you are free to use any aggregation solution you wish. Of course, once you experience the power of Yodlee you won’t want to go anywhere else.

Applications

How selective is the program?

Very. Last year we received over 100 applications for 8 spots. Each year the applicant pool gets bigger and better, but we still only admit 8 companies.

What are you looking for?

We review applications wearing two hats. One is a traditional VC hat: are you solving a real pain point, does your strategy make sense, is the market big enough, do you have the right management team? The other is a Yodlee-specific hat: are you using our data in a new and interesting way, or taking us into a market we haven’t explored yet? But mostly we look for entrepreneurs who want to change the world using data.

Will a referral from a mentor or alumni company help?

Almost certainly.

What’s the right stage of company to apply?

We are stage agnostic. We’ve gone as early as two entrepreneurs with wireframes, and as late as post-seed companies that were generating revenue. But if you’ve raised enough money (ie. Series A) or have enough revenue that you can easily pay for Yodlee’s data, we’ll probably refer you to the sales team.

I don’t have a product yet. Is that OK?

For sure, as long as you can reach some product milestone in the 5 months of the program. That milestone could be a functional prototype, or hitting MVP, or getting users on board. We just expect you to advance the product – and get Yodlee up and running, duh – to the next milestone whilst in the Incubator.

Do you accept solo founders?

We haven’t yet. There is no absolute rule, but startups are hard, and doing it alone is even harder.

Do you accept companies from outside the US?

Absolutely. Thus far we’ve had companies from Australia, Israel and the UK. But you need to operate in a country where Yodlee has data, so keep that in mind.

Can I apply if I’ve been through another accelerator?

Definitely. We’ve accepted companies that have come out of most of the fintech programs. And graduates of our Incubator have gone into most of those other programs.

What is the application timeline?

Applications for cohort 5 are open now. Apply here. We will close applications end of August and have finalists pitch us during October. Due diligence will follow and we expect to announce the class in late November. Happy Thanksgiving!

Now, It’s Your Turn

Choose Apply Today to submit an application for our cohort beginning in Winter 2019 or Email Us to enquire about the program.

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