Frequently Asked Questions2024-05-13T10:21:49+02:00

Frequently Asked Questions

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Why should you join Birdhouse?2024-01-08T23:06:31+01:00

Joining Birdhouse is a game-changing experience for your startup’s journey. Imagine having a tribe that not only invests in your vision but also pro-actively propels your growth.

We offer a significant boost by igniting your startup journey with first capital or adding fuel to an existing funding mix through our investment fund, Birdhouse Ventures, which has the capacity to invest cumulatively up to €1,25 million. More importantly, our commitment doesn’t stop at funding.

As part of your journey, we dive deep into the heart of your startup, during an intense 12-week program, offering hands-on support in the areas we know to be the most challenging and impactful to accelerate:

  • Nailing your product-market-fit, covering everything from identifying the right market segment(s) for your product to defining the right pricing model and moving from pilots to recurring customers
  • Defining the right fundraising strategy and finding the right investors who not only invest money in the business but are a tangible added value
  • Become a master at storytelling, communicating clearly about your mission and ambitions, resulting in a strong tribe of believers that help support your growth
Who are we for and what do we do?2024-01-08T23:09:28+01:00

Birdhouse is a privately backed early stage investment fund and accelerator, focusing on companies who are active in AgeTech in Europe and Tech companies who are active in Belgium.

Since its inception in 2016, Birdhouse has accelerated more than 170 start-ups and has been able to help with fundraising over €100 million.

In 2021 we became active in AgeTech in Europe, having accelerated and invested in over 20 start-ups in the domain all over Europe (9+ countries).

We are a commercially seasoned team of entrepreneurs and investment managers who have raised private capital to invest in a portfolio of startups in order to drive financial returns for our shareholders, while at the same time having a positive impact mindset.

We have already received some funding and/or are not early-stage. Should we still apply?2024-01-08T23:13:30+01:00

Yes. Your investors are likely to endorse your participation in an accelerator program, when they recognize the substantial support and resources it offers. While early-stage investors often dedicate significant time to mentorship, enhancing the survival prospects of their investments, they may not have access to the breadth and quality of mentors that Birdhouse provides. This advantage is the result of 9 years of dedicated effort in building our network.

At Birdhouse, your journey together with us is designed to accelerate your growth, propelling your startup to new heights. We focus on developing your team’s strategic thinking regarding your business model, unlocking previously inaccessible opportunities, and assisting in areas like fundraising and communicating with impact towards all stakeholders.

Importantly, we emphasize laying a foundation for both business and personal growth, including leadership development. Our approach is customized to align seamlessly with your specific needs, ensuring a highly effective and impactful experience.

What language is content delivered in for Birdhouse accelerator programs?2024-01-08T23:16:36+01:00

To accommodate the diverse, international composition of our cohorts, all content related to Birdhouse, including communications and materials, will be presented in English. This approach ensures clarity and inclusivity for our founders from various parts of the world.

Where is Birdhouse based?2024-01-08T23:17:54+01:00

Birdhouse is headquartered in Antwerp, Belgium.

However, it’s important to note that our office does not serve as a direct hub for the 12-week program and does not provide full-time workspace facilities.

Do I have to be in the Birdhouse location for the entire twelve week period?2024-01-08T23:19:47+01:00

You are not required to be physically present at the Birdhouse location for the entire 12-week program duration.

However, we do require your presence in Antwerp for specific weeks: the first two weeks of the program, one week in the middle, and the final week. These periods are dedicated to live workshops and other essential sessions. For the other eight weeks, you have the flexibility to participate in the program from wherever you are based.

What time specifically do applications close?2024-03-06T18:06:59+01:00

Applications for Cohort 16 will conclude on September 23rd, 2024. Subsequently, beginning September 24th, pre-registration for Cohort 17 will be open.

When will I hear back about my application?2024-03-06T18:24:56+01:00

After completing the pre-registration on our website, a confirmation pop-up will appear.
Starting August 12th, everyone who has completed or completes the pre-registration will be emailed, inviting them to fill out the full registration by September 23rd.

Please note, both pre-registrations and full registrations for Cohort 16 will conclude on September 23rd, 2024.

You will be notified between September 24th and September 27th if you have advanced to the next phase, which involves pitching your startup in front of the Birdhouse jury.

How do you choose which companies to accept into the program and to fund?2024-01-08T23:25:51+01:00

Our priorities are simple: Team, Team, Team, Team. Market. Progress. Idea. In that order.

We’re looking for outstanding founders with products that solve real issues or bring new innovations.
The key for us is really your team.

The best things you can do to make your application stronger:

  • Have a team with a good mix of business, technical, and other important skills relevant to your business.
  • Work on your prototype or product and mention your progress in your application.
  • Show that you’ve thought deeply about your business and are actively working on it and talking to (potential) customers.
  • Provide early results (traction) or data to back up your main business ideas.
I’m a single founder. Can I get accepted into Birdhouse, or do you only look for teams of co-founders?2024-01-08T23:27:39+01:00

We typically favor startups where the team is already managing a business and has begun to see commercial success.

However, we are also willing to engage with solo founders who are in the process of assembling their teams. In an ideal scenario, the team not only includes co-founders but also has one or more employees on board. It’s essential for you and your team members to possess skills that complement each other and maintain a positive working dynamic, as these factors are crucial for the success of your business.

Indeed, team dynamics play a vital role in our selection process.

How does Birdhouse support startups in the long term?2024-01-08T23:29:17+01:00

Upon completing the program, your journey with Birdhouse doesn’t end; rather, you join our esteemed portfolio of companies. As a member of our expansive community, which includes over 170 startups, you’ll retain ongoing access to a wealth of resources. This includes alumni events, program materials, exclusive deals, continued mentorship, and opportunities to be featured in marketing and communications campaigns. Additionally, our commitment extends to investment support, as we co-invest from the seed stage right up to Series B, ensuring we’re there to support you every step of the way.

What is the value of the Birdhouse program and how much initial funding do Birdhouse companies receive?2024-01-08T23:30:27+01:00

The fee for our accelerator program is set at €35k. This cost reflects the value of the extensive range of services, tools, and benefits we provide, many of which could cost double if sourced independently. Included in this fee are vital resources for any startup, such as both group and one-on-one workshops and sessions, access to potential customers, external management assessments, in-depth mentorship, and networking opportunities, including investor and mentor events. Additionally, as a participant you benefit from a strong and dedicated program team focused on your success.

Startups joining Birdhouse receive an initial investment of €75k via a convertible note at the start of the program. Depending on mutual agreement, this amount can be increased to €150k during the program. Birdhouse also continues to invest in its portfolio companies post-program, often co-investing alongside a lead investor. Birdhouse can invest up to Series B, ensuring continuous support for our startups’ growth and development.

Does Birdhouse follow-on invest and can this also happen during a program?2024-01-08T23:32:38+01:00

Yes, Birdhouse offers follow-on investments. Startups accepted into Birdhouse receive an initial investment in the form of a convertible note. We continue to invest in our portfolio companies, often co-investing alongside a lead investor. Birdhouse can invest up to 50% in subsequent funding rounds and maintains the capacity to co-invest up to Series B, with a total investment ceiling of €1,25 million.

Do you fund companies that are competitive with each other?2024-01-08T23:34:49+01:00

We strive to prevent enrolling companies that directly compete with each other in the same program class. Yet, as the Birdhouse network expands, it’s possible that competitive companies might exist within our larger network. Should this occur with companies in the Birdhouse portfolio, we are committed to rigorously ensuring that sensitive data is not exchanged between such entities.

How does the Birdhouse program compare to other programs?2024-01-08T23:36:09+01:00

At Birdhouse, our programs stand out for their distinctiveness and superiority, thanks to several key factors.

First off, we’re not your typical accelerator – we’re a powerhouse combining an accelerator with the muscle of an early-stage investor. This means we’ve got significant capital at our disposal for post-program investments, giving your startup a major financial boost.

What really sets us apart is our motivation. Birdhouse is an entrepreneurial brainchild, independently and privately backed, built by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs.
Our aim? To forge the ultimate breeding ground for startups, driving both commercial success and societal change.
Our program is meticulously crafted to scale your business, not just to teach you the basics or refine your idea.

Our commitment to your growth is long-term, far beyond the typical 3-6 months of standard accelerators. We’re talking a 5-7 year journey of partnership, support, and growth.
We recognize that true success takes time, and we’re here for the long haul. After the program, we’re right there with you, ready to co-invest up to Series B, with potential investments of up to €1,25 million in a single company. And it doesn’t stop there – we’re ready to take board positions when needed and connect you with the strategic partners and mentors who can drive your growth.

We are actively seeking startups poised to create significant change. Your company should be demonstrating potential, be it through commercial success or academic recognition, and be ready to elevate to a higher level. At Birdhouse, we aim to do more than just help you launch; we’re here to help you reach new heights of success.

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