Startup Funding January 11, 2021

Applications are open for TinySeed's third accelerator batch

Rob Walling @robwalling

TinySeed is a year-long, remote accelerator designed for early-stage SaaS founders, and as of today we are accepting applications for our third batch 🎉

In case you haven't heard of TinySeed, we emerged from a need we saw among MicroConf and other indie maker communities of founders who start to find traction, but struggle to hit escape velocity before they run out of steam. Whether due to a day job, or because they need mentorship and guidance to get there faster.

Funding-wise, we invest $120k for the first founder and $60k per additional founder, and our standard terms are for 10-12% equity.

Beyond funding, we want to help founders reach a flow state — where our founders have all the resources, community, and mentorship they need to execute great work as fast as they need.

Our mentor program is designed so founders have numerous options for help. We work with successful founders with multiple wins under their belt; folks like Jason Fried (Basecamp and HEY), Rand Fishkin (SparkToro), Chris Savage (Wistia), and Laura Roeder (MeetEdgar).

We are also honored to have subject-matter experts on board, like Steli Efti for sales, Taylor Hendricksen for growth marketing, April Dunford for positioning, Joanna Wiebe for copywriting, and Patrick Campbell for pricing. (Full mentor list here).

We start our year with educational presentations and one-on-one work on critical topics (like pricing), and move to mentor Q&As and founder workshops as the year progresses. In addition to weekly calls and masterminds, we have an active, private Slack community and quarterly retreats — currently remote, but hopefully in-person in 2021.

Applications will be open for two weeks starting today. We’ll be reviewing applications during January and February, with the next batch starting at the beginning of May.

If you're interested, you can apply here.

If you have questions, feel free to reach out to us at hello@tinyseed.com.

  1. 15

    I'm a Batch 1 founder. If you have some initial traction, I highly recommend applying to TinySeed. The program is top-notch, the mentors are very helpful, and of course the money doesn't hurt.

    I much prefer TinySeed's terms to other alternative funding providers (basically straight equity, no accelerated payback rigmarole).

  2. 9

    Program manager here! Very excited for the next year — I'm also available if anyone has any questions. 🎉

    1. 2

      Hi Tracy, one question. What about successful open source projects (10k+ monthly users and growing steadily) that is not yet monetized but can be by selling "pro" services (team sharing, etc.). I have the feeling that it's too early.

      1. 1

        Hmm, that's a good question. We like to see some sort of revenue being made before applying; I think it would be best if you tested monetization, and then if the results are positive (it should be with that user growth!) then you can apply in our summer application round. :)

        1. 1

          Thank you! Will do :)

    2. 1

      Hey Tracy! How does TinySeed define "traction"?

      1. 2

        The easiest way to show this is through monthly recurring revenue — we're looking for $500+ in MRR at least from people who apply. That said, traction can also be shown through things like # of folks signed up for a newsletter (free or paid), amount of people on a pre-order list or paid for a pre-order, etc.

        Being that we focus on SaaS though, MRR is usually the best way to show that there is some amount of proof-of-market.

    3. 1

      This comment was deleted 7 days ago.

  3. 7

    Another under-rated aspect of TinySeed: the other founders. I'm a (very small) investor in TinySeed, and I think there is a good chance you'll make several life-long friends (and mastermind partners). I have imposter syndrome (in a good way) pretty much anytime I talk to them. :)

  4. 4

    Joining TinySeed has been one of the best decisions I've made with Castos. Great team behind it, lots of support and guidance, and a community of other founders that are all there to help with anything that may come up in your business.

    The financing is what a lot of us talk about (and may be initially drawn to it for) but for me all the intangible benefits far outweigh the financial ones.

    If your business has some traction and you're looking to accelerate the next level it's definitely worth checking out.

  5. 2

    Hey there - Getting a 500 internal server error on your submittable sign up. Might be a short term error, so I will keep checking but figured you would want to know.

    1. 1

      Yep, it's Submittable: https://twitter.com/submittable/status/1350099672635830273

      Apologies for that! They indicated it'll be back up soon.

  6. 1

    I wonder if the requirement is still for a US LLC and/or bank account to be considered for the shortlist? I believe that was the case which disqualified us when we applied for the very first round.

    In any case - good luck to all applicants for round 3!

    1. 2

      Hey! We made our first non-US investment in our 2020 batch (ScrapingBee, which is a French corp.) We definitely want to do more, but it kind of depends on each individual country. We recommend folks to apply anyways, and if they're a good fit, we'll chat with them during the interview process to figure out the best path.

      In a lot of cases, it makes sense for non-US founders to reincorporate in the US anyways if they're thinking on getting more investment down the road. About 1/4 of our companies are non-US and chose to take this path. If that's not an option, we'll look into investing in the founders' country.

      We're very excited about continuing to expand out of the US. Hope this helps!

  7. 1

    Cool! I just applied with Portabella.

    Going full time on Portabella would be amazing, I can't tell you how frustrating it is only having a couple hours a day to work on it, so many ideas!

    I tweeted about this but my showers are never relaxed anymore 😅, I always come out with something to write down.

    1. 2

      Woohoo, looking forward to reviewing!

  8. 1

    I am working on remote team communication Saas. Tappy👈 Is certain number of MMR required to apply?

    1. 1

      No minimum required, but if you’re below about $500 MRR your chances of being accepted are much lower.

  9. 1

    Interesting offer. Let's give is a shot.

  10. 1

    Sounds nice! Good Luck finding the next unicorn ;)

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