Frequently Asked Questions

Dying to know all the details? Read our FAQ, or better yet, memorize it. Go ahead, we’ll wait.

Overview

How much funding do Nex Cubed companies receive?

We have the following standard terms: $25,000 in exchange for 6% common stock. In exceptional cases, we may deviate from this, but for the majority of the time, these are the standard terms.

What benefits do you provide in addition to the standard funding terms?

  • Access to Nex Cubed resources for life
  • Acceleration in a 4 month Nex Cubed cohort that features high-touch, customized, hands-on mentorship from Nex Cubed and it’s team, mentors, and advisors
  • Connections to the Nex Cubed Global Network
  • Exclusive perks from software companies, services providers, and industry experts, worth over $100k
  • Office space for four months in the heart of downtown San Francisco’s Financial District
  • Access to our investor network, including personal introductions (where appropriate) for life
  • Exclusive access to the GAN discounts and upgrades from more than 50 top providers as well as connections to the world’s most respected accelerators and organizations in support of the startup industry.
Application Process

Who can apply?

Anyone building a company focused on frontier tech, however you must have at least one human being on your team (ie one human and one sentient AI would suffice).

What is the deadline to apply?

The Nex Cubed application is always open.

Who reviews my application?

Applications are reviewed by Nex Cubed founders and members of our selection committee (founders, investors, mentors and advisors).

When will I hear back about my application?

We try our best to notify applicants at least three weeks before the program starts. Notification of your application status depends on the availability of partners and the time they need to read and review the applications. Additionally, our partners are busy helping the startups within our network, so it might take anywhere from a few of days, to a few weeks before you’ll get a reply. Patience. If you haven’t heard from us, it’s because we haven’t finished reviewing your application yet. Everyone who applies will get notification from us, nothing slips through the cracks.

Will you provide feedback/advice to companies that apply?

Yes, you’ve taken the time to apply, we’ve taken the time to review, so it’s only fair we let you know either why we selected you, or why you were not selected. You read that correctly. Regardless of the outcome, every company that applies is offered customized advice & feedback on their specific company.

Do I need to send in a business plan?

No. Just complete the online application. That’s all we ask of you. We make our decisions based on the application responses and personal interviews. We love demos, but we don’t think business plans are an accurate predictor of future success.

If I apply, will you protect my intellectual property. Will you sign an NDA?

We’re not here to steal ideas, but to foster them. We treat application data as highly confidential information and don’t share it with anyone outside of the application process. But the reality is that we see a lot of applications and many of them include similar ideas. For this and other practical reasons, we don’t sign NDA’s.

Can I stop by your office to see the space and meet you?

Sure, but make an appointment first. Please don’t stop by our offices without an appointment. We are happy to work with scheduling an appointment, so please reach out to us.

About the Program

What is the program duration and key dates?

Each program is 4 months in duration.

How many companies are part of each program?

We try to keep the cohort size to around five startups per program. This allows us to provide customized support to all companies for the duration of the program.

How many programs do you run a year?

We currently have two programs a year, Spring and Fall. In the future this may be increased to three. Spring, Summer, and Fall.

Can my company work with Nex Cubed more than once?

Yes. We love when this happens. Startups can graduate from a cohort in an early phase and then go on to be accepted to a subsequent cohort at a later phase. It depends on a number of factors including the product/service, the market, the cohort focus and the overall business strategy.

Do I have to be in the Nex Cubed location for the entire 4 month period?

Yes. We require that you be based on site during your cohort program. The reason being is that this allows you to fully take advantage of the numerous learning opportunities, networking and mentoring that will be provided. We’ve engineered the cohort programs to benefit from each other’s presence, “structural osmosis” as we like to call it. Plus you don’t want to miss the ad hoc aspect of the program – other founders, mentors, and advisors that drop by the office regularly. This is a serious program and a major commitment, we expect you to be around most of the time. Treat it as you would any other graduate program (ie medical school, law school, MBA). We believe there is a great deal of value in being in the space together as a cohort, the interaction makes for opportunity.

Can I apply if our company or founders are not from the US?

Yes. As stated before, we only require one human being to be on the team. That human can be from any anywhere. We don’t discriminate based on the city, state, country, continent, planet, system, or galaxy. Anyone from anywhere can apply. The caveat being, you have to be legally in the U.S. during the program.

Do we have to be US citizens?

No, as long as you can show up and stay for at least four months.

Can you get us visas?

No. We don’t like to get involved with visas. With that said, we have can connect you with foreign founders, who can perhaps give you advice. We can also connect you with immigration lawyers.

Criteria For Selection

What kind of companies do you fund?

Nex Cubed is a theme-focused, cohort-based program, meaning we select a different technology theme for each program. Our technology themes fall within frontier technology such as drones, robotics, AR/VR. The focus for the Spring and Fall 2017 programs is Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. We typically fund technology oriented companies that are software/web-based. Our search criteria focuses on companies that can expand nationally and eventually globally. While our cohort focus changes with each class, we will not fund the following companies: biotechnology companies, consultancies, or other local service oriented companies.

Do you fund companies that are competitive with each other?

We try our best to avoid accepting competitive companies into the same cohort. However, given the technology-focused, thematic approach to each cohort, our startups will share underlying aspects of their business (ie artificial intelligence focused startups). Additionally, it’s entirely possible that cohort over cohort, there may be competitive companies in the broader Nex Cubed network. Regardless of the overlap or competitive nature between startups, we work to ensure there is never an exchange of sensitive data. In reality, don’t believe this will be a problem. Most markets are big enough for several slightly different solutions, and it’s unlikely that two startups would do precisely the same thing.

How do you choose which companies to accept into the program?

First and foremost we’re looking for high-performing teams who are taking on really hard problems with lasting impact. We expect founders to be able to clearly define the problem, understand how big it is, and understand the risks involved. But beyond this, the key for us is the team. We want teams that are diverse (ie well rounded teams with business, technical, and other necessary skill sets) with a proven ability to execute

How do you evaluate teams?

We typically look for four key areas when it comes to evaluating teams:

  1. Does the team have a strong passion and commitment?
  2. How does the team work together and what are the team dynamics?
  3. Is it clear the team has the ability to execute?
  4. Does the team have a willingness to learn?

I’m a single founder, is this a problem?

We don’t filter out applications with single founders, however the chances of being accepted are much lower, especially if you’re a non-technical founder. As mentioned earlier, we are looking for well balanced teams who have a full range of skills. Our advice for single founders thinking about the program, is to actively seek out a co-founder who can balance your skillset. Single-person startups are tough and you’re more likely to succeed with a co founder.

I’m a single founder. How can I find a co-founder?

We believe it’s better to find a co-founder yourself than to be matched with one. Entrepreneurship is hard, and manufactured teams created for the purpose of starting a startup usually don’t work out. You need some a personal connection and a strong understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

Is my company too old/too young for Nex Cubed?

No. In fact the unique aspect of Nex Cubed is that we work at the very early stages, before the technology even exists, all the way through to mature companies. We admit first-time founders, later-stage companies, and multi-exit entrepreneurs. We support all industries, ranging from healthcare, finance, government, consumer/retail, ecommerce, and enterprise. Nex Cubed is designed for companies of all stages, whether at an initial prototype or raised Series C+.

Founders

I am an experienced founder/later stage company. How can I benefit from the Nex Cubed program?

Experienced founders are placed with a founder peer group (other founders who are either at, or have belonged to the same stage/role/industry, as yourself). Add to this, programs targeted at strategy, velocity, scale, and liquidity are designed to help accelerate your market velocity by cost-effectively scaling your operational and commercial capacity. We can help provide entrepreneurs with all of the SG&A capabilities they need, when they need them, with economics they can afford. Reach out to us and we can tell you more.

We've already been working on our startup for a while. Is Nex Cubed a good fit for us?

We’ve worked with a lot of startups who have been building their product and company, long before they came to us. Our program is stage agnostic. Through our Lifecycle Growth Management approach we can facilitate progress through each and every phase of a startup’s maturation – from inception through to liquidity. Nex Cubed is unique in its breadth and depth of solutions, allowing you to leverage the most appropriate tool at the right time to seamlessly manage your trajectory.

What are the Benefits?

What does Nex Cubed provide beyond financing?

We offer strategic and tactical help and resources. Our network of mentors, investors, and industry experts are designed to support you at every stage of your process. We customize our programs based on your team, technology, and stage.

  • Co-Working Office Space: Nex Cubed provides a great co-working space complete with meeting rooms and common areas. We have an amazing office in the heart of downtown San Francisco’s Financial district. You’ll work closely with those in your cohort, in an environment where everyone offers help, advice, encouragement, and support to help each other succeed. We have no doubts that some of the most important relationships you’ll develop, will be with your cohorts.
  • Mentorship: We pride ourselves on providing access to knowledgeable mentors. Founders have full access the partners, experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and other individuals in our network.
  • GAN: As a member of the Global Accelerator Network, Nex Cubed startups will have the opportunity to connect with dozens of other accelerators around the world as well as exclusive access to a wealth of resources.
  • Events: We host numerous events, talks, seminars and fireside chats. Our speakers include leading experts on important topics such as go-to-market strategy, growth, design, data, fundraising, and more.
  • Alumni Network: The Nex Cubed Startups network consists of a wide range of existing and former founders, mentors, investors, and industry experts. They represent diverse backgrounds, thought leadership, areas of expertise, and locations – not just Silicon Valley and the US, but also Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
  • Growth and GTM: We have in-house experts that are focused entirely on your growth. We apply our proven method to develop an implementation plan for a completely integrated go-to-market strategy, tying together your business model, sales channel strategy, marketing program, and service delivery approach.
  • Brand and PR: Nex Cubed draws an impressive network, ranging from investors, strategic corporates, platform partners, and press. We always feature our companies at our branded events, which provides great exposure and visibility.
  • Culture: The culture we’ve cultivated over the years centers on collaboration, creativity, risk-taking, learning from failure, being open and transparent, and moving fast.
Financing

We've already taken in funding. Can we still apply?

Yes. Whether it’s friends and family, or series C, we work with startups regardless of their funding history.

We don't really need the money, should we still apply?

Many of the startups we worked with don’t need money. The financial component is a small piece of what we do. For some startups we work with, it’s a necessity, and for others, it’s simply a nice-to-have.

What if we're doing something that will take a long time (ie expensive)?

Go ahead and apply. Even if you’re building something that will take time, we’ll still fund you. The goals for the program may change for your company in particular, depending on what stage you’re at (ie the goal might be a proof of concept, versus an MVP)

Why does Nex Cubed want stock in my new company?

We want alignment, and we want a return on our investment of time and resources. Most importantly, we don’t want to waste your time, and we hope you feel the same with us. Capitalism works best where there is an exchange of competitive advantages. We know we can’t compete with the tenacity, drive, and groundbreaking potential of your business. That’s valuable, and that’s your unique advantage. At the same time, we think that the value of the learning, networking, and mentoring provided by the Nex Cubed program is of tremendous value. And our years of experience and extended network is our advantage. The Nex Cubed program will provide you with the greatest possible starting position, while significantly improving your startup’s chances for growth and sustainability. We’re aligned to help your company succeed by working with you around key business functions and introducing you to our network to help with hiring, growth, financing, and eventually an exit. We think that’s a good trade for both of us, and one we’re happy to make.