Want Money From Tech Wildcatters? Have a Solid Business Plan


Tech Wildcatters has upped the stakes for startups that want to get their hands on money.

The Dallas tech accelerator will take in about 100 startups in 2016—usually they take in about 20 per year, according to the Dallas Morning News.

But startups better have a solid business plan.

For the first time, Tech Wildcatters will put its companies through a gauntlet where they must meet certain requirements or hit milestones before getting any investment.

The old system gave $25,000 to all the companies in exchange for 8 percent equity, according to Fast Company. Now, the process is “gamified” with five levels that companies have to reach if they want to get investment dollars.

They could get as much as $30,000 spread out over those levels with a top prize of an additional $100,000 for the best company, Clarisa Lindenmeyer, the chief revenue officer with Tech Wildcatters told Fast Company.

Molly Cain, executive director of Tech Wildcatters, said it all with the sticker on her laptop: “doing>talking.” The days of all startups getting the same investment whether they goof off or genuinely work hard are over, she said.

In true capitalistic form, there’s a competition for the limited dollars and only the best-run companies will get through “The Gauntlet.”


Basically, it flips the tech accelerator model upside down, taking a very different approach.

Gabriella Draney, CEO of Tech Wildcatters, told the Dallas Business Journal that this will separate the winning startups from the struggling ones much faster.

“We’ve really changed everything,” Draney said. “It’s totally from scratch.”

Seven companies have already fallen out since February.

Jim Janicki, CEO and president of SigmaFlow, a software company in Plano, told the Dallas Morning News that he had stopped investing because he was disappointed in some of the companies.

Now, he’s back in.

“Now, you’re wasting your own time,” he said. “You’re not wasting my money.”

The current class has 21 companies, including 13 from North Texas.

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