Welcome to the Screening Party Home Page!
Congrats on making it to Round 3!
What is it? It's an in-person interview with a group of 3-5 judges for 8 minutes, 2 times. It's a fast-paced way for community members and mentors to learn more about your customers, product, services, market, goals, etc. Follow the steps below to get registered and we hope to see you here in a week!
Step 0 - Pick ONE delegate to attend the required Screening Party on April 10th at VVHub at 4:30 PM EST.
Step 1 - Your delegate registers to participate in the Screening Party.
(Below all the tickets, you will see “Have an access code?” in very light grey letters. Click that, enter summer and complete your registration.)
We strongly encourage all Round 3 applicants to come to the in-person Screening Party. If no member of your team is able to represent you, in person, for very compelling reasons (someone would need to get on an airplane or you are getting married that evening), then fill email Carly to request a video conferencing interview.
Anyone who does not register by the deadline is disqualified.
Step 2 - Review your peer feedback:
Find out where you communicated clearly and where you did not. Judges will likely ask questions about your customers, product, services, market, goals, etc. Know/hone your answers to these basic fundamental questions to make time for more in depth interesting questions. We recommend the following:
Create and memorize a 30-second elevator pitch that you will use to start your in-person interviews. You can use this template if you need some help. This is a casual, speed-dating type event. Slides are strongly discouraged. Bring a prototype if you’d like, but remember that your pitch is 30 SECONDS.
Be ready to answer questions relating to the interview criteria (listed in Step 3). Practice giving short, succinct answers because time is precious!
Be on time, be open and ready to talk about and explain your startup, your team and your goals - repeatedly!
Step 3 - Review the Screening Party Interview Ballot:
The judges will have a series of 5 questions on their ballot. They will ask you specific questions (though not necessarily the ones below!) to find out how to rate you on a scale of 0-10 to answer the following:
Commitment: Founder(s) have invested significant personal time and energy into entrepreneurship.
Suggested Questions: What percent (%) of your time (outside of school / work) do you spend on developing your ideas? How do you spend that time?
Team/Founder: Has skills, expertise and passion to take startup to next level.
Suggested Questions: Tell us about the people on your team that have: technical skills to create the product, business skills and relationships to sell it, and attention to detail to keep it all running?
Startup: The startup has clearly articulated their product or service.
Suggested Questions: What differentiates your product/service from what exists already? Who are your competitors? How is your product/service superior?
Scale: This startup can scale beyond a traditional small business or professional services firm.
Suggested Questions: How do you intend to scale beyond a small business or professional services firm?
Overall: I think this team/founder should be in the program. (We’re looking for startups that are coachable!)
Suggested Questions: Tell us about a time you were given feedback and how you implemented it.
Step 4 - The Screening Party!
Delegates are required to arrive at 4:30 PM EST at VVHub for check in, group assignments, and instructions.
You will receive instructions on what to do and when, plus you get to meet the other startups!
The first part of the evening (from 5:00-6:15pm) is a Showcase of our current Startup Accelerator cohort. It is highly recommend that you interact with the startups that are there!
Mentors will be given instructions at 6:30pm as we transition into the Screening Party.
When the sreening Party begins - each startup will have 8 minutes Q&A with 2 groups of judges. Format will be casual, seated in a circle, no slides, etc.
Why only one person per startup?
Crowd control and focus. This event has a lot of people, moving parts and a lot at stake. Having only one delegate per team during this process will allow for more focus on answers and less on people logistics. Thank you for your cooperation.
What do I bring?
Yourself! Slides are discouraged. If you’d like to bring a prototype, you can, but your pitch is very short.
What do I wear?
Business casual is always best. The VVHub varies in temperature at times - consider wearing layers (blouse + cardigan / button up + casual jacket). Flat shoes are appropriate, as you will be moving around for the first part of the night.
How long is the event?
The Startup Accelerator Showcase will run from 5pm - 6:15pm. The Auditorium will be cleared so that staff may move furniture. At 6:30, startups and mentors will be brought back into the auditorium, given quick instruction, and asked to sit. We will wrap up no later than 8pm.
Where do I park?
We recommend parking on the street. Both Bridge St and Worthington St are very close. Parking is 50 cents per hour, until 6pm. After 6pm, parking is free.
What if I can’t make it?
Email Carly immediately to schedule a Zoom call with VVM & UMass staff.
Have additional questions? Email Carly.
Please include your company name!