Photo: a midemlab 2012 pitch
His company has invested in Spotify, Mind Candy/Moshi Monsters, Wonga and more. So Accel Partners’ Max Niederhofer couldn’t be better placed to judge next midemlab’s startups. How can you get his attention? Read on…
midemblog: What qualities do you look for in a startup ?
Max Niederhofer: The 3 T’s: team, technology & traction. When an outstanding founding team comes up with an innovation or invention and meets a market that is burning for the product – that’s a beautiful thing.
> Which startup has most impressed you of late and why?
I obviously cannot comment on ongoing investment conversations. You can bet that the startups that have most impressed me are going to get funded by Accel! However there are plenty of impressive startups in our portfolio: companies like Spotify, Wonga, Mind Candy (Moshi Monsters) all have managed to build amazing companies with strong cultures. It is a joy to use their products and see them work.
> What are the most common reasons why startups fail?
The most common reason is that they run out of cash! But seriously – the startups that fail all do not get to a point that is commonly called “product-market fit.” This means that whatever they are developing is not wanted by the market – maybe they misjudged the need, or their product is not good enough, or they didn’t bring it to the market in the right way. Financing by Accel is one of the ways to increase your “runway”, or the time to reach product-market fit and, once you have reached it, to scale the business with us as financing partners.
Find out more about midemlab — and submit your company — here! Submission deadline: October 31.