If you are accepted into Bizdom, the startup that we help you to launch must be headquartered in either the city of Detroit or city of Cleveland, and the business must pay all applicable city taxes. If your startup is currently headquartered in another city or state, that is a-ok. We can help you to relocate it to Detroit or Cleveland if you are accepted into our program. We are serious about this, as we are focused on helping these cities to build a core of innovative technology companies.
The funding and launching of startups is not only about creating the next unicorn (Startup worth over $1 Billion), for many accelerators it’s about simply building a better local economy. I spoke with with the founder of an accelerator today in Cleveland that literally said he’d prefer to invest $5K in four companies vs. $20K in one because four companies was more likely to create more local jobs. It’s important to understand what the main driver is for the accelerator applying for to make sure it’s a fit for you.
When I spoke with the folks at NMotion in Lincoln Nebraska they were very vocal about the fact that they are fine if the startups they help launch end up going elsewhere. Their primary focus is on showing that you can create a successful startup in Nebraska. Lincoln has an unemployment rate at around 2.5% and is not hurting economically. They’re motivation isn’t so much to boost the economy as it is to simply let people know Lincoln exists.
On the other hand speaking with accelerator people in Cleveland Ohio today they are are very focused on improving the local economy. Having a startup jet in for 3 months, and then bounce out is not their goal. They want startups to stick around and help rebuild Cleveland. To this end Bizdom’s rules for their accelerator is that you have to move your startups HQ officially to Cleveland.
When you’re thinking about applying for an accelerator this is something you really have to consider. Accelerators with no location rules make your life more flexible, whereas accelerators with location rules may end up giving you much more support. This is the type of thing you have to think about before you decide on the accelerator you’ll accept.