Why is Hotbed free?

Good question.

We're building Hotbed to be the place the best founders worldwide come to build their startups.

We don't want just the best founders who can afford it, we just want brilliant, talented people building something interesting and important.

We're exceptionally fortunate to have incredible partners who make it possible for us to provide Hotbed to founders for free. Read more about how our partnerships work below.

We have additional plans to monetise our startup support, but that's at least 12 months out. And regardless, we'll still always have free support available and easy ways to supplement costs to ensure we stay aligned with our mission.

Please note, we do require startups to offer us the right to invest in a later round. More info on this below :)

Tell us about Hotbed's partners.

We take partnerships incredibly seriously and would never partner with a company we do not personally use and love. In fact, we regularly turn down paid partnerships where the products just aren't at the standard that we feel comfortable introducing to our community, or charge too high of fees to founders.

Our partners are really hands on, meaning you can always access them when you have questions about their products or need a bit of help.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our partners, reach out to us at margaretanne @ thehotbed.co

I think I knew you before at Spice Startups. Are you connected?

Yes! Spice Startups is our sister company.

If you've participated in programmes at with Spice, you'll have a general idea of the types of programmes to expect.

You can read more about Spice here.

Can I meet investors?

Yes! More info will be provided in the coming weeks.

Who is hosting the sessions?

All workshops are led by experienced founders, domain experts and/or investors, and facilitated by members of the Hotbed Team. Often times, they are founders turned angels or VCs.

Is it all virtual?

Yes. The Hotbed Team is based in London, and we may have an informal meetup from time to time, or a final event based in London, but all content is delivered virtually.

Can you explain the "rights to invest" thing a bit more?

Hotbed is *free* for founders. We do not operate like a traditional accelerator (for a variety of reasons!). 

Over the past 18 months, we’ve worked with 1200+ founders and are now making arrangements to be able to back founders with capital as well.

Terms are outlined on the signup form. The signup form is not a legally binding agreement, we just want to make you aware. We'll send you additional information after you register, and you'll have the opportunity to opt-out.

I can't attend Workshop #X. Is that ok?

Short answer: yes.

Longer answer: You'll miss out on the ability to ask your specific questions, and connect with fellow founders. From our experience, a significant amount of the value comes from this part, so please do your best to join in live.

What happens during the peer-to-peer time?

You'll meet with a small group of peers to go over your wins and challenges in the week. We follow a structured format, which you'll learn more about during onboarding.

Can my co-founder join?

Yes. You'll receive directions on how your co-founder can sign up after you register.

What sector is the programme geared towards?

Startups in our cohorts tend to be B2B and B2C SaaS. That said, we typically have a number of DeepTech startups and consumer goods startup.

I'm really busy with my beta. Do I still have time to join the programme?

Yes, this programme is designed exactly for founders who are busy launching their beta :) The time requirement is typically around 2 hrs per week, and sessions are recorded so if you need to miss the occasional workshop for a meeting, that's manageable.

I'm just finishing my beta. Should I still join?

Yes. You'll learn how to extract the key learnings from your beta group and leverage these insights to attract investors, and iterate your product.

How will this help me with my beta?

The idea of the programme is to keep you focused on the metrics that matter whilst you're running your Beta, so you can get the maximum value out of it. Hear how other scaleups approached their beta, hear from investors what they want to see from betas, and share best practice and learnings on your experience with the 100+ other founders taking part in the programme.

Can you tell me more about the growth tracking part?

Each week, we'll ask you to report what progress you made across a few different categories. This is to make sure you're on track, and help you stay focused and accountable. Your Growth Tracking report should take less than 5 minutes each week.

We use the information you report for investor:founder intros at the end of the programme (where relevant) - you can opt out of the investor: founder intros if it's not right for you.

I'm located abroad. Can I still join?

Yes. Like we said, we're building Hotbed to be the number one place founders worldwide go to build their startup, so having international founders is key!

Please be sure to note this in your application. As we are expanding, we're looking at where will be the next home for our Hotbed team as we grow, so we want to know where members of our community are.

There are a few bits of content that may not be relevant to you (legal and accounting principles) but this should be quite minimal.

My startup sells to other startups. Not to be sales-y, but could I find potential users for my beta in the programmes?

We know this is pretty common that startups sell to other startups. To not kill Hotbed's #vibes, we have a strict no sales policy. That said, we have a designated space for you to share asks.

You'll also probably find that the most unexpected way of finding users is simply connecting with your fellow founders in the group chats and peer to peer sessions. We've had many startups find their first few customers in our community groups!

What if I have competitors in the cohort?

You choose what information you share during the peer-to-peer sessions so just refrain from sharing sensitive information if this is a concern of your's. That said, we've never had any issues with this before.

I've just participated in a different programme. Can I still join yours?

Of course. The programme is not a heavy time commitment, meaning it won't distract you from what you need to get done in order to grow your company.

How many founders take part in Hotbed programmes?

Our programmes are open to all, by application. We tend to have over 100 founders going through our programmes at any time. Don't worry, with virtual programmes this is totally normal, and we have experience breaking cohorts into smaller groups to ensure you get the most value from the content and community.