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Digital Incubator Programme Experience

Sara Essa Seeking Cofounder for Sustainability Tech

Last updated on October 16th, 2020

Within one week, I was offered and rescinded a place and then a scholarship on an incubator programme focused on women in digital tech and supported by a syndicate of female Angels mostly Silicon Valley based. They have rescinded the offer for not responding and signing terms quick enough - I hadn't had a chance to read through the contracts and terms due to being on calls all week and was planning to spend time doing so this weekend. Has anyone else experienced something like this? Seems counter-intuitive to support female founders?

Sara Essa Seeking Cofounder for Sustainability Tech

October 17th, 2020

Sorry Paul, I am not sure I articulated well enough. I was in regularly contact with them. I accepted the offer immediately, signed the NDA as soon as it came through however then a document came through regarding equity and I wanted more time to read through that before signing, she gave me a few hours however all this back and forth meant over the week there were times where they were waiting for me to respond. The programme is in its very early stages, I believe this is its second cohort so I am not too despondent about it, I just think the experience is poor particular if they are focused on elevating females - more consideration should be taken into what they are juggling or what may be the barriers to them having as much opportunity, and perhaps this one!

Steve Lehman Investor, Entrepreneur

October 16th, 2020

HI Sara, Seems a little punitive. Having said that, as an entrepreneur you need to be able to respond in a timely manner to offers, particularly with a sponsorship opportunity. You may want to send them an e-mail directly about obligations you had that precluded you from acting immediately with reared to the opportunity. They may not care. Because they've rescinded the scholarship, you now need a passionate plea to try to get back in their good graces. Stay diligent, e-mail them often, and show them that you really want this. Good luck!

Richard Beauchamp Cofounder

October 17th, 2020

Hi Sara, I know this is off subject, but I thought you might be interested in a climate-emergency accelerator program in Cambridge, UK where I'm currently a participant:

Program leaders are responsive, experienced entrepreneurs. Accepting applications for a new cohort now.

Sara Essa Seeking Cofounder for Sustainability Tech

October 20th, 2020

Richard, thank you so much for bringing my attention to this!

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business advisor

October 17th, 2020

It sounds like you didn't make an effort to set expectations. If you didn't respond at all, they were well within rights to assume you weren't interested. If you notified them you had specific obligations and would be able to return a well-considered response by a certain date and they rejected your timeline, it's a different story. Frankly, this one is on you. Offers aren't casual (unless it was a scam), and you need to give them your full attention promptly to show you appreciate the attention you received. If that means postponing some other stuff or staying up late, then you do it. I'd have interpreted a non-response for a week as lack of interest too and walked away. You may have been on calls all week, but that's poor planning on your part. What were you doing after work hours? If it was a legitimate opportunity, I'm sorry you missed out. Did you apply in the first place or did they approach you unprompted?

People make time for the things that are important to them. "I'm busy" is not an excuse and really means "it's not a priority for me." If you didn't make time, it was perceived as unimportant to you and they were right to withdraw if you didn't reset their expectations.