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Startup FAQ

FAQ for Startups/Entrepreneurs

How do I get involved?

Visit the Startup America Partnership website. There you will find a Startups/ Entrepreneurs questionnaire that Palindrome has prepared in order to (1) gauge your successful candidacy for the program, and (2) help determine which advisor will be the best suitable for you. These questions are critical in helping us so please answer them thoughtfully and carefully, but don’t forget to let your creativity shine through! 

Are there any barriers to entry? How can I make myself more competitive?

We only ask that your enterprise be officially incorporated and with financing no greater than 1m dollars. While we will consider all applications, in order to keep consistent with our core vision of philanthropy, we will strive to seek out underrepresented entrepreneurs by age, ethnicity, gender, and disability.  Other than that, there is no one perfect formula; just make your application as compelling as possible.

When should I expect to hear back regarding my applications status after I have submitted it? If I have been approved, how long does it take until my advisor is on deck?

Engagement may differ with each potential board member. The “Palindrome Startups” program will start by pairing a young enterprise with an existing Palindrome Advisor as a mentor. . If the Advisor-Startup relationship grows into a formal board seat, one hundred percent of all equity or other compensation received will be donated to Palindrome’s Nonprofit Partners. We hope to start off by sending the potential board member information about your startup. We will then set up a phone call or an in person meeting with the primary contact at your nonprofit. Generally, we would expect our advisors to be willing to start as soon as possible. They are that excited!

How much say will I have in choosing my advisor? 

While the match is solely at our discretion, you will decide if our recommended advisor whether or not the fit is right. We wholeheartedly believe in our matching process and will send you a matching “rationale” introducing you (the startup) to the Palindrome advisor and listing out the reasons we believe the advisor is “the one” for you. We’ll be doing the same thing with the advisor.  Prior to any formal board acceptance, both parties will have to accept the blind match, then there will be a set of mutual interviews and meetings between you and the advisor. There is then a “probationary period” throughout which either party may elect not to move forward.

What occurs if I am unhappy with my match advisor or if the partnership is not working out?

We sincerely hope that is not the case because we put a lot of time and effort into the matching process and incorporate information about each individual and enterprise beyond just the information you provide us. However, we understand that mistakes can happen. If it is challenging for you to engage with your board member at the level you desired and the level we guaranteed, please get in touch with us so we can intervene and figure out how to solve the problem. If after several interventions, the problem is not resolved, we will pair you up with a new board member.

Beyond being a member of my board, what else can/ will my advisor do to help ensure my success?

The board engagement initiative is only a means by which we guarantee structure. Your advisor is at your disposal to guide you on the specifics of running and leading a successful startup. You can utilize this guidance and talent in a variety of ways: networking, operational management, advice, training, financial expertise, introductions to VC’s, etc. Palindrome will also host “best practices” sessions where we will go over how best to make use of the advisor-entrepreneur relationship.

Can the existing advisors equally balance their time and resources to both a non-profit board and a for-profit board?

Yes! We have an extensive screening process to ensure that our advisors are the best and most capable minds in the business with a degree of acumen and knowledge to work on both boards effectively.

As an organization, Palindrome Advisors is more knowledgeable about the non-profit sector. Can they be expected to have sufficient knowledge about the private sector in order to effectively bridge the link between start-ups and advisors?

We provide the medium—that is the bridge between start-ups and industry leaders. We will work effectively to manage communications and initial expectations and provide an open arena for information exchange, but for the relationship to work, much of the legwork will need to be done by and between the two parties involved. That being said, Palindrome Advisors was founded by a group of seasoned entrepreneurs who have all run their own start-ups as young entrepreneurs. We are available for any guidance or support beyond your advisor relationship.

After a match has been terminated after one year, I move on to a different match? Can the relationship persist outside of the formal program?  

Absolutely. Our goal is to facilitate these relationships for you. If your advisor relationship has been critical to your success and you want it to persist outside of the formal program, please contact us (startups@palindromeadvisors.org). Our advisors have committed to donate all equity or cash received while serving on your board to their nonprofit partner.

Will I have any other communications or relationships with the Startup America team and/or programs? If so, how?

Yes. Startup America is an initiative that attempts to foster entrepreneurship and innovation. Collaboration is critical to the success of creating new jobs in America and kick-starting the economy. There will be a number of co-sponsored events that you can attend as a program participant. Palindrome Advisors also hosts a Young Entrepreneurs Boot camp and a Thought Leaders Round table during the year.