How does the coaching work?
Roll calls. Every Monday morning, all Sting companies gather for a 30-minute weekly roll call to share their progress, challenges, experiences and contacts.
Workshops. On Mondays and Tuesday, there are workshops hosted by Sting or by external experts covering a wide range of business topics.
Investor of the Week. Once a week, a venture capital investor joins us for a brief introduction of their company and investment philosophy, and he or she is available for one-to-one meetings.
And more. Additional workshops, talks, community events and investor meetings are also available throughout the semester.
Individual coaching. If you’re in the Incubate program, you have a meeting with your coach for up to 4 hours every week. In the Accelerate program, you have weekly meetings with your coaches for up to 2 hours.
Sting coaches. The coaches are closely involved in all major developments and always know your status in important activities such as sales, financing, marketing, product development, recruitments, etc. You can also schedule meetings with other coaches on the Sting team when you need their input.
Expert coaches. In addition to the coaches at Sting, you get access to external experts in specific niche areas. You get 30 hours to spend with them, divided however you want, and get CTO coaching, metrics and analytics, product design (UX, UI), growth hacking and user acquisition, digital marketing strategies and much more.
Mentors. You also have access to mentors; experienced entrepreneurs and investors, with expertise in specific industry verticals, such as e-commerce and marketplaces.
Can we customize the program to fit our needs?
Yes! We customize the program to fit your needs and help you find solutions to your specific challenges.
Together with the coaches, you decide what to focus on in each sprint and select what resources you want to take advantage of. One great example is the 30 hours you get to spend on Sting’s external expert coaches to get support in specific niche areas. You choose how to divide the hours between the different coaches.
What coaching methods do you use?
Our coaching approach is best characterized as “lean” and iterative. The main methods and tools are “Lean Startup” and “Lean Canvas”.
We believe in “fail fast, fail forward”. Dare to try things that don’t work perfectly! Create a prototype (MVP), measure user behavior and compare results to quickly move toward the operation and business models that work. Speed is key.
Our coaching is always based on “pull” rather than “push”, i.e. rather than telling you what we think you should do, it’s the coach’s job to help you find the answer and decide what is the best way forward, the right focus and priorities etc. You are always in the driver’s seat.
How long is the program and what time commitment is expected?
Participants are expected to spend the majority of their time on location in order to enjoy the full benefits of the program. N.B. Due to the ongoing Corona pandemic, the vast majority of the coaching is currently moved online.
The Incubate program runs for 6-12 months.
The Incubate Deeptech program is 6-24 months long.
The Accelerate program runs for 4 months.
Do I pay for Sting’s services?
We have a “success fee” model in the form of stock warrants to Sting, but we don’t charge a cash fee.
The warrant for the Incubate program corresponds to up to 5 % of the shares for 12 months of participation in the program; 3 % for the first 6 months and 2% for the next 6 months.
The warrant for the Incubate Deeptech program corresponds to 6% of the shares for 24 months of participation in the program; 2% for the first 6 months, 2% for the next 6 months, and thereafter 1% for each of the following 6 month-segments. You can choose how long you want to participate in the program.
The warrant for the Accelerate program corresponds to 2 % of the shares for participation in the program.
The warrant (and the corresponding shares if Sting has exercised the warrant) will be diluted when you, the company, raises capital. When the company grows and the founders potentially sell the company, Sting also gets paid if Sting decides to sell the shares. If Sting does not subscribe for the shares from the warrants, a cash payment will be paid to Sting at of minimum of 5 000 EUR.
Funding from Propel Capital is separate from this warrant.
How many office places do we get?
Up to 5 team members per startup may have flex seats at the Sting office in A house. Fixed seats, i.e. desks where you may put and leave a computer screen, cannot be guaranteed. On a demand/availability basis, Sting can allocate up to 2 fixed seats per startup.
Will our IP be protected?
We treat the proprietary information our companies share with us with 100 percent confidentiality, whether they declared it as confidential or not. We could not do what we do if we didn’t.
We don’t sign NDAs because we meet so many cases that it would be impossible to keep track of all the NDAs and the related information.
We are used to handling confidential information and never share anything about our companies without their consent. Sting’s success comes and ends with our companies’ success, and we cannot afford to be sloppy.