What is DayOne?

DayOne is a 6-week founder program run by Genesis Ventures for startups that want to get their first institutional investment and scale globally. Each cohort accepts approx. 8-12 teams.

Who runs DayOne?

DayOne is run by Genesis Ventures (GV). GV is an angel co-investment fund providing pre-seed capital and hands-on support to early-stage founders in Greece, Europe, and the Greek diaspora. Genesis’ founding partners are experienced operators and investors with extensive international experience and networks. The fund is backed by the European Investment Fund and leading angel investors, primarily previous successful founders and family offices. We invest in technology startups with strong and visionary founding teams, solving real and difficult problems and operating in large and growing markets. We invest in the concept, pre-seed, and seed stages and partner with angel investors who co-invest with us in every deal.

What type of teams are you looking for?

We are looking for concept and pre-seed startups with founding teams who have either quit or plan to quit their job and go full-time into their startup. Specifically, we are looking for the following traits:

  • A strong team with highly capable and ambitious founders with complementary skills (e.g., business and tech), great chemistry, and a get-shit-done-fast mindset. The team shall ideally be 2-4 people and be committed to working full-time on their startup upon completion of the program, if not already.
  • A business/product with the potential for rapid growth. We are agnostic regarding the sector, business model, or technology used.

You can enter the accelerator with or without a product or revenue.

Here are 3 teams from the cohorts to date that have received an investment.

  • MyTeam (announcement here), a company building a CRM that helps sports clubs/academies and their communities optimise their day-to-day processes. MyTeam has also completed an up-round with the participation of Eleven Ventures (announcement).
  • ProgressiveRobotics (announcement here), a company building smarter robots for the production industry.
  • UniStudents (announcement here), a company building a connection between university students and the job market.

I am an aspiring founder in search of a team. Can I apply?

Individual, aspiring founders in search of a founding team may apply to enter our venture-building community. If and when you form a team (find one or more co-founders) while in this community, you can enter the accelerator or get assessed for a ticket from Genesis Ventures. Individuals may express interest here.

What is the structure of the program?

The program has two phases:

Foundation (one week): This is an intensive week, full-time and in-person, where you will be involved in hands-on activities, workshops, community building, and get inspired by successful founders. We want all members of the founding team to be present in the first week.

Building (5 weeks). This part of the program runs for five weeks and is part-time, runs online, and consists of the following:

  • Office hours with your dedicated coach, where there is a checkpoint on the team’s goals
  • Town-hall meetings, where all teams get together to share their progress, learnings, and ask each other for feedback and help.
  • “Meet the founders” sessions, where teams come in contact with experienced and successful founders.
  • Workshops on specific topics such as growth marketing, customer discovery & validation, building your product, presenting effectively, fundraising, building your team & culture, putting together your tech stack, UI/UX, and others.

During the execution phase, the team will set specific goals - jointly with their dedicated coach - and focus on hitting those.

That’s all great, but will I get any investment?

Yes, this program is designed to help teams get their first institutional investment. The ticket is €150,000 for 12.5% equity in your company (at an implied post-money valuation of €1,200,000). Of this, €100000 comes from Genesis Ventures and another €50,000 from private business angels, who may come from the Genesis network (family offices, experienced founders, and industry veterans) or your personal network.

Further investment may occur depending on your team’s progress after the program.

NB! Your participation in DayOne does not guarantee investment in your company. We would love to fund all teams participating in our program; however, investment is always subject to certain prerequisites before passing the Investment Committee (consisting of the Genesis Partners).

When will I see the money?

In order for a startup team to receive the first ticket of €150,000, you‘ll need to:

  • pass our Investment Committee (the criteria can be found here),
  • secure the aforementioned private business angel funding,
  • quit your job and go full-time on the startup (if you haven’t already done so),
  • set up a legal entity in Greece (your HQ can be anywhere, as long as there is an entity in Greece)

All the above may happen as early as your team’s admission to the program or as late as the last day of the program.

After that, we have the option to follow on later rounds of investment (seed, series A, etc.) led by other (later-stage) VCs.

What else will I get out of this?

Besides the investment, you will get the following out of DayOne:

  • You will build a stronger company, faster. You will get help in building/completing your founding team; coaching and office hours by ex-founders, company builders, domain experts, and experienced investors; masterclasses and other content; and feedback from your peers. All this will challenge your business/product to its core.
  • You will get on the VC path. We will help you fundraise post-Genesis, connecting you with later-stage VCs, and making introductions to potential hires, potential customers, etc.

What is the entry process like?

The entry process (end-to-end) will take around an hour of your time and consists of the following steps:

  • Express interest through the online application form (8 min)
  • An online interview (around 30 min): you‘ll meet online with the Genesis Ventures team

After that, you will get a decision on whether you are admitted to the program

What about founders who do not permanently live in Greece?

We accept teams that are headquartered anywhere in the world.

What happens after the program?

Companies that have received an investment will continue benefiting from a) coaching support (idea validation, product development, go-to-market strategy, fundraising, hiring, and other crucial areas for early-stage founders), b) connections to angel investors, later-stage VCs, enterprise customers, etc., and c) potential follow-on investment. Also, all teams, regardless of whether they received investment or not, shall remain part of the DayOne community of founders.

Can my team be kicked out of the program?

Yes, if the team is not making sufficient progress, or a participant does not behave like a team player and/or does not respect the community’s code of conduct, they can be kicked out of the program. In any case, there will be a warning first.

Can the founders be part-time on their startup?

DayOne accepts teams with both full-time and part-time founders. However, teams are not eligible to receive an investment until they go full-time on the startup.

Why an initial €150,000 ticket?

€150,000 will get you 12-18 months of runway for 2-3 people. Done right, this buys you enough time to validate your hypothesis and find your next investor.

Why 12.5% equity?

A 12.5% equity puts the company's value at €1.2 million post-money valuation, which is fair for a company that’s just starting. More importantly, it doesn’t dilute you, the founding team, excessively, to make it prohibitive for subsequent investors to enter.

Should we have a formed company to enter the program?

No, you can be admitted to the program without having a legal entity formed. Having said that, a legal entity in Greece will need to be set up before a team receives an investment by Genesis.

Is there a participation fee?

Yes, in the case you receive investment from Genesis Ventures and angels you will be charged 5% of the total ticket size as a program fee. You will not be charged on any angel investment sourced from your own network.

Express your interest