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Launch Factory

What is Launch Factory?

We are a startup studio with a unique pathway for launching successful startups. Unlike a traditional accelerator or startup studio, we don’t invest in existing companies. We build new startups from the ground up. We identify and rigorously vet ideas for our next startups, recruit talented entrepreneurs to launch these businesses, and then provide them with seed capital, advisors, and incubation tools.

We are delivering new levels of startup success by combining vetted ideas, talented founders, and purpose-driven incubation.

What makes Launch Factory Unique?

Unlike a traditional accelerator or startup studio, we don’t invest in existing startups. Our team identifies and develops vetted startup ideas that serve real customer needs. We then recruit teams of talented entrepreneurs to launch these new startups. We provide each new business with funding, salary, mentorship, incubation, and office space.

How does Launch Factory source business ideas and opportunities?

Launch Factory sources potential business opportunities with internal brainstorming sessions that identify market trends and uncover unmet customer needs. We also source ideas through university tech transfer offices, corporate spin-outs, and startup reboots.

How does Launch Factory recruit the future founders of its startups?

We invite entrepreneurs to take part in our Founders Recruitment Process. Candidates apply and are accepted into the process. Before beginning, candidates form a team with their co-founder and select one of our vetted startup ideas to pursue. Over the course of 7 weeks, teams will work to build a strategy and vision for this new company. Each week the highest achieving teams are selected to move forward. Ultimately, one team, per startup opportunity, will be selected to launch the new company.

Can I work with Launch Factory to incubate or accelerate my current startup or business concept?

No, not at this time.  Launch Factory focuses on recruiting entrepreneurs to launch startups around the ideas that we develop and create internally. We do not currently work with entrepreneurs that are pursuing their own startup ideas.

How long has Launch Factory been operating?

In 2019 we hosted our first Founders Recruitment Process and launched our first company, OmniSync Inc. This year we launched two new companies, Simply Independent and Productified, to pursue market opportunities we’ve identified.

Founders Recruitment Process

What is the Founders Recruitment Process?

Simply put, the Founders Recruitment Process is how we find and select founders for our startups.

We recruit teams of diverse entrepreneurs, equip them with our vetted startup ideas, and select the ideal founders for each new company using a merit-based process.

Please see our Recruitment Process page for more information.

What does it mean to be a candidate?

Candidates are participants in the recruitment process!  Registering as a “Candidate” means that you are interested in becoming the founder of a new startup company developed by Launch Factory.

Do I need my own startup idea to participate?

No! As a candidate, you will have the opportunity to choose between pre-vetted startup ideas provided by Launch Factory. After registering, you and your co-founder will be able to select the business opportunity that best suits your interests and experience. You will then focus during the recruitment process on developing the foundation and strategy for this chosen business idea.

Are there multiple business opportunities available for candidates to choose?

Yes! We’re launching several new companies in 2021. To learn more about the specific details for each opportunity visit Our Next Startups page.

Do I need to find a co-founder?

Yes. Each candidate will need to find a co-founder to participate in the Founders Recruitment Process. Candidates will have time to find and select a co-founder after being accepted. We recommend beginning your co-founder search in your personal network. If you’re unable to find a co-founder from your personal network, we provide candidates with partner pairing tools to connect them with other accepted candidates.

Ideal teams will have a mix of both business operations and technical product development skills.

Does Launch Factory retain the rights to completed work projects submitted during the Recruitment Process?

Yes.  Launch Factory reserves the right to reuse, modify, and adapt any work submitted by candidates during the Recruitment Process.  Candidates should not share information they feel is proprietary to them during the recruitment process.

Why does Launch Factory recruit this way?

We believe the best way to identify promising founders is to observe their work directly.  Starting a company isn’t as straightforward as simply starting a new job, so we want to make sure our founders have the skills needed to launch and lead a new company.  Our process gives us a chance to see partners working together to tackle real-world issues related to the business they’d like to lead.  The process also gives founders the time they need to formulate and develop their vision for the company so that if they’re selected, they’ll be ready to hit the ground running.

Candidate
Registration

How do I apply for the Founders Recruitment Process?

Applying is easy! Follow the link here to begin your application. We recommend setting aside one hour to complete both sections of the application.

Who can become a candidate?

Anyone with a bachelor’s degree is eligible to be a candidate in the Founders Recruitment Process. Candidates must also be authorized to work in the U.S without sponsorship.

Our prior candidates have ranged from individuals with just a few years’ in the workplace to highly experienced individuals with decades in the industry.  Successful candidates are able to demonstrate their understanding of the target business, vision for the future of the company, and develop an effective strategy for the company. The highest achieving teams possess a diverse set of skills and experience in marketing, finance, product development, technical planning, and business development.

How many candidates are accepted into the recruitment process?

We will accept a maximum of 30 teams (60 candidates) per company we’re launch.  Since we’re launching four companies in 2021, this means we’re accepting a maximum of 240 candidates.

If I am working or in school / full-time will I still be able to participate?

Yes! The launch Factory Recruitment Process is designed to be flexible for any schedule. Each week, teams receive task instruction on Thursday afternoon and have until Sunday at 11:59 PM to submit their deliverables.

If you are still in school you must be on track to graduate and able to start working full-time as a founder within six weeks of the end of the recruitment process if you are selected.

Do I have to be located in San Diego to participate in the event?

No. Teams do not need to live in San Diego to take part in the process. Our recruitment process is designed to be accessible to candidates across the country!

However, it is important to note that teams must be willing and able to relocate to San Diego if they are selected to launch one of our future startup companies. Selected teams will have 6-8 weeks to relocate to San Diego to begin working in our headquarters.

Does it cost money to enter?
No. The Launch Factory Recruitment Process is free to enter. All you need is a partner and the passion to start a new company.
How do I choose my co-founder?

After acceptance into the Founders Recruitment Process, candidates will have time to find a co-founder and select a business opportunity to pursue. When ready, teams can submit a form on our site to confirm their co-founder and the startup opportunity they’d like to pursue.

How do I select an opportunity to pursue?

After acceptance into the Founders Recruitment Process, candidates will have time to find a co-founder and select a business opportunity to pursue. When ready, teams can submit a form on our site to confirm their co-founder and the startup opportunity they’d like to pursue. 

Why does Launch Factory require testing as part of the application process?

Research suggests that there are certain characteristics that, when taken as part of a broader multifactor hiring assessment, are predictive of success in the role.  Our application tests screen for those attributes and help us identify the best candidates to accept into the recruitment process.

Candidate Experience

How long does the recruitment process last?

Our recruitment process is carried out over the course of seven weeks during the Spring. Each week, teams will be eliminated until one final team is selected to lead the new startup. For more details on dates, visit our Recruitment Process page.

How many candidate teams progress through each phase?

At each phase, the number of teams is reduced by between 10% to 30% depending on the phase and the number of teams at the start of the process. Only two to three teams per company will progress to the final phase of the recruitment process. 

What does each week (phase) consist of?

Each Thursday, task instructions and a video overview will be made available for teams. After accessing the instructions, teams can begin working. On Friday evenings, the Launch Factory team will host a live Q&A session. Here teams will have the opportunity to have their questions answered directly. On Sunday night at 11:59 PST, all task deliverables will be due.

How much time will be required from candidates each week?

This process will push you and your co-founder to deliver well-developed work samples in a short time frame. We have designed the weekly commitment to require roughly 10 hours, per week, from each candidate.

What do the work samples consist of?

The work samples requested are designed to test candidate’s ability to start and lead a startup company.  Starting a company requires a broad range of skills, so the work samples cover a wide range of topics including but not limited to marketing, research, product development, finance, and strategy.  These submissions give founders a chance to demonstrate their skills in a real-world context.

What if I have a schedule conflict one week?

We know seven weeks is a long time to work on a project and that teams may have preexisting obligations. 

We provide each team has two, 24-hour submission extension opportunities. These 24-hour submission extensions can be used independently on two separate phases or combined into one 48-hour extension for a single phase.

Do candidates have an opportunity to ask questions or talk about their work with Launch Factory's Founders?

Yes. On Friday each week, we host a live Q&A session for candidates to ask questions and speak directly with the Launch Factory team.

How does Launch Factory judge work samples each phase?

Work samples are evaluated by the team here at Launch Factory against objective rubrics we’ve developed for each work sample.  Samples are divided among our judges and evaluated initially, then checked statistically to ensure no bias or imbalance is present between judges.  The teams are then ranked, after which the work samples from teams on the border of elimination are redistributed to judges for a second evaluation.  Those results are averaged with the first and checked again statistically, after which the teams are given a final ranking to determine whether each will proceed to the next phase.

Are the rankings of each team released?

No, team rankings and scores will not be released to candidates. However, we’re happy to discuss teams’ work during office hours each week and can communicate generally about your performance relative to other teams during that time.

Does Launch Factory perform any reference or background checks on potential founders?

Yes.  Candidates are asked to produce a letter of recommendation from a reference we can contact in Phase V.  In Phase VI we will also perform a standard background check on all remaining candidates.

Selected Founders

How are founders selected?

The performance of each team is evaluated throughout the recruitment process, with only the highest achieving teams progressing each phase.  In the last phase of the process, three teams per business opportunity will present their complete business plan and pitch their proposal for the business. In the end, one final team per opportunity will be selected to become the founders of the new company.  For related information, please visit our Recruitment Process page.

What is required from founders after they are selected?

There are 4 main requirements for founders:
– Founders must relocate to San Diego
– Founders must begin full time ~6 weeks after selection
– Founders must sign necessary company formation documents
– Founders must sign a Proprietary Information and Inventions Agreement with their new company and disclose any conflicts of interest

What happens after founders are selected?

After being selected, teams will begin their transition to full-time founders. In the weeks following the process, the selected founders will relocate to San Diego (if not already located here) and begin working full time on their new startup. Founders may be eligible for a small relocation stipend through the initial investment. New companies will work in the provided office space at Launch Factory HQ, pending local covid-19 regulations.

Where do founders work?
Each new company is given office space at Launch Factory HQ to support them as they grow their team.
What do selected founders receive?

If selected, you and your co-founder receive a two-thirds equity stake in the new startup and become the founder of this company. Launch Factory invests $300k into the business and permits each founder to take up to a $50k salary per year from this seed investment. We provide founders with support, incubation tools, and proven processes. This includes office space for your team for up to 2 years. Additionally, we provide several domain advisors, which are compensated by Launch Factory. We are invested in your success and our mission is to help you grow. 

Can founders take a salary?

Founders are permitted to use up to two-thirds of the $300K investment for compensation, distributed evenly over two years.  Most entrepreneurs do not receive any salary during their initial years, which prevents many individuals from pursuing startups. This modest salary is meant to provide support for founders in the early days as they grow their business and is not meant to be comfortable.  Founders will be able to adjust their salaries once they secure their next round of funding (9-24 months).

How long will my company stay in incubation?

The duration of incubation will vary from company to company, but generally, it’s expected to last 12-24 months.  Our goal is to provide processes and support that help you launch the business, secure funding, and become profitable.

Investment

How is Equity split between the founders and Launch Factory?

Founder equity in the new company is split three ways between each of the two founders and Launch Factory.  The equity for the two founders will vest over an initial time period in line with market norms.

What can the $300k investment be used for?

The Founders have full discretion on how to deploy the $300k investment. The only restriction is that founder’s salaries are capped at $200k total, distributed equally over two years.

How long is the $300k investment meant to last?

The $300k must last the company until it’s next fundraising round, which will often not occur until after your initial product or service launch.  In general, founders should expect that the $300k funding will need to cover 9 – 24 months of operations.

Are there pre-determined expenses that must be taken from the $300k?

Yes.  Incorporation expenses, relocation expenses (if needed) for founders, initial computer equipment for the founders, and other small expenses will all be taken from the $300k.  Some of these costs may be spent during the founders’ transition period, so we disclose these up front to avoid any confusion.  Collectively these expenses should be less than $15k.

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