We know that communicating your founder ability isn’t an easy task. To help you, we’ve outlined exactly what we look for in applications, so you can decide what you want to focus on in your application.

Challenges convention

Drive to achieve


Smart, with clarity of thought

Technical knowledge, and applicability or commerciality

Our criteria shouldn’t be read as a checklist, and they’re not designed to select people out. It’s extremely rare for someone to score highly on every criteria.

We want people with a variety of backgrounds. We’re looking for outliers, who have done unusual things. Typically, our founders are particularly strong on a couple of criteria, but not all.

What do we mean by ‘Followership’?

To build a startup, you need to be able to get other people on board with your vision, whether that’s investors, top talent, customers or potential co-founders. You’ll need to get people excited about your world view and inspire them to help you bring your ideas to life.

We’re looking for people who have had people follow their decisions and actions in the past. We want to know that you can encourage people to get behind your vision, and help you build something impactful.

We’re not just looking for charisma, rather, we want to know that you can bring people together and get them behind a common goal.

How do you demonstrate a ‘Followership’?

  • Tell us about when you’ve led a significant team.
  • Tell us about a time when you brought people together towards a common goal.
  • Give examples of when you’ve persuaded others to get behind your vision or take action based on your beliefs.

Sasha Haco (CEO, Unitary) worked alongside Stephen Hawking and their collaboration led to two co-authored papers. She is featured in the documentary “Black Holes: The Edge of All We Know” now streaming on Netflix.

As founder of the Paris Talent Summit, Yassine Tahi (CEO, Kinetix) built over 100 partnerships from across the technology and investment community, including with VCs, incubators, startups and large technology companies.

Sadaf Monajemi (Co-founder and Director, See-Mode) has convinced world leading AI and machine learning experts from UCLA, University of Oxford and Imperial College London to collaborate with her.

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Smart, with clarity of thought