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When should you apply to Entrepreneur First?

Posted:
22 May, 2019
EF is the world’s leading talent investor. We invest in founders before they are founders. Since the inception of EF in 2011, we’ve worked with over 3000 founders. They have gone on to found over 500 companies, collectively worth over $4B. However, if you apply too late, you might miss the deadline, and therefore miss out.

Application deadlines at EF:

The TLDR version of the below content is: it gets continually harder to get into EF —apply as soon as possible.

You can see our upcoming deadlines here.

How our admissions process works: Deadlines

Early + Visa Deadline

An application at the early deadline has the highest chance of getting on to a cohort.

If you require a visa to start the programme, or start a company in that location, you must apply by this deadline. If you require a visa and miss this deadline, we can’t guarantee that your visa application will be processed in time to join, which in turn may affect your chances of getting an offer. You should flag whether you require a visa in our application form.

You can find out more about the visa support we offer here.

Main Deadline

The main deadline gives the next highest chance of getting onto a cohort.

Late Deadline

The late deadline has the lowest pass rate but still may have a higher pass rate than the next cohort’s early deadline.

Sadly we cannot accept applications where a visa is needed.

How should I interpret this?

The golden rule for EF is apply as early as possible – for everyone, in all circumstances. This is for three reasons:

Visas : If you need a visa to join one of our programmes, you need to apply before the early deadline to allow time for this to process. You can find out more information by location here.

Notice periods : People often forget to bake in the fact they need to give notice to their boss, employees, supervisor or lab manager.

Composition : We place a lot of emphasis on getting the mix of founders right. The first person with a specific profile in terms of technology, skillset or outlook adds more value to the mix than the fifth or the tenth. In practice this means that a late applicant may be rejected purely because we are over-indexed on that profile — even if they are good enough to meet EF’s high talent quality bar.

While this may seem harsh, it’s really important for us to look after the existing offer holder pool by making sure that each additional offer is a net value add.

Wait, does that mean if I apply early on I have a higher chance of getting on, even if stronger candidates apply after me?

No. If there is any doubt about how strong a candidate is, they might be invited to a follow up interview to be certain. Everyone on the cohort must have the potential to build something exciting. However as explained above — sometimes even strong candidates don’t make it through if they apply late in the cycle.

If I’m late — should I wait and apply for the next cycle?

No. Our application count is increasing globally and we have a fixed number of places — this means that each cohort is harder to get into than the one before.

Whatever your skillset and background, we’d love to see you apply to EF and join the highest concentration of talented and potentially impactful people in the world.

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