A Common App: The Need for Standardization in Startup Founders Applications

Searching for the ever-changing currency of deal flow, venture capitalists control capital to make early bets on potential startups to ensure a good return on their fund and build a reputation.

Afore Capital’s recent launch of their new product is an act of kindness. In May 2022, the venture firm closed a $150 million fund and released the startup Common App: a single application that enables pre-seed founders to pitch multiple investors simultaneously by submitting one form and pitch deck. Much like college admission applications, it simplifies the process for entrepreneurs.

Afore Capital’s Afore Alpha program offers a standard pre-seed deal to founders. Their application includes questions about the founding team, pitch deck, recent successes, motivation and whether they have applied or interviewed with Y Combinator for comparison.

Accepted applicants receive a $1M lead investment through a post-money SAFE of up to $10M, which Afore notes offers five times more capital and an increased valuation compared to accelerators like Y Combinator and Techstars.

Afore’s program now blasts applications of founding teams to over 30 venture investors in its network. Dubbed ‘pre-seed experts’, the cohort includes Allison Barr Allen (Trail Run Capital), Allison Pickens (The New Normal Fund), Em Herrera (Night Ventures) and Rex Salisbury (Cambrian Ventures).

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Ava Patel

Ava Patel is a cultural critic and commentator with a focus on literature and the arts. She is known for her thought-provoking essays and reviews, and has a talent for bringing new and diverse voices to the forefront of the cultural conversation.

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