When To Apply to Incubators/Accelerators/Investors


At what point should a startup begin applying for funding (Angels/VCs) and programs (Incubators / Accelerators)?

(2) Is it a waste of time to apply for outside assistance pre-revenue?

I co-founded (three founders total) a legal technology startup about a year ago. All three of us work more than full time jobs and are struggling to move the startup along as fast as possible. Due to the nature of the field, (analysis of patterns in judicial decisions) the upfront time and cost is extensive.

Our goal has been to rush a good demo/MVP, push out a beta and then snag some outside assistance (Funding + Programs collectively referred to as “outside assistance”.) We have been passively applying to early stage programs (Y Combinator as an example) in the past and we were planning on aggressively applying and pursuing those post MVP.

However, after reading a lot of helpful articles, I have seen many cases of moderately successful startups being rejected because they were “too early” for outside assistance. These are startups with revenue and sometimes even full-time employees. As a startup with just an MVP, is it a waste of time for us to focus on obtaining outside assistance?