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VC4A tools explained

Are you running a startup program such as an accelerator, pitch competition or something else?

Watch this video for an overview of the dedicated tools we have built to help you with the entire process, from launching your campaign, throughout the application process, to selecting your final cohort.

VC4A tools explained


Step-by-step tutorials and detailed explanations


  • Create your free partner page – step-by-step

    • Click HERE to set up your partner page
    • You will be asked to provide basic details such as name, tagline, base location, target countries, target sectors, etc.
    • Add your logo (square format, at least 150 x 150 pixel)
    • Add your header image (1280 x 300 pixel, ideally no bigger than 150 KB)
    • Publish your page:
      The URL of your partner page will be:
    • Optional: add more team members in the team section
    • Optional: add more team members as admins to the page, giving them access to the page and programs you can launch in the next step
    • Navigate through your admin dashboard. Click on “Add a page” to create program or event page

    Watch the video on how to create your free partner page here >>

  • Launch your startup program – step-by-step

    • Log in to your account and go to your partner page (
    • Click on “Add a page” in your admin dashboard
    • Choose the applicable page type, either:
    • startup program linking to an application form or
    • an event, relevant for entrepreneurs, investor and/or mentor audience, linking to your registration/ticketing page
    • Follow the page setup flow:
    • You will be asked to provide your programs’ title, tagline, choose a program type, base location, target countries and sectors, target venture stages (optional)
    • Choose to:
      • set up an application form on VC4A (see next step), which enables you to make use of our tailored promotional services, as well as our application management and adjudication tools
      • or link to your application form elsewhere
    • Define application start date and deadline
    • Add your logo (square format, at least 150 x 150 pixel)
    • Add your header (cover) image (1280 x 300 pixel, ideally < 150 KB)
    • Optional: Add your social media links and a video about the opportunity
    • Preview your program page
    • Make adjustments if needed by clicking on “Edit page content” on your program page’s admin dashboard. Here you can also add more team members in the “admins” tab
    • Create your application form (see next step), if you haven’t provided a link to an external form
    • Publish your page
      It will now be listed amongst our overview of opportunities
      The URL of your program page will be Any programs or events you created will be listed on your partner page

    Watch the video on how to set up your startup program page here >>

  • Set up your custom application form – step by step

    • Log in to your account and go to your program page (
    • Click on “Create form” in your admin dashboard
    • In the first step you are asked to give your form a title, add an optional introduction text, and define the  dates and time for the application form to be open
    • Click on “Create form” here once more and you will get to the form builder, where you will find our default questions on the right, and the toolbox with various question types on the left
    • Click on any question in the default application form and adjust or remove it
    • Add questions by clicking on the specific question type and dragging it into the form, where ever you would like it to be
    • Save your form and publish it. It is not accessible if your application phase has not yet started. After you have published it, you can share the preview link of the application form with your team for review and an internal test run.
    • Need to adjust the application dates, i.e. extend the deadline? Click on “Settings” in the top right corner of the form builder and select the “Dates” tab.

    Watch the video on how to set up your custom application form here >>

  • Note the following optimizations can be done to create a great form enabling a seamless process, where candidates can submit their applications in no time:

    • Always add a character limit for open questions such as “What problem are you solving for your customers?”
    • Check what questions can be pre-filled. Select a pre-fill answer or browser auto-complete where it fits your question. This will speed up the application process for your applicants.
    • Selection question with less than 5 options? > Use the inline single select option to improve the usability on mobile devices
    • Selection question with 5-10 options? > Use the single or multi-select option
    • Selection question with 5-10 options? > Use the drop-down select option
    • Adjust input types. Asking for the founding date? > Adjust the input field to allow date inputs only
    • Use section dividers, giving the applicant a chance to save & continue later, and visually breaking down the form and structuring it into shorter tabs (i.e. ‘About you’, ‘About your venture’ etc.) as opposed to one long questionnaire. Find this under “other” in the drag & drop toolbox. Start each new section with a new title text



    Keep it short and to the point! Only ask questions that you really need to identify the venture’s fit for your program. Make sure you have distilled the most relevant criteria to rate the applications later in the process. Only include questions directly relating to those focus selection criteria.

    Choose selection questions over open questions! Breakdown the hurdles to applying by providing many answer options using select question types. Want to know the countries of operation? Use a drop-down selectquestion, choose the pre-set options fitting to you (i.e. all African countries), or type in your custom options and set the maximum selection limit. You are not only saving time and effort for the applicant. Using more selection questions will also enable you to manage your application funnel more efficiently (see section 4).



  • Manage your application funnel – step-by-step

    • Log in to your account and go to your program page (
    • Click on “View applications” in your admin dashboard to see all submitted applications and use the pre-screening tools
    • Click on the venture title to view entries. Make use of the comment section on the right, to discuss points of concern, add links to further information or else. Here you can also monitor all activity (i.e. if the application was moved to “rejected” by a colleague, you will see this here).
    Structure your data
    • Click on “Add tags” to create your own custom tags for any of your main focus criteria, or to store potential leads for future campaigns. You can tag applications individually or in bulk by selecting multiple applications and using the tagging button at the bottom of the page.
    • Click on “Quick selection”
    • Select any question(s) of your application form, i.e. “What best describes the current stage of your venture?”
    • Click “Update results” to see the answers each applicant provided. Use the search bar on the right, to filter for specific answers, i.e. “Idea/Concept stage” to see a list of all candidates who stated this.
      Tipp: Tag these entries accordingly (i.e. “early-stage) and use the same concept to check for your basic eligibility. This can help to reduce the number of applications significantly and speed up the pre-screening process.
  • Retarget applicants
    • Check the in progress tab. Here you can see a list of unfinished applications, including their progress score. Tipp: Send a PM to candidates who are almost finished (>80% progress), to remind them to complete and submit their application in time.
    Make a pre-selection
    • Change applications’ status. By changing the status of an application, it is moved to a different tab at the top. This is how you reject applications, place them in review or selected for rating
      Note: All applications you want to adjudicate with your jury (see section 5 below), need to be in selected for rating.
    • Notify all applicants who didn’t make it! Click on “Rejected”. Here you can select all or some entries, and use the “Message selected applicants” button on the bottom left. A message interface will appear, where you can set up the mailer (using merge tags for personalization). Check the “save rejection email settings”, so you can send this again, without the hassle of setting it up once more.
      Note: These emails are not sent out automatically, only when you click send. Each rejected candidate can only receive one message sent from here. Please make sure, you haven’t forgotten anything. Great, if you can provide rejected candidates with some goodie to compensate for their efforts. This could be a learning opportunity, mentorship support, invitation to an event, or other resources or networking opportunities.

    Watch the video on how to use our smart features to manage your applications here >>

    Download the Prescreening Guide >>