If you are a “bad-a**” entrepreneur, The Triangle Startup Factory wants you.

If you are meek and mild, lacking confidence in yourself or new company idea – forget about it.

So says TSF founder and co-director Chris Heivly, who posted Wednesday that the deadline for application in the next group of six companies to be selected for the accelerator program is just two weeks away.

But competition is fierce. Therefore Heivly and partner Dave Neal are being very selective. 

“I have written and spoken many times about the decision to apply to a program like ours. If you are not sure you are ready – you are right,” he wrote.

“You are not ready. Give up now.

“Being a startup founder is a massive leap where you have to think you are a bad-a**. [Heivly actually used the full term.]

“If you don’t believe it, why should we?”

After reading his post, The Skinny contacted Heivly to find out just what in his view a “bad-a**” is.

“Focused yet malleable,” he replied.

“Brings an understanding of lean startup principles.

“Has operated in or around tech startups previous to this concept or company.”

So does the “bad-a**” criteria apply to the business concept as well?

“More to the entrepreneur,” he replied, “but the collective bad-a**ness of the team is also something we look for.”

And what are the “bvad-a**” qualities you are looking for in investment opportunities?

“I think we want to see more bad-a** people and then interesting market opportunities,” Heivly explained. “Since the path to success is so long (5+ years) the idea will probably morph two to three times.”

Deal Flow

Competition for spots at TSF is pretty keen for a number of reasons, with $50,000 in initial funding certainly being one huge incentive. Then there is the mentoring and growth through the accelerator process as well as shared office space at The American Underground. And not to be forgotten is the potential for follow-on funding from TSF.

Through four groups of investments over the past two years, TSF’s record also is holding up pretty well.

Heivly said 18 of 22 investments remain active, and of those 41 percent have received funding from other sources beyond TSF.

“We have seen better quality  in each and every application cycle,” Heivly explained. 

With two weeks to go, the applications are still flowing in. Last time ’round, TSF drew more than 150 applications with 55 percent of those coming from outside the Triangle.

TSF changed its name from Triangle Startup Factory in order to broaden its appeal, and the move seems to be working given the growing number of non-Triangle candidates.

Heivly also has talked about possibly expanding to other markets.

So any update on that?

“TBD ;-)”