For example, looking at the winter 2013 classes from earlier this year:
500startups Demo Day Winter 2013: February 6, 2013
Ycombinator Demo Day Winter 2013: March 26, 2013
A startup coming out of 500startups has effectively from February 6 to March 25, only about 2 months, before attention shifts to Ycombinator.
So work your magic on investors as fast, efficiently, and effectively as possible before the next Demo Day comes around!
2. This thought is related to Demo Days, but it more broadly has to do with optimizing Demo Day through which class you apply for.
In my previous post, Investment Pacing and The Timing of Fund Raising for Startups, I talked about the fact that the first half of the year is better for fund raising than the second. If this is true, then there are batches of accelerator classes that place you in the marketplace at the most optimal time for fund raising.
This means that the winter classes whose Demo Days end up in the early part of the calendar year have a longer period of time uninterrupted by investor seasonality than those who occur in the second half of the year. It means that the probability of you raising money is also greater if you have no interruptions due to other factors. So it may be worthwhile to work to get into winter classes than for a class in another part of the year.
Timing is everything - competition between accelerator classes and startups for limited investor time, attention, and money is fierce so optimize it wisely through timing.