We’ve participated in two accelerator programs since we launched. It has been amazing. These programs have helped propel our learning. So much so, that we cheerfully arrive in 2020 with more knowledge and experience under our belts.
The benefits have included:
- Meeting other founders going through similar challenges
- Accessing serial entrepreneurs who have been-there-done-that
- Speaking with specialists to help make you investment ready
We found this so invaluable. So, we decided to write this post, to help others who are thinking of participating in an accelerator or would like to know more.
Firstly, unlike many accelerator programs, the two programs we participated in – Grow F and Femtech Bootcamp, do not require an equity commitment. While some may speculate that the lack of “skin in the game” from the accelerator’s sides may reduce their commitment, we are happy to report this is not the case.
Grow F Accelerator
The Grow F Accelerator is part of the “Global Female Founders” network, and is based in Vienna, Austria. The program lasts over a three month period. At least one founder is required to go to Vienna for three days every month. This is for intensive workshops with everything from pitching, fundraising, budgeting, communication and self-leadership. This is a great program if you are planning to launch a product in the CEE region, or are based in Austria or close-by countries.
The Grow F program allowed us to network with corporates and startup founders. It also gave us a greater understanding of the local market. We were also given access to an amazing mentor, who also happened to be a Fintech founder. They had recently closed their Series A and were scaling their business. Their hands-on insight gained from doing a similar journey to us was so powerful and well appreciated.
Femtech Bootcamp is based in Stockholm, Sweden. It is co-organized by Tillväxtverket, Wellstreet, and Startup Sweden. Tillväxtverket – is a governmental organization that stimulates growth in the Swedish economy, and Startup Sweden is a part of that. Wellstreet – is an innovation and tech ecosystem. They identified that there is a lack of female tech founders. They co-created an intensive week-long program to help high-potential startups get off the ground. During this week we refined our pitch and investor deck. We also met with specialists within media, law, brand, and sales.
Both of the programs were great but did require a large time commitment. This can take a lot of time away from business operations. Be prepared to be challenged. Many of the assumptions you might have will go out the window from Day 1. It’s important to go there with an open mind. However, you will be able to accelerate your business much faster, and can make valuable connections. So the benefits far outweigh the challenges.
We’d like to thank the organisers of Grow F and Femtech Bootcamp. You’ve both provided great insights and helped with how we plan to steer our ship for 2020.