What’s it like to go through a Techstars program? Why choose our accelerator over others?
This post in our series, “The Techstars Experience,” features highlights from weeks one and two of the London program from Razvan Creanga and Mark Chaffey, co-founders and co-CEOs at Hackajob, an online marketplace that matches technical candidates directly with employers. Raz and Mark talk about validating assumptions, growing their business and finding inspiration from other founders.
Re: Stop Working, Start Thinking
We’re sure many startups get into the flow of working, ploughing away at their endless to-do-lists and trying to hit ambitious targets. The month before Techstars we most certainly were. However, this week we’ve been forced to stop working and start thinking. As frustrating as it sounds for hungry founders, it’s allowed us to dive deep into our business and truly understand our competitive advantages. We would strongly recommend every startup founder to do this for at least two hours, once a week. Ask why. Find your biggest assumptions and validate them. Don’t get caught in a repetitive cycle, make sure you’re delivering on your KPIs.
Re: Mentor Madness
This week we met 32 mentors for 20 minutes each. From CEOs, to Product Gurus, to Venture Capitalists, anyone you could possibly want to meet was there. We think this is one of the biggest advantages of the Techstars network and programme; giving you access to minds that would be so hard to meet elsewhere. These sessions provided us insight but more than that, we were surprised at how willing these mentors were to introduce us to more relevant people; from the 32 meetings we had, we now have another 13 setup. One week, 45 new contacts to help us grow our business. That’s the power of Techstars.
Re: Inspiring Stories
Every Thursday we get to listen to stories from founders and this week it was William Shu, co-founder of Deliveroo. We both love listening to successful people, it always inspires us to work that little bit harder the next day (inspiration much needed, as we will discuss next). William’s story was a great one, a former investment banker who decided to solve a problem he first discovered in 2003, with his best friend from his childhood. We found it astonishing that he first had this idea more than a decade ago but no one had successfully executed on it until he started Deliveroo in 2011. It shows that timing is as important as anything and clearly with the rise of mobile, a solution that provided high quality food delivery was needed.