With just one week left to apply to the third class of the Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator, we spoke with Kevin Kaye, Innovation Manager, and Hiren Patel, Corporate Accelerator Manager, at Alabama Power so they could share their top three tips for startups looking to join an accelerator.
Hiren: Clearly define technologies or areas where challenges need to be met. Solving problems that aren't necessarily what we would call a novelty, where it's nice to have, but more so a necessity. In our business, the outcome could be catastrophic, depending on what you believe, so having solutions that truly meet the needs of our industry — probably the most disrupt industry of our time right now.
Hiren: As startups can clearly define the value add that they can have for a business, you create new opportunities for revenue or growth, help them be more efficient, or do things that can meet some of the goals of our society, like reducing greenhouse gas emissions. I think that's important in the message that comes across — that what you're building is valuable.
Kevin: Realize the value and value it appropriately against the market. I know that's hard to do starting out, but it also makes a bigger difference collecting that higher number. Really think about what is a fair price for your offering. I think a lot of startups are just happy to get a number and to be able to get a major customer, and they may shy away from some larger numbers, but if a corporate wants to do something, the dollar figure that is a painful threshold for them, is a lot higher than what a startup would have.
Startups interested in applying to the Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator, focused on addressing innovative electrical and utility solutions, are encouraged to apply before the May 25, 2022, deadline.