Overwhelmed. That’s likely what founders are feeling right now if applying for a Techstars accelerator is on the radar. Anastasia Simon gets it.
“We know people can be confused in looking at or figuring out which is the perfect program for their business,” said Simon, investment principal for Techstars Atlanta powered by Cox Enterprises. “It’s intimidating, but I’m here to tell you it’s worth it.”
Put simply, there are three reasons to apply: mentorship, business model support, and investor connections.
There are a few truths about starting a company. First, the power of mentorship is undisputed and secondly, the enemy of a startup is time. As a serial entrepreneur and managing director of Techstars Anywhere Remote Accelerator and Techstars Physical Health Fort Worth Accelerator, Trey Bowles understands that working in a vacuum isn’t productive. It’s why Techstars brings strong mentors with years of experience directly to the founders.
“These relationships are often key to helping founders make a sale, have a conversation with the right investor or bring someone new to the team that can make your company spectacular,” said Bowles.
But to be spectacular, the puzzle pieces need to fit together. Revenue streams, unit economics, scalability, financial projections, and customer identification can be tricky, particularly for anyone new to the concept of business and financial modeling. Bowles often meets founders who have brilliant ideas and amazing visions, but who don’t understand the nuts and bolts.
“These pieces are critical to launching a scalable business,” said Bowles. “When you join a Techstars accelerator, you join a community of people who can dive really deep into the weeds with you on everything from sales to structure, strategy and implementation.”
Investors are out there. Anyone can find their profiles on LinkedIn or check out their website and dash off an email with a pitch and a plea for money. Easy, right?
Wrong. Pitching an investor demands a strategy all on its own. One that takes into account who the right person is, the market and stage they invest in, their pipeline, and even simple things like, what to say on a call with an investor.
“Founders need to create a narrative around their vision,” said Bowles. “We help you combine that with a pitch and financial projections to really show why your vision is achievable, sustainable, and scalable.”
Afterward, Techstars remains dedicated to staying alongside a founder after they get through an accelerator program and helping with further connections to the network and further connections to investors, for the foreseeable future. Techstars is committed to staying with founders for the life of the business.
“We are trying to create opportunities for founders that can last,” said Simon.
The Techstars team hosts virtual events regularly. Moderated by managing directors and investment associates, these are free and invaluable to anyone considering applying to a Techstars program. Visit the events page to find out more. The Accelerator Hub is another resource for founders interested in learning more about the programs Techstars offers. Still have questions? Email email@example.com.