The most overheard water cooler conversation this week has got to be:
“How were your mentor madness sessions?”
Eversend reporting from Techstars Berlin, Germany.
The Techstars Berlin Accelerator Program
Techstars hosts a 3-month mentor-driven accelerator program in various locations. It forms part of an impressive greater global network of startups, mentors, and corporate partners — an ever-expanding well of resource and advice — that abide by a #GiveFirst principle.
Stone (CEO), Emma (COO) and Theresa (Growth) are now stationed in Berlin for its program here, being whipped to shape and led by the wonderful and intrepid Managing Director Jag Singh.
We embarked on this journey with 9 other highly promising technology startups, selected from all around the world. For every 100 startups that apply to techstars, only around 1 gets in. That’s a lower acceptance rate than admission to Harvard, Oxbridge and other prestigious institutions.
Month 1 focuses on mentorship, month 2 on execution and month 3 on the pitch. This culminates at DEMO DAY — a grand energetic pitch day at the end of the program showcasing all the startups to an audience of investors.
As said, the program is mentor-driven. Mentors are matched with startups based on mutual liking and rating.
Here at the Berlin program, there’s a whopping 78 mentors with in-depth experience of their respective industries.
In the past two weeks, we met with every. single. one. of the 78, for 25 minutes each. That’s over 32 hours of exposure to an incredibly diverse range of expertise, external questioning, and intense introspection of our business.
Fundraising, business development, customer acquisition, KPI setting, communication, social impact, design, technology, marketing, the list goes on… You name it, and we will have met an expert in the field.
Here are a 5 core things we have tested and validated about our business.
- Create meaningful partnerships
- Listen to our customers to provide direction on what services to offer on our platform
- Deliver practical solutions that our customers NEED
- Prioritise the most valuable growth funnels
- Root ourselves in our knowledge of the market and communication with customers
Starting next week, we will get our hands dirty in workshops and follow up on these new developments with mentors we matched with.
We cannot wait to grow, even more.