Acceptance into an accelerator is cause for big celebration. But once the champagne bottle’s empty and the balloons have deflated, preparation time begins. We partnered with Comcast NBCUniversal to share our top tips on maximizing your accelerator experience, featuring accelerator gurus Brandon Anderson of Raheem, Alex Bernadotte of Beyond 12, Liz Lee of Online SOS, and Ashley Treni of JustFix.NYC. Accelerator success is right around the corner!
Pro Tip: Connect with your People
Guess what? The most valuable part of an accelerator isn’t the money. It’s the people. (We were surprised too!)
“Fast Forward and the entrepreneurs I met in Fast Forward still to this day are friends of mine and I use that family every day to get by, not just in the day-to-day work, but in really tough decisions I need to make as an entrepreneur.” – Brandon Anderson, Raheem
Pro Tip: Do your Research
Research is the easiest way to make sure you’re positioned for accelerator success. Treat accelerator sessions like you would a funder meeting: don’t walk in cold.
“The beauty of accelerators is that they’re a great opportunity to be introduced to a network of individuals who can be helpful one day. But preparation is key to turning quick 30-minute meetings into meaningful relationships.” – Alex Bernadotte, Beyond 12
Pro Tip: Follow up
Sustaining relationships start in quick meetings, but are built through effort and communication. The real work begins once the meeting ends. Consider how you can provide value to your mentor, and how they can be a long-term resource to you in return.
“When you’re in an Accelerator you get introduced to hundreds of people in a really short period of time…What really worked well for OnlineSOS was distributing follow up among team members. Empowering team members to manage and own relationships on their own.” – Liz Lee, Online SOS
Pro Tip: Keep the Main Thing, The Main Thing
Accelerators push you to hit reach goals, but if you want to make bold progress within 3-6 months, you must define a focused goal for yourself from the beginning.
“We utilized mentor sessions to get critical feedback about the product, and think through distribution. By Demo Day, we had launched a version, it was live, and we had a couple hundred users.” – Ashley Treni, JustFix.NYC
Accelerators are meant to challenge you and push the limits of what you think is possible in a short period of time. If you want to make the most out of your accelerator experience, follow these pro tips from Fast Forward alumni. We believe in you… good luck!
Fast Forward and Comcast NBCUniversal share the belief that media and technology, combined with diverse entrepreneurs and ideas, have the power to accelerate social impact. Together they are building content that will educate and inspire emerging entrepreneurs into action.