What the New-Gen Accelerator Programs Seek From You?
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With development of creative solutions, catering to solve actual issues, through harnessing latest technology trends being the aim of new-age entrepreneurship; it becomes imminent that the newbie entrepreneurs seek effective mentorship from industry leaders whose models have actually resulted in the advent of new-gen solutions.
Now, it goes without saying that an effective platform for seeking mentorship is accelerator programs undertaken by leading corporates having now realized the importance of giving back to society. However, with today’s entrepreneurship seeking purely creative (and disruptive technology-driven) models, how can new startups obtain quality mentorship from these accelerator programs?
In a bid to decode applying for accelerator programs, in 2018 with next-gen solutions being the key (the situation now is completely different and offbeat from that of preceding years), Entrepreneur India sought a startup view with respect to obtaining mentorship from accelerator programs.
Iterative and exponential learning are key
“Openness to iteratively learn and unlearn are important,” stresses Rohit Kumar Pandey who is Co-Founder and CEO at SigTuple which leverages data-driven intelligence to make healthcare facilities more accessible and affordable to the vast majority in India.
Now, the notable factor in Pandey’s statement is his emphasis on unlearning; this is tad offbeat considering the fact that the preceding years saw learning (through accelerator programs) seemingly reach a point wherein the ability to differentiate solutions which work from which do not, was not emphasized enough. Now, with the advent of disruptive technology (data analytics, big data, et al), quality emphasis could be laid on micro aspects which actually lead to a robust model; whilst eliminating those micro aspects which do not require emphasis.
“Since accelerators have specialists in multiple areas, it would also be great to formulate your ask and evaluate the symbiotic long-term relationships you could build with the accelerators and their network,” adds Pandey when asked about the prerequisites for applying to startup accelerator programs in 2018.
Choosing the right accelerator program is important
Though a tad underrated, accelerator programs also require evaluation before you select them, just like how they evaluate startups to mentor.
“Get into an accelerator that resonates with your business idea to enable down the road customer acquisition and GTM strategies,” recommends Abhishek Purohit who is Co-Founder and Vice-President - Partner and Product Strategy at Nanobi Data & Analytics.
Nanobi delivers analytical insights to clients that help them better understand their customers.
At this juncture, it is worth noting that both SigTuple as well as Nanobi Analytics have been accelerated at NetApp through its NetApp Excelerator Program.
“The next step would be to evaluate if the accelerator's vision aligns with your need,” informs Pandey.
How your technology is evaluated by accelerators?
With technology-driven solutions keenly sought by accelerators today, you should know how these are evaluated.
“It is the age of new technology and advancement. You need put a lot of time and effort evaluating the problem you are solving and market segment for the same,” adds Shwetha Uday who is Regional Business Manager at Anlyz which is a next-gen security product harnessing Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML); to address cybersecurity needs.
This means that if yours is a venture with strong technology backed by a good USP, and focussed at solving an important problem, then you should potentially stand in good stead to get accelerated.
Echoing the above aspects, Purohit states that it is the ability of a startup to grow and scale along with using technology for problem solving which generally grabs eyeballs of well-known accelerators.
Business models warrant caution
Your business models should be designed with caution even before you apply for modern accelerator programs.
“Focusing on a narrow and important problem is the best way to get the most out of the program,” says Pandey.
“What we seem to be seeing is a sort of commonality between the start-up and the accelerator in terms of business drivers or culture or business models,” adds Purohit.
As far as exact mentoring with respect to technology is concerned, you can rest assured that your core expertise would only be furthered by modern accelerators rather than you getting saturated with multiple elements thereby leading to a potential burnout-like situation.
“As a deep-tech startup, we use the cloud as the heart of our solution. We received mentoring on optimising our cloud costs and solving some of the performance bottlenecks in our scalability,” adds Pandey.
“UX and product architecture are primary areas that we worked on with our mentors at NetApp” informs Purohit.