What are common traits of entrepreneurs? Confidence will be at the top of the list, closely followed by drive, passion, belief and determination. While all these characteristics may be necessary when launching a business, sometimes the most important thing an entrepreneur can do is to talk with others founders and get some advice from experienced CEOs. That's where a business accelerator can come in.
A business accelerator is an intensive, immersion experience in which an entrepreneur often moves into a shared office space with other new founders for a period of time to work under the tutelage of advisors and experts to grow their business rapidly. In exchange for the expert mentoring, exposure to investors and cash investment that entrepreneurs get from the accelerator, the entrepreneur gives a portion of his or her company's equity to the partners of the program and for this reason is often called a "seed" or "venture" accelerator.
The Unreasonable Institute get world-changing ventures and entrepreneurs what they need to scale their impact. Each year, they unite 10-30 entrepreneurs (the so-called "Unreasonable Fellows") from every corner of the globe to live under the same roof for six weeks in Boulder, Colorado. These entrepreneurs receive customized training and support from 50 world-class mentors, ranging from a Time Magazine Hero of the Planet, to the head of user experience at Google X, to an entrepreneur who's enabled over 20 million farmers to move out of poverty.
In the process, they form relationships with corporations and international organizations, receive legal advice & design consulting, and get in front of hundreds of potential funders. The Unreasonable goal is to bring all the resources to accelerate these ventures so they can scale to meet the needs of at least one million people each.
Their mission is to unlock entrepreneurial potential to overcome the world's greatest challenges by working hard to get these world-changing ventures and entrepreneurs the resources they need to scale their social and environmental impact. Earlier this year, they had a radical experiment Unreasonable at Sea, a mentor intensive program. Imagine this: 11 companies and 20 mentors, all aboard a giant ship that will stop in 13 countries over the course of 100 days. Unbelievable? No, it's unreasonable!
Rockstart Accelerator is a program that helps the most promising teams from around the world to launch their startups and break through on a global scale. Rockstart provides seed investment, 6-months of office space, 99+ mentors, coaching by entrepreneurs in residence and a 1-month Silicon Valley Program. In the US, startups will meet serial entrepreneurs, and get to pitch to investors and Venture Capitalists.
From the 2012 program, 5 of 10 startups have raised seed funding from investors, 2 others had received funding prior to the program and one of them is already expanding to Silicon Valley.
Daan Weddepohl of Peerby also participated in Rockstart in 2012:
"Rockstart helped us to prepare a killer pitch and presentation for Demo Day that lead to our funding. It also connected us to a network of amazing mentors that will last us a lifetime and the lessons we learned during the Rockstart program where invaluable and had a huge impact on our success."
Founders Institute is an early stage accelerator, designed to turn ideas into functioning start-up reality, preparing you for the rocky and exciting road ahead. It's a global launch network that helps entrepreneurs create meaningful and enduring technology companies. Through a part-time four month program, existing and prospective founders can launch their dream company with expert training, feedback, and support from experienced startup CEOs - while not being required to quit their day job.
Graduating from the Founder Institute is challenging. In fact, less than 40% of accepted Founders generally make it through the program. At the conclusion of the program, founders have an idea, company, and path to growth fully validated by experienced startup founders. In addition, they have developed crucial leadership skills and a strong network, are ready to pitch prospective investors and team members.
In just over three years of operation, the Founder Institute has helped launch over 650 companies across 39 cities and five continents
There are a lot more great accelerators out there, but it would be undoable to name them all. You can find some more links below. Have a browse, maybe even contact some entrepreneurs that have done it, apply for your favourite and hope you get in. If you get accepted to one of these awesome programs, give it all you've got, this is your chance to really get your start-up off the ground!