I’ve been helping a friend with his startup recently who shows a lot of promise: early (paying) customers, solid key elements of a product and a logical business model he’s validating. He’s in a perfect position to join an accelerator and take his company to the next level. The combination of great mentors, a structured program to plan and move the business forward and modest financing represent the things he needs most right now.
Unfortunately, every accelerator program is done this year or currently going on. In fact, unless he had applied by May, he’d have been out of luck for all of 2011.
We have a number of great programs already in place, but they’re all in the spring and summer:
Summer: MassChallenge, Summer at Highland, BetaSpring (Providence)
…but nothing for the Fall or Winter.
This leads me to a few questions:
What would you tell someone in his situation?
Can Boston add another accelerator?
Would TechStars go twice a year like it has in NYC?
I think TechStars will have two classes per year here, but I don’t think it will happen this fall. Do you think there is enough demand?
I can’t be sure, but I think being the only show in town during the fall would help (especially after the success of your class). I’m sure Katie and the others that reviewed apps would have a better idea.
I’m also thinking that just like some TechStars teams went right into MassChallenge…perhaps some of the earlier stage companies in MassChallenge would then be a good fit to go into TechStars after.
In the end, I believe that companies have a limited window when they’re likely to benefit most from an incubator…having only half the year covered with such opportunities is tough as if you just miss those deadlines, you’ll be waiting another year for a shot at which point your situation may not be as ideal a fit.
I think there will be a definite need. There will be 25 Startups coming out of the leanstartup challenge at the end of august. There will probably be a bunch of solid teams Looking for more guidance.