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Accelerators or incinerators? That's the big question

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Keynote at Techsylvania 2017

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Accelerators or incinerators? That's the big question

  1. 1. accelerators or incinerators by pep gómez
  2. 2. who am I @pepgomez
  3. 3. what is an accelerator program
  4. 4. …well, there are some free accelerators that don’t take equity. how much it costs?
  5. 5. DON’T EVER TRUST 
 FREE THINGS.
  6. 6. 5-7% of your company - opportunity cost what is the real cost ?
  7. 7. let’s do some… SELF-ASSESSMENT DUE DILIGENCE
  8. 8. Experience as founder?
  9. 9. Experience as founder? Do I have already a working MVP and some real metrics?
  10. 10. Experience as founder? Do I have already a working MVP and some real metrics? In what areas do I need more help?
  11. 11. Experience as founder? Do I have already a working MVP and some real metrics? In what areas do I need more help? Is time-to-market important for my product?
  12. 12. Experience as founder? Do I have already a working MVP and some real metrics? In what areas do I need more help? Is time-to-market important for my product? Is my product rocket science?
  13. 13. Experience as founder? Do I have already a working MVP and some real metrics? In what areas do I need more help? Is time-to-market important for my product? Is my product rocket science? Am I able to raise private money?
  14. 14. Experience as founder? Do I have already a working MVP and some real metrics? In what areas do I need more help? Is time-to-market important for my product? Is my product rocket science? Am I able to raise private money? If so, at what valuation?
  15. 15. Experience as founder? Do I have already a working MVP and some real metrics? In what areas do I need more help? Is time-to-market important for my product? Is my product rocket science? Am I able to raise private money? If so, at what valuation?
  16. 16. IN CONCLUSION: 
 How much is my company worth? FORMULA ( company valuation post acceleration - company valuation today ) > acceleration cost
  17. 17. MYTHS AND REALITIES OF ACCELERATION PROGRAMS
  18. 18. There are 3 type of people who make a difference for your company in an acceleration program: MENTORS ENTREPRENEURS IN RESIDENCE (EIRs) THE GUY WHO SIGNS THE CHECK
  19. 19. MENTORS How much time will they dedicate to the program? How big is their portfolio of “mentees”? Are they “fresh”? Are they professional mentors? Are there enough mentors in the areas where you think you need more help?
  20. 20. Are legit and respected. Are rich ($$$$) . So they don’t try to sell you anything and can invest in your company at a personal level Will work full time during your program Are being paid, and ideally have an upside incentive ENTREPRENEURS IN RESIDENCE (EIRs) MAKE SURE THEY…
  21. 21. Are legit and respected. Are rich ($$$$) . So they don’t try to sell you anything and can invest in your company at a personal level Will work full time during your program Are being paid, and ideally have an upside incentive ENTREPRENEURS IN RESIDENCE (EIRs) MAKE SURE THEY…
  22. 22. TIP Write an email to 3-4 mentors/EIRs of the program to ask for opinion. Try to set up a conference call or Skype as they will mostly lie by written.
  23. 23. and…
  24. 24. FUNDING
  25. 25. There are two kind of acceleration programs:
  26. 26. The ones who… put their money where their mouth is.
  27. 27. The ones who… DON’T
  28. 28. Good to know they invest ! but the devil is on the details…
  29. 29. How much they invest?
  30. 30. How much they invest? In exchange of what?
  31. 31. How much they invest? In exchange of what? Do they have money for follow-on round?
  32. 32. How much they invest? In exchange of what? Do they have money for follow-on round? Is there any surprise ?!?!
  33. 33. TIP Run away from those who promise investment at the end of the program, or “access to top notch funding” or investments in-kind (services). In general, don’t trust anyone who’s not upfront.
  34. 34. Who do they co-invest with? Who’s behind the program? Who attended previous demo days? How many applications 
 do they receive? look at…
  35. 35. TIP The only thing that matters in venture capital are returns. Returns are driven by the best companies. And collected by the top 5% of VC funds. The rest are pies in the sky.
  36. 36. METHODOLOGIES
  37. 37. METHODOLOGIES The best methodology is no methodology.
  38. 38. METHODOLOGIES People focused on growth (been-there- done-that) and trial- error is what works. The best methodology is no methodology.
  39. 39. METHODOLOGIES People focused on growth (been-there- done-that) and trial- error is what works. A magic formula doesn’t exist. The best methodology is no methodology.
  40. 40. METHODOLOGIES A few basic musts: Weekly meeting with the EIRs and acceleration team Office access with full snacks, drinks and 24/7 is better Punctual scheduled quality meetings
  41. 41. TIP While applying to an acceleration program, ask for a detailed provisional calendar of the day-to-day. This will help you to consider if they’re really moving the needle of your company from 0 to 1.
  42. 42. CULTURE / ALUMNI
  43. 43. CULTURE / ALUMNI Check prior alumni. Crunchbase data, evolution, metrics.
  44. 44. CULTURE / ALUMNI Check prior alumni. Crunchbase data, evolution, metrics. Call the founders and ask them for their opinion. Ideally call the successful ones, the losers will always blame the program :)
  45. 45. TIP Alumni works when we’re talking about statistical data. A program can have 500 companies invested. One successful doesn’t mean anything.
  46. 46. WHO PAYS THE PARTY
  47. 47. WHO PAYS THE PARTY PRIVATE MONEY
  48. 48. WHO PAYS THE PARTY PRIVATE MONEY PUBLIC MONEY
  49. 49. WHO PAYS THE PARTY PRIVATE MONEY PUBLIC MONEY VERTICAL AND CORPORATE ACCELERATION PROGRAMS
  50. 50. TIP You need to know who your LPs are and what do they expect from you. Don’t sign anything that compromises a future investor, acquirer or company plans. You need to be able to pivot, anyway, anytime.
  51. 51. thanks pep@pepgomez.com

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