I went through a startup accelerator 7 years ago. It was formative.
The 3 month timeline forced me to think bigger, execute faster, and hustle.
I've also recently participated in "On-Deck," which is a great program for aspiring founders - amazing speakers, sessions, and an amazing network.
Here's where the gap is with both those programs.
It's important to commit to an outcome. A user growth goal, a revenue target, a launch date. Creating a weekly cadence of shipping along with a mastermind call with the group will keep everyone accountable to their commitments.
If you don't accomplish what you said you would, you will need to explain why.
Deep-dives and detailed analysis
Most accelerators, mentors, and groups just have speakers sharing their stories. This is great, and inspirational - but often hard to apply to your company. You need more than an hour of time to dig deep into the problems you're trying to solve. Every week, we will have a full-day session with an industry expert - and time will be spent getting into the specifics of each business.
Feedback and mentorship is great, but mostly useless. In these deep-dives, we'll focus on actual outcomes.
Design day - we'll come up with a new logo and brand guide for you, along with actionable user experience feedback and a process for gathering it.
Sales strategy day will give you a lead list, an email template, and the software setup to get out there and sell. We'll check in to see if you actually did it.
Analytics day will set up your dashboard, your analytics, and help you decide which metrics really matter.
Marketing day will give you a keyword list, 10 blog post topics, and we'll even have an agency write a few posts for you.
This is the program I want for Holopod right now.
I will be doing this, and am looking for 5 founders to join me on the journey.
The goal is to put our heads down and work our asses off for 3 months to get to an outcome, with a support network of incredible people.
Those outcomes are:
- Get into YC or an accelerator
- Raise money
- Get to revenue
- Hit an ambitious user target
Currently Holopod has 1500 company signups, 4k monthly website visits, and no revenue. My goal is to get to revenue and raise capital in 3 months.
Here's what the program will look like:
- Slack group where we share daily updates
- Weekly full-day sessions with 1-on-1 time with industry experts
- Weekly 2 hour mastermind where we set our weekly targets, discuss current challenges, and talk about how what's working.
- Shared and open metrics (within the private group)
It will all be done remotely (obviously).
The cost is $1000 up-front per company. This is a signal of commitment. If you truly can't afford it but are committed to making it work - let's talk.
If you are successful after the 3 months, there will be additional $5000 payment to cover program costs. We will define that success metric at the start of the program, and think it perfectly aligns incentives. It could be:
- Get into YC or a top-tier accelerator program
- Successfully raise money
- Bootstrap to revenue
We'll defer the payment over time (think of it like an ISA for your company), so it's not an immediate hit to cashflow.
Week 1: Vision, pitch, and brand
Deliverable - pitch deck and 3 minute pitch.
Bonus: technical audit and architecture review
Week 2: Basic design + branding + UX
- Quick and dirty logos + brand guides
- How to make your stuff look awesome on a low budget
- UX principles and implementing a testing process
Week 3: Talking to customers
- How to conduct customer interviews
- Creating a process for customer interviews
Week 4: Target market and marketing strategy
- Identify target market and build customer persona
- Create keyword list and 10 blog post topics
- Write the first post and promote
Week 5: Analytics (expert)
- Actually set up proper analytics/funnels
- Get a dashboard in place
- Set a target for weekly growth
Week 6: Outbound sales
- Outbound sales process
- Create your lead list
- send a cold email
Week 7: Pricing
- How to conduct a pricing survey
- How to roll-out pricing
Week 8: Paid acquisition
- Set up a paid ad campaign
Week 9: Launch
- Product hunt
- Hacker news
Week 10: Hiring + operations
- Contractors, upwork
- Operating cadence
Week 11: Open session
- What do you most need help with?
Week 12: Next steps
- Accelerator application help + pitch practice
- Intros to investors
Every week we will have a deep-dive into your specific business with an industry expert. All of them have built or have been executives at $5m+ (ARR) SaaS companies. We'll have pre-recorded sessions of talks by these experts that will be watched beforehand, so we don't waste time watching a talk that has been given elsewhere.
- Product live in the market (could be a beta) with active users
- Team that can execute fast
Who's selecting the companies?
When does this start?
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