500 Startups just wrapped our second Bootcamp for Accelerator Managers, which brought 23 participants from Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Iran, Japan, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, United States, and Uruguay together to learn best practices in accelerator management.
From creating deal flow to connecting entrepreneurs to capital, BAM! participants learned tactics to improve investments and accelerator operations.
Reflecting on the program, we’ve compiled a list of three simple questions every effective accelerator manager should be able to answer.
What problem do you solve?
Are there gaping holes in UX/UI knowledge among entrepreneurs in your ecosystem? Do startups struggle to sell products internationally? Do you see too many founders fundraising the wrong way? Each ecosystem has it’s own set of challenges. Accelerator managers should know what ails entrepreneurs and bake solutions to their problems into their accelerator’s DNA.
Entrepreneurs relinquish equity in their company in return for cash, mentoring, and programing. Accelerators have a responsibility to equip them with the knowledge needed to fight, and win in the marketplace.
Accelerator managers know what entrepreneurs need, and then work relentlessly to provide it.
What’s your superpower?
We’ve been unapologetically loud about our growth hacking superpower. 500’s Seed Program focuses on marketing and fundraising strategies; our Series A Program cultivates the metric-driven marketing techniques needed to raise and utilize Series A financings. Notice any similarities? Both lean heavily on our growth hacking superpower.
Before starting a new accelerator or changing the structure of your existing accelerator, make sure you clearly understand your superpower. What can founders say they definitively gain from being part of your program and network?
Accelerator managers know and exploit their superpowers.
How patient are you?
It takes time to witness the results of investing in early stage companies. How long will it take before your program proves itself? Do you have the bandwidth to survive until then?
Reflection and iteration are key to creating a great program. Over time, accelerators managers’ expertise will evolve, leading to better company selection and better financial outcomes. Accelerator managers are in it for the long term. They know their work will not always produce immediate results, but are patient and continue to iterate and evolve.
Accelerator managers know time is on their side.
We look forward to sharing more insights learned from this year’s BAM! program in the coming months. Sign up for our mailing list at education.500.co/accelerator to keep up to date with the latest in accelerator manager education.
Our next program is planned for February 2018. We hope you’ll join us.