One year ago my colleagues Anabella Rojas, Richard MacDonald, Jr. and I met for our annual end of program debrief. We had just completed the second Miami Growth Program and were looking for ways to further improve its curriculum. An observation we consistently made was that an admissions application and an interview with a startup did not give us enough information to predict its success. It only provided a limited view about a founder’s ability to scale their business.
With this in mind we decided to reimagine the program to allow us to have a continuous view of a startup as they progressed from one discrete phase to another. In particular, we looked for the elements that are predictors of a startup’s success, such as team dynamics and the ability of the team to learn and adjust to new information.
By speaking with startups, investors and community builders, we learned what each stakeholder valued most from our previous programs. We also discovered additional value propositions each stakeholder craved that would make the program an even greater success and more valuable to them. In summary these included:
- Startups wanted more focused sales oriented programs.
- Investors wanted a deeper look into a startup’s business model and team dynamics.
- Community builders wanted to support a greater number of startups.
From there we created a new growth program by breaking down the traditional accelerator model into four distinct phases:
Phase 0: Application, and if selected, a 15-minute interview.
Phase 1: If selected, Sales Acceleration Method module, full time for one week.
- Designed to help startups refine their growth plans, startups that are admitted participate in intensive training that forces them to clearly articulate the following:
- Target Customer Segments
- Value Proposition by Target Customer Segment
- Buyers by Target Customer Segment
- Plan to Reach Buyers by Target Customer Segment
- Story to Present to Buyers by Target Customer Segment
- Plan to Activate Buyers by Target Customer Segment
- Startups with promising growth plans and strong team dynamics are invited to participate in Phase 2.
Phase 2: If selected, learn about and conduct growth experiments, part time for four weeks
- Designed to push startups to rethink their operating assumptions, accepted startups design, run and review rigorous growth experiments.
- Top performing startups based on percentage of revenue growth and strong team dynamics are invited to Phase 3.
Phase 3: If selected, sales, negotiations and pitching with a demo day, full time for two weeks
- Designed to provide the best of the best startups with the polish they need to propel forward and attract funding. Accepted startups prepare their pitches for demo day and future investment meetings, receive additional support on how to conduct a sales call, manage a sales team and how to negotiate deals.
In the past, each program batch had approximately ten startups complete the program from start to finish. Our new program structure allows us to provide high-quality programming to more startups at the onset. While we expanded our reach, the merit-based nature of the program also makes it more competitive than previous years, considering that less than 1.5% of our applicants make it to demo day.1
Given the above, we are excited to present this year’s six startups that have made it through our new process. They are:
- Birdie: Transforming millions of consumer conversations into pre-critical insights
- ConciergePad: Keeping your loved ones safe and healthy
- Licify: Connecting the best builders and best buyers
- Raw Apothecary: The perfect blend of natural skincare products by skin type
- Uello: Logistics company with tech DNA focused on the delivery experience
- Uptime Analytics: We optimize energy consuming assets
We are showcasing them in front of our investor community at our livestream demo day on Thursday, November 12 at 1pm ET. RSVP to join us. If you’re an accredited investor, apply for VIP access. Accepted accredited investors will receive exclusive access to:
- Each presenting startups’ materials, including presentation decks
- A private channel to chat with founders before, during and after demo day
- 500 Startups’ global investor-only Slack community
1 Based on internal estimates as at the date hereof which have not been independently verified.
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