Startup Next pre-accelerator to be revived as Startup Boost

13 Jul 2017

Image: Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock

What’s next for Startup Next? A bit of a boost.

Start-up mentors from around the world are clubbing together to reprise the former Startup Next pre-accelerator as a new brand.

Startup Next was a Techstars programme that provided entrepreneurs with a six-week programme consisting of one-evening-per-week lectures and advice.

‘Often, it is about helping people to decide in their own minds if there is a business in their idea before they commit to joining an accelerator’

The volunteer-led programme was recently retired by Techstars.

However, in at least seven cities around the world, former directors who are still keen as mustard to provide what they believe is a vital service will reprise the programme as Startup Boost.

Global pre-accelerator

The first seven cities that Startup Boost will appear in are Austin, Detroit, Dublin, London, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Toronto.

Startup Boost is affiliated with start-up support networks such as the Global Accelerator Network and F6S.

In Dublin, the initiative will kick off at the Bank of Ireland Workbench on 20 July with an information evening. To get tickets, click here.

Led by Bank of Ireland’s entrepreneur in residence, Gene Murphy, the first meeting of the Dublin chapter will include contributions from well-known entrepreneurs such as Claire McHugh of Axonista and Michael O’Dwyer from SwiftComply, former alumni of the Startup Next pre-accelerator.

The plan is to have the pre-accelerator up and running by October with its first cohort.

Murphy said: “Techstars retired the programme, which was a shame, but a load of us from around the world who believed in it and who have a passion for helping entrepreneurs came together to provide this essential service.”

The pre-accelerator will equip would-be members of accelerators with training in key areas such as customer development, funding, presentation skills, product, market sizing and, of course, how accelerators work.

Murphy said that one of the key benefits of pre-accelerators is helping people to decide if they are ready for an accelerator and to prove their business model.

“Often, they can be entrepreneurs who are about to go into an accelerator; may have missed the cut for an accelerator, but increasingly people who are in college or who work in multinationals who are about to join the entrepreneurial pipeline. Often, it is about helping people to decide in their own minds if there is a business in their idea before they commit to joining an accelerator.

“We want to make an impact for entrepreneurs by ensuring they have this all figured out by the time they join an accelerator or take on seed funding.”

Crucially, Murphy said that the people behind Startup Boost want to see the pre-accelerator endure and provide an essential service for entrepreneurs.

“We want to build a global network of passionate city directors with a platform that is well resourced and not built solely on hopes, dreams and good intentions.

“We know what’s ahead of us and we believe that we can build a global, practical model for success.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years