Brace yourselves, as much-needed pre-accelerator gets ready to hit the ‘go’ button.
Do you remember the passionate drivers of the Startup Next pre-accelerator? Well, they haven’t gone away, you know. They are back, wearing different T-shirts as Startup Boost, but with a bigger and bolder mission.
Launching in Dublin, Austin, Detroit, Los Angeles, London and Toronto in October, the volunteer-led Startup Boost wants to bring together 100 start-ups and put them on the road. Further chapters are being planned for launch in 2018 in Amsterdam, New York, San Francisco and Seattle.
‘As a start-up, you are often expected to go from first to fifth gear without ever having got up to speed in third. Our aim is to get start-ups up to speed before they try and hit fifth gear’
– GENE MURPHY
Applications are now open at Startupboost.org and close next week (26 September).
“The idea is simple,” says Gene Murphy, co-founder of Startup Boost and entrepreneur in residence at Bank of Ireland. “The teams selected for Startup Boost will be there to increase their success ratio for the next stages of their business.
“This could be joining an accelerator programme or raising seed funding. The focus will be on their business model and how they will generate revenue.”
Never, ever, give up the ghost
Startup Boost’s predecessor, Startup Next, was a Techstars initiative that provided entrepreneurs with a six-week programme consisting of weekly evening lectures and advice. The volunteer-led programme was recently retired by Techstars.
However, some of its mentors and organisers continued to believe in the pre-accelerator model and, through affiliation with start-up support networks such as the Global Accelerator Network and F6S, Startup Boost was born.
Start-ups that make the programme will receive weekly advice from experts in the areas of customer development, venture funding and marketing sizing, while also having access to key local mentors with weekly one-on-one sessions to clarify their value propositions.
“The focus is on revenue,” said Murphy. “Startup Boost is for businesses that have made the first step and now want to scale successfully.
“As a start-up, you are often expected to go from first to fifth gear without ever having got up to speed in third. Our aim is to get start-ups up to speed before they try and hit fifth gear.”
Murphy said that Startup Boost takes no equity from start-ups on the programme and charges no fee. After the programme, the businesses will have access to continued support.
“Support will come from their chapter directors as well as the growing community of chapter directors within the Startup Boost network. The aim is to help them expand into new markets in Europe, Canada and the US,” Murphy explained.