Our Accelerator Program is a 10-week program focused on helping companies validate their product. Cohort members participate in weekly meetings that cover a specific business topic and receive access to marketing and tech resources. We emphasize customer discovery and sales as primary methods by which to grow your company. The program is designed for those looking to identify holes in their business and receive critical feedback.
Who is this for?
We accept accelerator applications from early-stage software or software-enabled startups to join the program. “Early stage” typically means companies that are pre-launch and/or pre-revenue, with little to no outside funding raised, and who are looking to raise outside capital. The focus on software of software-enabled means that your company requires a technology officer to manage a technological product.
Specifically, the selection committee is looking for:
- a startup team ready to grow quickly while applying the concepts business in a practical way.
- a disruptive idea that solves an important problem in a unique way in a potentially large ($1b+) market.
- a working product or prototype that has been tested outside with potential customers.
- a growing understanding of the market that you’ll be serving via real-life interviews and research.
Even if you’re not “there” in all the above categories, we encourage you to apply to start the conversation with us, as we love helping entrepreneurs identify local resources if this program is not a good fit.
Our Accelerator Program leads a cohort of founders on an amazing journey ending in a Demo Day which consists of making pitches to partner organizations, investors, and the wider startup community. This program is based on Lean Startup principles and designed to give teams active hands-on learning each week to test the validity of their product/market. Local business leaders and mentors with subject matter expertise will join from week to week.
- Lean Startup Crash Course
- Customer Discovery & Development
- Startup Team & Organizational Development
- Product-Market Fit
- Customer Acquisition & Marketing
- Corporate & Legal
- Fundraising & Financing
- Pitching & Presentation
Weekly Session (Wednesdays) for 10 weeks
- 10:00 – Arrival, Pitch Practice
- 10:30 – Cohort Check-in
- 12:00 – Active Lunch
- 13:00 – Mentor-Led Workshop
- 14:30 – Wrap up
*Cohorts will be conducted virtually until further notice*
Participants will be required to make video calls, have a solid internet connection, and be able to participate virtually.
Dates: September 14, 2020 to November 20, 2020
Applications due on August 17, 2020
$500 per startup (See payment options below)
Accepted companies are required to participate in all weekly sessions, give full-time effort (~40 hours/week) to the company, and connect at least weekly with mentors and residents.
- Cash – Straight forward, one-time payment.
- Tuition Assitance– We have need-based tuition assistance available for entrepreneurs. You will need to be able to show documentation for the need. These questions will be asked during the application process.
Get Ready to Apply
Have the following ready before applying:
- Registered your startup with the State
- Have a website or link to the prototype to submit for the selection committee to review
- Be prepared to talk about your team and/or partners associated with the company
- Identify what you will need to be able to participate virtually
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What do I get in this program?
- Weekly accountability and mentorship
- A crash course in lean startup methodology
- Spaces to collaborate with mentors and other entrepreneurs
- Membership into the ActivateNM community
- Access to the ActivateNM mentor network
- Access to technical residents to help with technical consulting
- Access to Global Accelerator Network benefits including a perks platform, global exchange program, and many other connective benefits
- A community of practice that will support your venture
- First access to opportunities including pitch competitions and private events
Do I have to attend all the sessions?
It is requested that you are present for all the weekly sessions and special events such as Demo Day. Remember this is a cohort-based program; therefore, it is important to show up and collaborate with your cohort. If you are not able to attend, please plan to send another team member to represent the company.
What is the time commitment outside of weekly sessions?
Outside of the weekly sessions, your main priority will be to do the work assigned during the week’s topic. You’ll also have the opportunity to participate in other training or consulting offered by partners (to help fill knowledge gaps) and engage with other on-demand content we will assign (videos, articles, etc). Plan for at least five hours for these assignments, and two to five additional hours to participate in extra content and opportunities. It’s going to be intense and worth it!
What if I can’t afford the costs?
Some participants are eligible to receive tuition assistance and scholarships to participate. Scholarships will be granted based on financial need. Please talk to us about needs when applying.
What if I don’t have a “team” yet?
We like to see applications from founding teams rather than single founders, though solo founders with the ability to dedicate full-time effort to the business and who are eager to build their team are also encouraged to apply. We will address building the right team during the course.
What if my startup idea fails?
There are a number of reasons a company may exit early. Failing to make progress for consecutive weeks or otherwise invalidating a core business hypothesis may lead to an exit path. We celebrate failure and encourage you to stay in the community and start a new venture.
Why do you only accept software and technology businesses?
Currently, this program exists with a software technology track. As the program grows there is strategic direction include additional industry 4.0 tracks. If you would like to help, reach out to us.