Our Startup Accelerator Program is focused on helping companies validate their product solution and move them towards being ready for startup investment. We emphasize customer discovery and sales as primary methods by which to grow your company. Founders of startups in our community form a cohort to accelerate their ventures together by participating in regular meetings to check-in, share ideas, and go over the specific business topics crucial to their survival. ActivateNM members receive access to marketing and tech resources in addition to a growing network of New Mexico’s active mentors and investors. The Accelerator Program is designed for leaders looking to identify challenge their assumptions and identify any holes in their business.
Who is the Accelerator for?
We accept applications from early-stage technology companies startups to join the program. “Early stage” typically means companies that are pre-launch with little to no outside funding raised, and who are looking to raise seed capital. Companies prepare to receive a lot of critical feedback from mentors and peers; they should be focused on eventually raising funds to grow their business venture and be ready to build out a team if not already in place. We believe that all business is now a technology business meaning that you must be ready to leverage technology to help your venture grow.
Specifically, the we are 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 start by joining the community with membership. Start coming to training workshops and social networking events to make connections. Have a conversation with our programming team and mentors, as we love helping entrepreneurs identify local resources even if this specific program is not a good fit for your startup venture.
Our Accelerator Program leads a cohort of founders on an amazing journey ending in a startup pitch to various stakeholders in the New Mexico ecosystem. You will be making pitches to partner organizations, world-class mentors, 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 time to time.
*Cohorts are conducted virtually until further notice*
Participants will be required to make video calls, have a solid internet connection, and be able to participate virtually.
Highlighted business topics:
- Lean Startup Methodology
- Customer Discovery & Development
- Startup Team & Co-Founder Agreements
- Customer Acquisition & Marketing
- Corporate & Legal
- Financial Modeling
- Fundraising and Investment
- Pitching & Presentation
Founders in the cohort commit to a weekly session and also attend community wide events to additional training and networking
Next Acceleration Cohort
Dates: June 2021
Applications due: May 2021
$2500 per startup (Cost can be reduced to $500 per startup thanks to our partners)
Accepted companies are required to participate in all mandatory sessions, give full-time effort (~40 hours/week) to their company, and connect at weekly with their coaches and mentors.
- Pay with Credit Card– Straight forward, one-time payment.
- Funding Options – We have a variety of different funding options. You will need to be able to show documentation for the need. Check out funding options here.
Get Ready to Apply
Have the following ready before applying:
- Suggested to join the ActivateNM community
- Register your startup with the State of New Mexico
- Have a website or link to the prototype to submit with your application
- 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
- Collaborate with other business founders and resources
- Membership into the ActivateNM community
- Awareness of pitch competitions, investor roundtables, and startup events
- Access to the ActivateNM mentor network
- Access to technical resources 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
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.
How many team members can participate?
If you have multiple co-founders or core-team members that you would like to join the program, we request that you identify 1-2 team members to join you for the weekly sessions. Additional team members may join public events and networking sessions.
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 technology businesses?
Currently, this program exists with a focus of utilizing technology to grow your venture. This is a strategic direction to include industry 4.0 as tracks.