This Techstars accelerator is a three-month, 90-day program in Berlin, Germany, and to understand how it works for startups we can can break the acceleration process into a few different phases.
Phase 1 - Mentorship
We've built companies from scratch, and so we've seen first-hand how well baptism by fire can work. Start-ups in the program spend their first two weeks in what we call ‘Mentor Madness’. In this phase, you'll meet up to 10 mentors each day and get feedback from leaders in the field. It's important to remember that you're not pitching here, you're actually soliciting feedback. We'll teach you how to do this within the first week of the program. It is very important for entrepreneurs to be challenged on their assumptions, and so with more than 100 mentors within the safe confines of the program, your startups will find knowledge, inspiration, insights and support from these mentors. You will eventually be matched with 5-10 long-term lead mentors, who will be drawn from our wider pool of experts.
Phase 2 - Concept Testing
Concept testing is one of the most crucial steps in order to identify the perceptions, wants and needs associated with a product or service. Most of the startups that have found success first began by identifying a specific problem, and then moving on to find a way to develop a set of solutions, and then finally testing those solutions with a business model and building a company around it. You'll also hear from startups from previous cohorts, and together with the METRO Accelerator team we'll help equip you with the tools and knowledge you'll need to navigate through this process.
Phase 3 - Sales Training
We're unique for many reasons. One of the ways we deliver outstanding value to startups in our program is by engaging in a partnership with the Maschmayer group, who are the best sales trainers in Germany. During this phase, you will learn about the different sales techniques and processes, with individualized training sessions catering to your companies needs. You'll learn about ways to deploy the best battle-tested sales strategies, that work for your business model.
Phase 4 - Investment Preparation
The Investment preparation phase is another crucial part of the program. We'll coach and train our teams for all that is to come after Demo Day. We dedicate a significant amount of time and resources to prepare startups for investment talks and negotiations in their next phase. We'll bring in the experts from some of the most renowned angel investors and VCs, leveraging the expertise of your Techstars MD. We'll also host a special workshop with David Cohen, the founder and co-CEO at Techstars, in addition to exposing you to ideas and knowledge from companies that have previously been through the process.
Phase 5 - Pitch Practice
The final leg of the program is Pitch Practice. Prior to Demo Day, the startups work on their storylines, pitch decks, and presentation skills with professional partners, in order to have the perfect pitch on this very important day that marks the end of the program. You'll be working with specialist presentation coaches, and you'll also be able to draw on the experience of your Techstars MD. Jag spent over a decade working in politics, where he often helped coach world leaders and politicians for debates and media performances.
We keep the program structure fluid, so as to ensure we're meeting all the needs of the startups in the accelerator.
We can also think about breaking the accelerator program into three months.
Month One: Grow your network
Meet tons of mentors from the Techstars & METRO networks, and find the 10 who will be your lead mentors throughout the program. Some of these mentors may even choose to work with you for years to come.
These mentors help with product development, market-fit, and provide valuable introductions to help grow your company fast.
You'll get as much feedback as possible from mentors, investors, and prospective customers
Month Two: Execute
Go deeper with your lead mentors, work with your MD (Jag Singh), gain traction and hit your milestones -- whether that's a prototype, building out the next phase of your product, first customer, etc.
Time to step on the gas! Now that you have a ton of feedback and a support team, execute!
Month three: Strategy & Demo Day
Figure out your fundraising strategy, and prepare your investor collateral
Learn how to communicate your vision to customers, investors and future team members.
Refine a great pitch, leverage demo day to kickstart your fundraising or close a key customer/partner.