Startup accelerator programs, of which there are now more than 1,000 such programs in Europe alone, offer entrepreneurs a fixed-term, cohort-based program that includes coaching, mentoring, educational components, network building and culminates in a public pitch or demo day. These programs are ALL about acceleration! Accelerating the business plan and the focus of the team as well as the network and ultimately moving the team forward – faster. And there’s the investment opportunities as well!
These are the final hours of The Lisbon Challenge Fall 2014 Edition, which is the third program to date. And the Lisbon Investment Summit (#LIS14) is the final pitch for all the participating teams as well as some alumni. The pressure is on to get to the top 10 of the group!
For the first 2 Lisbon Challenges I was a mentor and would meet with a team once, maybe twice throughout the 3-month program. I’d quickly address their questions that were more often than not, marketing-related as this is my background. In this edition of The Lisbon Challenge I have been working closely with 5 teams as a coach and mentor to numerous other teams. Each of the five coaches (refer to picture) were partnered with an instructor so each startup had access to a lot of different knowledge and input on a weekly basis.
So as I write this, the five teams I have worked with are taking care of their final preparations to present what will likely be the best pitch of their lives. A lot has happened in our weekly meetings, with a great deal of follow-up, sharing knowledge and contacts and a good amount or practice on the pitches so I’m anxious for the pitches to start!
I wish all the Lisbon Challenge teams the best for this final day of this program and I’m grateful to have met a really good group of people from many different countries. Social media, especially TWITTER, will keep us connected as we all move beyond this weekly routine and I look forward to hearing the progress and success stories from the teams as we move into 2015.
It’s been great being your coach (and mentor) and thanks to the hard-working team at Beta-I for extending this opportunity to me and to my fellow instructor teammate Bashara Hinnawi!
Happy Holidays friends,