Lessons learned by mentoring at accelerators


Yoav Vilner‘s article on Entrepreneur.com What I Learned From Mentoring Startups in the World’s Best Accelerators has four takeaways for startups in the accelerator phase. As always read the original post for full details.

  1. Don’t be swayed by big names – he’s referring here to cases where major brands are behind the accelerator – not the names of those who run the accelerator or mentor to its startups. Just like product-market fit, you need to find startup-accelerator fit for your company. That being said there are some big names behind a number of accelerators, like MIT, that may be worth being swayed by.
  2. Focus should be the focus – the lesson here is to make sure that the mentoring sessions offered fit your needs.
  3. Start planning your hiring – as in my post Talent tracking, you almost can’t start your hiring too early, as the team is the key success factor in almost all startups.
  4.  Leaving early – if you are growing fast you may be outgrowing the accelerator

There are at least a couple of dozen accelerator/incubators in the Boston area (see my post Accelerators and incubators in Greater Boston area for a chart of many of them). David Chang, who created this chart, did a nice job of categorizing the accelerators/incubators as corporate (see Vilner’s point #1), university, independent, and co-working. (Now if only David would author a new, updated version, with live links to each accelerator/incubator!


Author: Mentorphile

Mentor, coach, and advisor to entrepreneurs, small businesses, and non-profit organizations. General manager with significant experience in both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Focus on media and information. On founding team of four venture-backed companies. Currently Chairman of Popsleuth, Inc., maker of the Endorfyn app for keeping fans updated on new stuff from their favorite artists.

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