What to expect when joining a (pre-)accelerator program

Alexandra Anghel on what is means to join a (pre-)accelerator program.

As I prepare to join Techstars Montreal AI 2019, I realize that setting the right goals before beginning the journey of going through an accelerator is mandatory. This is my third experience of participating in an accelerator, having been through Startupbootcamp (Copenhagen / 2010) and Prosper Women Entrepreneurs (U.S. / 2016) with my previous startup. So I already have a set of expectations and assumptions that will be refined at Techstars.

The points below also outline our vision at StepFWD – how we envision the program – from a founder’s point of view.

Expect to be challenged

A (pre-)accelerator program is an intense experience that is challenging from both a professional and a personal point of view. By exposing founders to a vortex of feedback, it forces them to rethink everything about their startup, starting from their startups’ business model, customer personas, pricing model and so on.

Some feedback will be good, some will be bad. And since we are all (sometimes unconsciously) searching for approval, the harsh feedback is really difficult to digest. It can trigger a defensive or aggressive reaction and the first instinct is to dismiss it. And while we don’t have to sway with every piece of feedback that we receive, we should spend the time to analyze it, filter it and apply it accordingly. After all, if we wanted to be comfortable and always receive praise, we wouldn’t be part of such an experience in the first place.

Read the complete story here.