Nothing is easy at the beginning. There are processes and struggles but we can imitate from what is done and the lessons shared by successful Startup Accelerators in The World.
1. Solving real problems.
Spenser Skates, co-founder and CEO of Amplitude, says that the most important factor for a startup comes at the very beginning: figuring out exactly what problem your customers need you to solve.
In the early days of a startup, founders need to prioritize talking to potential customers and really understanding their problem so that they can help solve it. In fact, customer feedback has remained essential to Amplitude’s product development and company success.
2. Staying focused
Will Canine, cofounder and CPO at Opentrons, has taken his company through two tech accelerators. The first was Hax, a hardware-focused accelerator based in Shenzhen, China. Then, Opentrons was accepted to Y Combinator, which is really what put the company on the launch pad.
“Probably our biggest learning that comes with it is focus. Having clear, concrete goals and a strategy for getting there keeps everyone in the company on the same page, working toward the same thing. “Once you feel the clarity of this type of focus–and see the huge advantages in productivity and progress it gives–you will never want to work any other way.
3. Leadership, values, and culture set you apart.
Having a great idea is only part of the battle, says Fred Stevens-Smith, cofounder and CEO of Rainforest QA. To make your company truly impressive, it’s all about the human element.
Another thing Stevens-Smith appreciated about the tech accelerator experience was simply the networking, learning, and camaraderie that came built in. being a CEO is hard. Building a company is hard. For everyone. It’s easy when you’re inside the founder journey to think that you’re exceptionally bad compared to your peers, so it’s crucial to see that other founders are experiencing the same rollercoaster as you are.”
4. Be intentional about figuring out how to scale–in all aspects of the business.
The eventual goal of any startup is to grow, of course. To Vivek Ravisankar, cofounder & CEO of HackerRank, buckling down and learning how to scale has been critical.
“Agility is important at scale. It’s easy to do this when you are a three-person company, but how do you do this, and make sure people are aligned with the company proposition and values, when you are 100?
“Hiring people at scale. The bar is extremely high for the first 10 hires. The most important part is figuring out how to maintain this bar at scale.
“Customer love. When you’re first starting out, it’s extremely important to make 10 customers happy. But how do you do this for 100 customers, 500 customers, 1,000+ customers?”
The earlier you start thinking about how to scale your company, the better you’ll be able to grow. “These lessons were very instrumental in the early days of founding HackerRank,” says Ravisankar.
5. Pay attention to what people want, not just what you think they want.
The more transparent you are about what you’re trying to create, the more time you’ll have to gauge the reactions of your target audience. Segment cofounder and CEO Peter Reinhardt experienced this during his time for program Startup Accellerators.
6. Lean on your mentors. When you’ve made it, pay it forward.
Startup founders may feel like they have to bootstrap their companies all on their own. But you’ll get further if you embrace the power of mentorship and learn from those who’ve gone through the process before you.