Networking and personal mentorship are key to any Techstars program, as startup founders look to hone their product and their pitches in front of potential investors.
Now that Techstars Atlanta has officially wrapped up its fifth — and first fully remote — class, Managing Director David Payne sees the online format as a unique way to create even more connections for his founders.
“One of the hallmarks of a Techstars program is that there are usually about 100 local mentors,” Payne told Hypepotamus. The program begins with Mentor Madness, which traditionally takes place at Ponce City Market over the course of about two weeks. “That being virtual, was actually way better. It was a lot more seamless.”
Payne handpicked the ten founders after meeting with well over 1,000 startups from the Southeast and beyond. You can read more about the ten participants in our previous reporting here. The unique part about this fifth class is that it pulled in many B2C startups from around the country. While Payne says it was not intentional that seven out of the ten companies were consumer-facing, it is a great opportunity to showcase that Atlanta can foster such startups.
The latest class wrapped up this week with their public Demo Day, and Hypepotamus had a chance to catch up with some of the Southeast-based founders right after the pitches. For Max Ade, Founder of Atlanta-based Growth Collective, even the remote setting provided unique opportunities.
“The program pushed us to reexamine every aspect of the business and establish a rapid cadence for testing. That’s already had a huge impact on the bottom line, but most importantly, it set us up to build a really special product,” Ade told Hypepotamus.
As Ade pointed out in his Demo Day pitch, there are literally dozens of digital marketing channels and hundreds of tools marketers need to know to stay competitive. Growth Collective was launched to help businesses find freelance marketers and skilled knowledge workers who are experts on specific channels. In fact, Ade believes his company can take on part of the over $100 billion marketing services industry.
“Focus is everything, as a founder, I knew that I had to stay focused,” Lubowich told Hypepotamus. “By focusing as we have and doubling down on a single problem we wanted to solve, we were able to make huge leaps forward and progress very quickly.”
Based out of Alpharetta, Georgia, AutoDo-It is building a marketplace and community for DIY car repairs.
Lubowich also gave some great advice to those looking to go through a Techstars program.
“Ask yourself what are your strengths and weaknesses, figure out if the program can help you by talking with other founders that went through the program. Ask yourself if you are all in and can commit to the accelerator and to the acceleration. The 13 weeks passed very quickly but they took their toll. A lot of day-to-day running of AutoDo-It had to be put on hold or wait till we got to them. Can you run your company and spend most of the day working on program-related things?”