Startup life has radically changed in the last 5 years, with many Founders opting to spend their formative weeks in a mentor-led Accelerator programme. This was pioneered by the likes of TechStars and Y Combinator in the US, but quickly spread to the UK where the basic model was adopted and adapted for local conditions.
One of the stars of the UK scene is Springboard, where I have been mentoring for the second time during the current programme and which culminates on Thursday with Investor Day. You can read in more detail about my experiences as a mentor here. But a summary of the programme is a formal entry process to win a coveted place – typically 200 – 300 teams apply and 10 are selected. A very intensive 12 weeks follows, with teams being closely mentored to hone their ideas, build teams, finalise Product, pitch to clients and build the technology. This is supplemented by hands-on mentoring by successful entrepreneurs and business advisors.
The combination of these factors mean that graduating Startups are sprinkled with a little magic Springboard fairy dust that, while it can’t guarantee anything, does increase chances of funding and success. Certainly, every Founder I have spoken to seems very happy with the experience and results.
We recently announced that the next Springboard is going to be mobile-only, which I think is very exciting. A bunch of mobile expert mentors have invested in the fund (each startup swaps a little equity for cash, free services and the experience itself), which includes me, Harry Dewhurst (Amobee, sold to SingTel for ($320) and Ben Barakas from AdMeld (sold to Google for $400m), so we have a financial – as well as philanthropic – interest in the startups teams’ success.
Applications are flooding in at the moment. But if you have entrepreneurial hankerings, now would be a good time to accelerate your plans and apply to get on the Springboard Mobile programme. Go on – it’s going to be big this mobile thing!
Enter here http://www.f6s.com/springboard