So we are already past the halfway mark of the accelerator program and time is absolutely flying but we thought it would be good to look back at what what some of the highlights of the program have been so far.
What are your highlights of the Remarkable Accelerator Program so far?
I think some of the highlights for me have been literally seeing mentors and potential customers of some of these startups so moved by the opportunities and the solutions provided by the startups that I’ve seen people hug our startup founders and in some cases, burst into tears with excitement, joy and relief; and that is so rewarding for me as an entrepreneur in residence in the program.
For me the highlight is how quickly the startups have come together and started collaborating already. It’s been really great to see the support they provide to each other. And the other bit for me is that I always need to say a massive thank you to our mentor network. Again they’ve bought their connections, they’ve bought their support, they’ve activated their super power. I can’t thank them enough.
It would have to be the generosity of the Remarkable community. You know it is not uncommon for the founders in this space to face super niche challenges that our team have never seen before. In those instances most of the time someone, some super specialist out there in the Remarkable community comes forward and offers up their time and within a week they’re in the office, they’re getting their hands dirty and helping the founders solve that problem on the spot. You know given how busy most successful people are I think it is a really special thing that they’re willing to prioritise Remarkable and the founders over everything else going on in their life. It’s a special thing and I’m just really impressed by it.
The highlight for me has to be the amazing community supporting these teams. It’s been so awesome to watch CPA (Cerebral Palsy Alliance), supporters, the mentors, come together and provide connections and insights for each of the teams. And the teams are supporting each other as well with technical skills, marketing skills, business skills, and that’s been really lovely to watch.
For me, I think really the calibre of the founders that we’ve had onboard this year, has been fantastic. We’re already seeing some of the startups that are making progress in international markets. But also the calibre of our new EIR team as well. We’ve brought three new EIR’s on board this year – entrepreneurs in residence and each of them are experienced startup founders but they’ve also had experience in other accelerator programs as well and they’re bringing that to bear with our startups.
What’s one thing that’s surprised you so far?
I think one of the surprises for me in the program has been how much I’ve learned from these founders about how the health tech and disability and inclusion market works. I think it’s also been a surprise for me that some of these founders have introduced me to valuable contacts for M8 Ventures, the venture fund that I am working on raising right now. So it’s been really valuable for me to have their help in that respect.
What are you most looking forward to in the second half of the program?
So what am I looking forward to? Well the teams have had their first sales calls. They’re gaining confidence from the positive reaction. I think in some cases that sparked ideas about what other opportunities might be there for them. So, I guess momentum…turning more of these conversations into business opportunities.
The thing I’m most looking forward to in the next phase of the program is really seeing the startups sort of take themselves to the next level. You know in many ways the first couple of phases of the program are about setting up the right frameworks. So they’ve focused on product and on their business model, and the next phase is really about, sort of, dialling up the intensity – getting out there into the market and accelerating their growth and I’m really looking forward to seeing that happen; to supporting the founders and celebrating in their big wins over that time.
I’m really looking forward to is, once again, Demo Day, but the other thing that we’re gonna do is host an event call Remarkable Morning Out, where we’ll take our startups out for the day, where they will be spending time with customers and clients to validate their products.
For me, I think today we’ve actually had our startups out and about with their EIRs doing a sales conversation. So they’ve been witnessing how our founders are going about sales conversations, giving them some feedback. Then in a couple of weeks time they’re actually going to do this again and really it’s about embedding the learning that they’re having around sales and putting that directly into practice with real customers.
So it’s past 5:00pm on a Friday here at the Remarkable space at Fishburners and of course the work continues…