It’s hardly news that Startup Accelerator spots are in high demand among teams pursuing a vision for high impact and high growth. On the flip side the Accelerators themselves have a tough job to pick the right teams from hundreds of applications. To help both these challenges a program called Startup Next has taken shape in numerous cities (27 last Spring!) around the world. Now Amsterdam gets it’s turn with the website online and the application deadline, 20th August, approaching quickly.
Startup Next is a five week, mentor driven pre-accelerator program that brings established teams together for weekly three hour sessions with three key components:
- Learning from local entrepreneurs who’ve recently been through an accelerator;
- Working with top local mentors (see the list here) with a focus on Customer Development, Market Sizing; Refining an MVP, Product Market Fit, and Fundraising.
- Pitch and speaking practice
The program helps teams refine and focus their business model, polish their message, get ready to answer the tough questions, and become attractive to accelerators and investors. Even for teams not looking for an accelerator, the program can still be extremely valuable, as it’s focussed on mentorship, is part-time and does not cost you any equity.
Who should apply?
Startup teams that have proven they can work together and make solid progress week over week towards building a great product and company. Being a short and fast program, teams will need to be motivated, disciplined and work hard in their own time to get real value from the program. We all know working on things you love is fun yet achieving success takes hard work. That’s what Startup Next is all about.
What are the terms?
Unlike an accelerator, Startup Next makes no monetary investment in teams and takes no equity. Instead teams pay €200 per person to cover operating costs and to screen for teams who are truly serious about getting to the next level.
Who came up with this?
Startup Next is an initiative of UP Global, the organisation behind Startup Weekend and Startup Digest. The program first ran in 2011 and after some early teething programs, re-launched in 2013 with a new model that’s already proven successful. So far the program has helped over a dozen companies take the next step into an accelerator.
The local Amsterdam edition is organised by a group of volunteers with the invaluable support of well known community members who’ll speak and mentor throughout the program.
Applications are via the F6S Platform. For more information be sure to take a look at the Startup Next Amsterdam website.
Photo by Pieter van Marion (creative commons via Flickr)