We at StepFWD strive every day to make one the best programs for tech entrepreneurs in Romania. And although our team has experience both with organizing and participating in acceleration programs, we are aware that we still have a lot to learn. So it seemed natural to go and shadow those that helped shape the concept of an accelerator, which are also one of the top 3 acceleration programs in the world.

A truly amazing experience

The first moment I arrived at Techstars London I felt welcomed, as though it was just another day at the office of talking with old friends and meeting new people. Which quite frankly is what every workplace should feel like, but this is a topic for a whole different article. So kudos to the Techstars team for creating such an environment.

Spending an intense week at Techstars helped me learn a lot about preparing an acceleration program, how to select the best startups, how to set the right expectations for both participants and mentors, what are the logistics of organizing each activity of the program, what it takes to have an outstanding Demo Day, and the list goes on. I even had the chance of taking part in the Mentor Madness (which is basically speed mentoring on steroids), by helping a team take notes as they met with 30 mentors in 3 days. 

All in all, I am even more confident now that we can create a welcoming and valuable environment for all of those that will be involved in making StepFWD a success.

It’s all about the People 

Interacting with all the startups, mentors and organizing team made it clear that everyone there believes that when it comes to building a company, the most valuable assets are humans. Of course funding, reputation and knowledge are helpful, and I am not trying to overlook their importance. But without other people, a company doesn’t exist. They are your co-founders, employees and customers and mentors. 

So if you believe that all you need to succeed in your first startup is funding, then probably a pre-acceleration program is not the right fit for you.

Extra Value

When we first envisioned StepFwd, we wanted it to be a 6-week intense pre-accelerator with at least 2 days per week full of activities. But after coming from Techstars I know now that I want to add even more value to the already crowded schedule. 

Because if you are going to dedicate 6 weeks of your life in this pre-accelerator, I want to make sure that you will receive the most value that we and the mentors can possibly offer you!

So if you are an early-stage tech startup with at least a female co-founder, APPLY to the pre-accelerator made by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs and let’s start building some cools things together.