Time to get “accelerated” in Chicago by Patrick de Zeeuw

Time to get “accelerated” in Chicago by Patrick de Zeeuw

05-Dec-2012 by Startupbootcamp

The last week of September I have been at the Global Accelerator Network (GAN) – Meeting in Chicago. The meeting took place at a building called 1871, which holds up to 175 startups in over 50.000 sq. feet – permanently! When you enter their office you can feel the buzz and it makes you think: They really understood how to bring people and firms together to do business here in the US!

Let me tell you something about the Global Accelerator Network, which Startupbootcamp is a part of, not only as a member, but also participating actively in the “GAN board” among others together with the founders of Techstars. The GAN consists out of 50 members spread all over the world. That means startups are leveraging from a network of:

– 617 companies

– 1642 jobs

– 280 mio. dollar raised capital overall

– approx. $450k raised funding capital per startup

– and 2000+ alumni members, which Startupbootcamp companies automatically will be a part of.

These are really impressive numbers, right!? Next to this impressive numbers it was obvious that it is within everybody’s interest at GAN to support startups. I could sense that our teams and Startupbootcamp itself can really rely on a strong network and efficient partnerships. But this meeting was even more special for us than usual: I was given the opportunity to present my thoughts to fellow GAN members on Mentor management and development. Following the past Startupbootcamp Amsterdam program we set up a survey interviewing 150 mentors on their role as a mentor and I could provide some beneficial insights such as:

– 85% of mentors said they found motivation to mentor in the fun and inspiration they found from being involved.

– The average mentor involved is spending on average 3 – 6 hours a week actively mentoring companies.

I also stated the specific traits I am looking for in motivated mentors: integrity, inspiration & drive; the ability to give clear guidance, a willingness to take an active ambassador role and lastly, a willingness to take teams out of their comfort zone.When it comes to keeping mentors involved in programs year to year, I suggested accelerators to engage mentors from the start, involving them in the selection process. And secondly, engage mentors by offering mentor training.

Among others I also have been able to exchange best practices with other accelerators on how to promote the program; how to select 1st class startups and how to choose, train and manage the best mentors around!

The next event will be the GAN Founders Conference and will take place on November 14th & 15th in the Back Bay Events Centre in Boston. Startups, accelerators, investors and mentors will gather together to network and exchange thoughts – I am sure this will be another highly inspiring session. For more information about the GAN program check out their website: www.globalacceleratornetwork.com/

By Startupbootcamp working globally with GAN, startups can directly profit from a nurturing environment locally! So I want to encourage you: Take the advantage and apply at Startupbootcamp Amsterdam 2013 and be part of something stunning! You can apply via: www.f6s.com/startupbootcamp1.

Yours Patrick

Startupbootcamp helps ambitious founders scale. Our global family of 20+ industry-focused programs supports startups with direct access to an international network of the most relevant mentors, partners and investors to help them scale.