Marc Wesselink, Serial Entreperneur
As 2013 dawns, welcome to a brand new venture within Startupbootcamp! I’m Marc Wesselink and I’m the Director of the Startupbootcamp High-Growth Alumni Program.
This is the first blog post of a new series. Sounds impressive, but what does it mean? Let me explain.
Quick Background: Who we are
Startupbootcamp is the leading accelerator program now operating in 5 cities across Europe, with more on the way. Each city program adapts to suite local needs. The first alumni have graduated from the 2012 programs in Dublin, Amsterdam and Berlin. We’ve been delighted that the majority of this year’s class have not only excelled, they’ve also got funded.
In the case of Amsterdam, for instance, the ten start-ups selected for the program have done very well. Not only have they followed the path of customer development from day 1, they have not been afraid to pivot, adapt, and rediscover. They have built world-class teams, in their search for a scalable, repeatable business model. And the majority of the start-ups picked up funding either before or shortly after Demo Day back in July 2012.
But at Startupbootcamp we know we can never stand still. Since we’re in this for the long run, we’re always looking for ways to improve our standards and stay ahead. That’s where I come in. I’m now setting up a unique program which offers the startups that have been through our accelerator a stepping stone to the next round of funding.
Who cares what happens after Demo Day?
I do. For some accelerator programs, their “Demo Day” is seen as sort of graduation day. It’s where the great teams, business ideas and plans are showcased to investors, relevant companies and the members of the press.
But, although it may be the end point for the organisers of that particular accelerator program, it’s just the start of a much longer journey before the start-up turns into a sustainable company.
Why I do this!
During my career, I’ve started 12 companies over the last 15 years, across a wide spectrum of industries. They have ranged from high tech to human resources. I’ve failed with 4 of them. That’s why I know there’s always need for a “Plan B”. Everyone who has founded a business knows that the path to high growth is always tricky, never simple.
So, I’m building the post-Demo Day program which I never had access to. I wish I did.
If I had access to this kind of program in the past, I know my score of successes would have been very much higher. It’s my way of giving back to the community of entrepreneurs.
Marc Wesselink with Startupbootcamp Amsterdam founder Patrick de Zeeuw
Startupbootcamp has built its global reputation for searching out the very best European startups and accelerating them through an intense mentor-led program.
But, after Demo Day, startups need very different types of mentorship. The team dynamics usually change. Each founding member needs to understand their own strengths and weaknesses. Their roles often change within the company as it grows. They all have to be good iterators as the global markets have never been moving so fast. And the competition has never been so intense. But it’s the only way to go from first class to world class.
What’s on offer?
I’m now working with Startupbootcamp to develop an Alumni High-Growth Program.
Initially, we’re only working with Startupbootcamp alumni who have successfully completed one of our accelerator programs.
The program will help alumni for between 12 -18 months after Demo Day. Together, we will tackle the practical issues you will encounter along your way. Thanks to my start-up experience across 7 different fields, I have in-depth, hands-on knowledge on various, relevant subjects.
Think of me as a trouble-shooter combined with an independent sparring partner for start-ups; a kind of Swiss Army Knife.
Startupbootcamp has quickly developed a tremendous resource – more than 1000+ mentors who have worked with us across the European continent, and beyond.
Now we’re turning that passive resource into an active one for the benefit of our alumni.
We also connect you with local companies who can provide relevant advice on recruitment, IT, finance, office space. It’s all designed to help our alumni reach out to potential customers, validators and pick the right suppliers.
Follow developments by subscribing to this new blog.
Over the coming months, I’ll be blogging about relevant issues like staffing & recruitment, finance & reporting, marketing & sales. We’ll be examining case studies as the course takes off. We know there are different laws and conditions in each of the cities we’re working in.
We’ll also tackle the challenge of finding (new) investors and the best approach to convincing them why they should invest in your business.
As well as posting here on the web, we’ll put those blog entries into a monthly Newsletter. Sign up if you’re interested by sending me an email.
In the meantime, I wish you an extraordinary successful year for 2013. Go for it!
Marc Wesselink can be reached at email@example.com
July 6th 2012- A packed hall of investors at Demo Day Startupbootcamp Amsterdam