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Advice for Corporate Accelerator Mentors

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This was a workshop done for the DBS Hotspot Accelerator program. The intent is to provide guardrails for new accelerator mentors who may have never mentored start-up teams and want to learn from all my many mistakes.

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Advice for Corporate Accelerator Mentors

  1. BEING AN ACCELERATOR MENTORTIPS AND TRICKS FROM MANY MISTAKES
  2. PART ONE AN INTRODUCTION TO START-UP ACCELERATOR MENTORSHIP
  3. ACTIVITY ONE WHY ARE MENTORS SO IMPORTANT IN AN ACCELERATOR PROGRAM? Individually, in 3 minutes, and without talking to others, write down as many benefits of advisors as you can on post-its. ONE IDEA PER POST- IT PLEASE
  4. ACTIVITY TWO SHARING UNIQUE IDEAS Let’s go one by one through our lists. First person posts post-its to the wall and explains. If you have the same idea, bin your post-it. Let’s keep posting until we have all the unique ideas
  5. BIG IDEA MENTORS ARE KEY Teams need someone who…. 1. is practical and results focused 2. has an experience earned gut-feel of what is right 3. will smack them around when needed 4. can bring domain expertise and industry contacts 5. will be there when they need you (within reason)
  6. ACTIVITY THREE KNOWING YOURSELF Each of you tape some flip chart paper to the wall & use post-its to fill out this grid. 20 minutes then we discuss a few MY STRENGTHS AS A MENTOR xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxx MY WEAKNESSES AS A MENTOR xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxx WHAT “I” WANT OUT OF THIS PROGRAM xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxx
  7. PART TWO USING THE 7V FRAMEWORK TO QUICKLY IDENTIFY PROBLEM AREAS
  8. Q: What is a value proposition?
  9. The value that your product has for your customer! NOPE!!! Fine for marketing class, but not sufficient
  10. ASPECT DESCRIPTION VALUED Customer will pay money to buy what you are selling because it addresses a real urgent & intense need/pain/opportunity
  11. URGENT INTENSE
  12. URGENT INTENSE YES! NO! MAYBE!
  13. ASPECT DESCRIPTION VALUED Customer will pay money to buy what you are selling because it addresses a real urgent & intense need/pain/opportunity VALUABLE The # of customers willing to pay is sufficiently large to fund your company & your segmentation strategy gets you access to them effectively
  14. women women who like nerdsWomen who like me START WITH TOP DOWN
  15. TOTAL SHARE TOTAL ADDRESSABLE MARKET TOTAL SEGMENT SIZE START WITH TOP DOWN
  16. Customers who would buy from me Customers who I can reach Customers I have capacity to sell & deliver to SANITY CHECK WITH BOTTOM UP
  17. ASPECT DESCRIPTION VALUED Customer will pay money to buy what you are selling because it addresses a real urgent & intense need/pain/opportunity VALUABLE The # of customers willing to pay is sufficiently large to fund your company & your segmentation strategy gets you access to them effectively VALID Your product works, is compliant as required, and has the right features
  18. TOMAP PAIN POINTS TO PRODUCT FEATURES
  19. ASPECT DESCRIPTION VALUED Customer will pay money to buy what you are selling because it addresses a real urgent & intense need/pain/opportunity VALUABLE The # of customers willing to pay is sufficiently large to fund your company & your segmentation strategy gets you access to them effectively VALID Your product works, is compliant as required, and has the right features VALUNIQUE You have a sustainable & defensible competitive advantage and are competing on the right vectors of differentiation
  20. No Competitors = No Hope
  21. ONE BARRIER-TO-ENTRY PER POINT IN THE VALUE CHAIN
  22. ASPECT DESCRIPTION VALUED Customer will pay money to buy what you are selling because it addresses a real urgent & intense need/pain/opportunity VALUABLE The # of customers willing to pay is sufficiently large to fund your company & your segmentation strategy gets you access to them effectively VALID Your product works, is compliant as required, and has the right features VALUNIQUE You have a sustainable & defensible competitive advantage and are competing on the right vectors of differentiation VALUE CHAIN You can deliver the product promises across the value chain and scale with growth
  23. WIIFM
  24. ASPECT DESCRIPTION VALUED Customer will pay money to buy what you are selling because it addresses a real urgent & intense need/pain/opportunity VALUABLE The # of customers willing to pay is sufficiently large to fund your company & your segmentation strategy gets you access to them effectively VALID Your product works, is compliant as required, and has the right features VALUNIQUE You have a sustainable & defensible competitive advantage and are competing on the right vectors of differentiation VALUE CHAIN You can deliver the product promises across the value chain and scale with growth VALENCE You have a strongly-bonded team with all the right skills to pull this off
  25. form follows function
  26. ASPECT DESCRIPTION VALUED Customer will pay money to buy what you are selling because it addresses a real urgent & intense need/pain/opportunity VALUABLE The # of customers willing to pay is sufficiently large to fund your company & your segmentation strategy gets you access to them effectively VALID Your product works, is compliant as required, and has the right features VALUNIQUE You have a sustainable & defensible competitive advantage and are competing on the right vectors of differentiation VALUE CHAIN You can deliver the product promises across the value chain and scale with growth VALENCE You have a strongly-bonded team with all the right skills to pull this off VALUATION Your cost and revenue models lead to profit and the profit potential is attractive enough for shareholders and investors
  27. http://www.slideshare.net/selenasol/basic- start-up-valuation-how-much-r-u-worth
  28. http://www.slideshare.net/selenasol/99- questions-winning-entrepreneurs-must- answer-the-minimum-viable-business-plan
  29. http://www.slideshare.net/selenasol/barriers- to-entry-cheat-your-way-to-success
  30. http://www.slideshare.net/selenasol/handling- presentation-qa
  31. PART THREE ALL THE STUPID SH!T THEY DO
  32. ONE Make sure they do not settle too quickly or too firmly into an idea/business model. Keep challenging. The first model is often not the best model
  33. EXAMPLE: SUGARDROP Technology that uses genetically modified yeasts to 100% naturally reduce the calorie count in juice, without reducing the sweetness QUESTION How many business models can we come up with for this one technology?
  34. • Manufacture, package and sell juice at 7-11 • Sell licenses to juice brands who will setup their own process for their own SKUs • Sell machines and bottles of secret sauce to juice brands to integrate into their plants • Provide a service where brands ship juice to you and you send them back reduced-calorie juice • Create a home-based machine (like a coffee maker) and sell retail. Insert any juice and our packet into the machine and enjoy half-calorie juice • Why did we focus on juice? Would it be better to apply the same technology to soda?
  35. TWO Keep them focused. A start-up does not have the resources to simultaneously tackle more than one segment, more than one customer, or more than one product.
  36. THREE Make them validate all their assumptions. Any time they say X is true, make them to prove it to you. “I’m on your side. I intuitively agree with you that vacation travelers want a simpler discovery process to find cheaper flights, but until you prove that hypothesis is true with data points, I’m taking it as false!”
  37. FOUR Make sure they practice their pitch and do several rounds of Q&A well before the last-minute
  38. FIVE There is no excuse for lame, bullet-ridden slides – packaging is often as important as content
  39. SIX Make sure that they treat your time like gold plan, and stick to, an engagement calendar prep for all meeting with you follow-up with minutes and actions do not become a grammar checker
  40. SEVEN Make sure they know when they are allowed to contact you, your general SLA to get back to them, and by what media you prefer.
  41. EIGHT Don’t let them expect all the answers from you (don’t become a crutch and don’t let yourself show off)
  42. NINE If you give them networking leads, don’t assume they understand how to protect your brand
  43. questions…

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