Accelerating Connectivity in the Age of Startups
Danny Abrahantes | SEP 20, 2018
Startups aren’t trendy—although there is a cultural belief that building your own company from the ground up is “what’s in” at the moment, there’s a lot of work that goes into successfully creating your vision and implementing in the real world. At Co.Accelerator, it is known that real success only comes from being in tune with what your founders and their customers need. The ideas fostered at the birth of a company are as important as the opportunities that will reveal themselves as it grows. Growth comes from traditional goals, but it is maintained by real companies and their willingness to be innovative and bold that accentuates them in the modern era.
Co.Accelerator has a founders-first mentality, because a company belongs in the hands of those who have its best interest. In fact, support in all aspects is what keeps everything running smoothly, placing a sturdy foundation for the present and setting the standard for the future. Through collaboration, mutual brainstorming, and constant connectivity, the startups are more than just a group of companies—they are links in a chain, seeking to change the community, and themselves, for the better. The following three focal points help the directors monitor and appreciate that change:
Wellness – A crucial part of a business is the strength of its leader finding their balance and support, which comes naturally from their own health and wellness.
Partnering with local health and wellness resources, one of which being Gertner Grind by Danielle Gertner, the founders are engaged in a moving component that typically consists of weekly bootcamp classes to keep their physical health at the forefront of their mind.
Mental health is also undeniably important, and two meditation times a day are offered where founders can get back to the vision that is so easily lost in all the busy noise.
Beyond individual health, the health of the actual company is considerably important. That’s why for the startups themselves, Co.Accelerator doesn’t want to just throw their founders in an open pool of mentors, as every company has its own needs and desires. They make a conscious effort to spend time and truly understand the needs of each startup when pairing the perfect mentor for them, making sure their preferences aren’t just matched, but personalized.
Unity – It’s no secret that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts—that’s why the cohort is organically stronger together, supporting each other and nurturing success equally for every company.
The foundation of a business needs to be understood clearly by promoters and expressed efficiently to future clients. Through occasional pitching sessions, founders learn what to say and for what audience. They are encouraged to participate, gaining feedback from other companies and providing their own as well.
Held every month by Co.Accelerator mentor Collin Austin, a CEO roundtable will facilitate transparency for the CEOs, allowing them to grow closer to their group through complete honesty and accountability. What is said here stays here; every leader takes risks, but now they can map out their choices in a judgement-free zone.
Co.Accelerator understands that play is often times as necessary as work, and people are more than just the businesses they run; besides having unity in achieving their career aspirations, they are unified as people. Occasional cohort outings give the founders the chance to express themselves, talk about the future, and connect on a different level, stimulating something that is typically lost in the workplace: friendship.
Diversity – To fully appreciate unity, however, each individual part of the machine must be admired and supported for what it brings to the table. The cohort is full of unique goals and ideas, comprised of founders from different backgrounds, ages, and experience levels. LiveGreen, a proactive carbon footprint neutralization effort, works alongside aha Pure Foods, focusing on plant-based health foods. When approached correctly, these differences inspire creativity.
Bi-weekly, the companies will be scheduled to have one on one time with the director to further assure the founders that their needs are the cohort’s needs. With every need being diverse in nature, companies learn what to expect for themselves and for others. This also helps Co.Accelerator ensure that every company is receiving the proper, fitting resources.
Weekly, two companies from the cohort will work together to solve a challenge proposed by a fellow cohort member within the Co.Accelerator. Meeting with Creative Strategist Lauren Hemingway, members will use these Design Sprint Collaborations to gain new insight through facilitated group conversation. With each company having very distinct obstacles, weekly topics are varying in weight and content.
Co.Accelerator’s program made of these, and many other, resources aims to be more than just an ambitious cohort; it aims to be traditional, but still innovative, and always driven. Perhaps this is why the cohort has doubled in size in just four months, already serving as an example to startups yet to exist. When there is a focus on the elements that bring everyone together, that’s one step closer to a more connected tomorrow.