Experiences of startup accelerator, Part 2
Tecinspire has now completed the Nestholma Oulu accelerator. In this article we summarize our experiences of startup accelerator and the main lessons from the last two weeks: Simplifying your business and the power of networking, social media, data metrics and accelerators.
You can read the first part here.
What a ride it has been! Nestholma accelerator has been a superior experience for Tecinspire. Nestholma mentors gave an excellent guidance and coaching in the startup business. Next we summarize the most important learnings from the last two weeks.
We touched the surface of simplifying in the part1 by describing how to find your focus. It’s also very important to have a clear message in all your materials from web pages and marketing materials to your spoken words. Nowadays people are bombarded with information and simpler message gets through more easily.
We have had this approach all the time, but during the program we fine-tuned our materials and e.g. re-designed our pitch deck. Now it’s very visual and has only few textual elements.
Tip: More simpler the message is, more simpler it is to adopt and understand.
2. Use social media correctly
Active visibility in social media is always good to increase your brand awareness. With social media you can also boost your sales, get new customers and traffic to your site.
Your message should be consistent, recognizable and differ somehow from others. Basic well-known 80/20 rule is a great piece of advice: 80% of your message should be informative and helpful for the readers. Max 20% should be about your own service offering. Having a video is always engaging and you can do it even with your mobile phone without any costs.
Choose the channels that your target audience uses. Also this article is shared in social media, of course!
Tip: Be active and consistent in social media and choose the right channels.
3. Network to grow your business
Networking face-to-face and online is a great way to increase brand awareness, get inspiration, create trust, have leads and new customers.
During the program we networked with many investors, startups and business contacts e.g. in U.S, Google and Apple. We also contacted many sport clubs and famous persons that could promote our own product App2Day. In addition, we also continue cross-coaching with other startups also after the accelerator.
Tip: Be networking always, both online and face-to-face.
4. Gather data and metrics and use them effectively
Nowadays data can be collected easily. You can have data e.g. from your website, social media and directly from your products. Choose good metrics that are clear, comparative and guide in your decision process. In detail they can be ratios or exact numbers like conversions, active users, customer acquisition costs and revenues.
Gathering the data is the first step. The second is to analyse it. The third is to use the data to grow your business and fine-tune your business and products. In this great article by Koukoi games describes how they use metrics to build even better games. Koukoi also participated to the accelerator.
Tip: You should use data metrics to grow your business.
5. Fine-tune your pitch for the audience
We handled the art of pitching in this article before, but it’s also to good to remember to fine tune your pitch for the audience. Nestholma accelerator ended in pitching for investors. We fine-tuned our pitch to more visual and emphasized the potential of App2Day to become a global success story.
Tip: Take your audience into account and modify your presentation accordingly.
6. Participate to accelerators!
Last but not least, we want to thank Nestholma for the excellent accelerator program! Many valuable themes of the accelerator did not fit into these two articles. For example fundraising, legal and financial issues and how to deal with investors.
Nestholma has also published new accelerator. It will start during this autumn in Oulu. We can warmly recommend it! Don’t hesitate to apply, if your startup is in the correct phase. In our accelerator, about 10% of applicants were qualified in based on pre-material and pitches.
Tip: Accelerators are there for your startup. Choose the right one to match your needs and current status.
Summary of the startup accelerator tips (Parts 1 and 2):
- Find your focus and be unique
- Value is the only thing that matters
- Use open questions to hook the customers
- Your Lean Canvas is for regular updates
- Team that can execute the idea is important
- Interact with others. Give away good and you will receive it back multiplied.
- Simplify your business
- Use social media correctly
- Network to grow your business
- Gather data and metrics and use them effectively
- Fine-tune your pitch for the audience
- Participate to accelerators!
Check out also our inspiring consultation and development services.
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Happy and sunny summer to you all, Tecinspire