Virtual Accelerator Q&A
WHAT IS A VIRTUAL ACCELERATOR AND WHAT DOES XI’S 2020 PROGRAM LOOK LIKE?
- A virtual accelerator program can differ wildly depending on who leads it and what their goals are but one thing is the same in all, the majority of the programming is done remotely. This can also include one on one’s with mentors, virtual trade shows and even virtual networking events. Due to our current environment, many accelerators around the country have transitioned from an in person program to either a hybrid or virtual to ensure safety of their staff, participants and mentors.
- XI’s 2020 Accelerator Program will be completely virtual, with programming done through video conferencing software and ending with a virtual demo day. Our program will be 10 weeks, offering individual mentorship, curated video lessons, homework, and community building within the cohort.
- The XI Accelerator Program will consist of two modules. The first module will allow for companies and XI to refine their business plan; companies must pass certain requirements to enter module 2. The first module will also include foundational workshops, leadership development, mentorship from industry experts, and a strong product development focus. The final deliverable will be a 5 minute video pitch that clearly articulates their vision and ability to execute on their idea. The second module will be primarily sales driven and aimed at teams gaining customer traction and preparing for investment opportunities. The final deliverable will be a 1 minute video pitch to aid in investor outreach.
- The Virtual Accelerator program will offer individualized support to each team. Our goal is to provide foundational elements and tools to gain customer traction. Startups who complete the program will be eligible to apply for Amplify. XI Amplify builds upon the Exponential Impact startup ecosystem by adding additional programming for seed-stage startups. XI Amplify is for startups who have a product in the market or are about to release a product. The program targets more advanced startups in the Pikes Peak region or ones willing to relocate to the area. Amplify applications will open at the end of 2020.
WHEN IS IT RIGHT TO JOIN A VIRTUAL ACCELERATOR PROGRAM?
For us, a candidate should have recently released a product into the market and is getting early customer adoption and customer feedback. It is at this point that we can really dive in together and work on growing everything from sales to product development. Startups who are about to release their product to the market are more than welcome to apply as well, and we like seeing founders that are knowledgeable of the space they are entering. The 2020 Accelerator cohort is currently filled.
WHAT ARE THE REASONS AND BENEFITS OF A VIRTUAL PROGRAM OVER AN IN PERSON ACCELERATOR PROGRAM?
The benefits of a virtual accelerator over an in person one include the flexibility that is provided to companies for meeting with staff and mentors, the wider range of mentors who can lead workshops from anywhere in the country, and ensuring safety of all participants during the current climate.
WHAT ROLE WILL THE XI STAFF PLAY IN THE VIRTUAL ACCELERATOR?
The XI staff, as we have done in the past accelerator, will continue supporting the new cohort by providing virtual services throughout the program and hands-on mentoring from entrepreneurial tech experts. Each participating startup will be paired with 2 lead mentors with whom they will meet each week. Additionally, founders will have access to the XI Tech Review Team made up of qualified technology experts to help guide product development.