We’re thrilled to welcome two new members of the Tech Wildcatters family: Vanessa Camones and Rachel Chang! Rachel will help energize and inspire our team in Dallas, while Vanessa will expand our reach into Silicon Valley, where we’re excited to bring our unique approach to mentorship-driven seed funds.
We’re getting geared up for the fall class and reviewing all the applications received so far. With so many programs (accelerators, incubators, corporate, government, etc) out there, we thought you might like a guide to the one here at TW. So here it is…all your questions answered in one easy place.
Discover your niche
You are what you do. No matter your field, what you do on a daily basis molds your expertise, thereby making you some-kind-of an expert. To become an expert in your industry, you must not only aim to refine your skills, but to more clearly define them. Aim to discover your niche. The most successful entrepreneurs are not necessarily the thought leaders of their industries. Rather, they are highly specialized experts who have worked tirelessly to define and uphold a personal brand associated with a select set of skills within their industry.
Investing in startups via an incubator, tech accelerator, or a VC fund is one of the best things you can do for your portfolio and your personal brand. But like anything else, there are unspoken rules for getting the most out of the experience and making it an enjoyable, meaningful relationship. Here are some of our favorite do’s and don’ts for getting the most out of your investment experience.
When you’ve put your heart and soul into your business, you’re eager to get it out there. We get it! But not too fast - make sure you have these key factors to ensure you’ve covered all your bases before strutting your stuff to the investors. They’re going to ask you numerous intricate and sometimes invasive questions about what your business is, how you run it, and how you plan on keeping it viable for the future.
“Having the following items prepared before looking for funding shows that you are ready to take investment capital," says Gab. "If these things aren’t available when an investor asks for them, you look like an amateur and your valuation, should you even get an offer, will reflect it.”
With our level 5 syndicate meeting fast approaching, here are some of the most critical items we ensure our startups have before getting in front of investors. Keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive; this is the bare minimum.
Starting a business from scratch is a major undertaking. Along the way come many bumps in the road that can often throw them off track. One of the most valuable resources to a start up company is a mentor - they can guide you, coach you, and give you real-world advice from their years of experience. In order for a successful mentorship to form, it is important that the mentee understands how to effectively work with a mentor. From our experiencing deep-diving into plenty of portfolios, here are some things to keep in mind during your interaction with your mentor:
Investment makes the business world go round, whether it is done to give back to your community and/or for profit. However, it’s not something to jump into on a whim. Investing takes time, dedication, and a well thought plan. Here are some tips that can help you become a more successful investor.
Many startups have trouble continuing to find the necessary amount of funding after launching, mainly due to lack of connections. This is the point when the majority of startups fail and a big reason accelerators are attractive.
The purpose of an accelerator is to guide your business through this stage, and help you become the independent company you strive to become. Partnering with an accelerator is an investment in your company and a valuable learning experience for you. The accelerator’s goal is to break your company free of the restraints holding it below your competition.
Starting a business is a bit daunting for new entrepreneurs. A big way to ease some of that pain and confusion is through the opportunity to connect with and learn from a mentor. But in order for them to gain the most from this opportunity, it is important the mentor also knows how to set a good example and aid their mentee to success. Consider these three tips when you mentor a startup to have the best impact possible on your mentee.