In today’s innovation industry, it's often the startup that calls all the shots. If you don’t want to fall behind, it is crucial to build and maintain strong relations with up-and-coming companies. You can avoid being left out by running a recruitment programme throughout the entire year. Consider adopting the following best practices to increase the chances of attracting the best and brightest of the startup world.
There are several ways to invest in a startup, you can be either an angel investor, venture capitalist or you can run acceleration programmes, which are established to support early-stage, growth-driven companies. The key features separating accelerators from other types are:
- fix-term (usually up to 6 months) of the programme,
- cohort organisation – several companies selected for one programme,
- great emphasis placed on education and mentorship,
- presentation given by the startups at the “demo day” which ends the programme.
The Importance of the Year-Round Recruiting
Remember that it’s the startup that chooses the programme and not another way around. Since the programmes have fixed terms and—in respect of submissions—resemble colleges, you are usually facing a fierce competition around the times of the application. If you don’t focus solely on those periods, the recruitment process will be less stressful and more successful.
The benefits of the year-round recruiting of startups:
- Increasing the chances of startups to apply to your acceleration programme
- Lowering the cost of startup acquisition—there is no need to clash with other programmes
- Avoiding the stress caused by the approaching deadline of startups acceptance, and settling for second-choice companies
- Having the time to build and maintain close and personal relationships with the companies you are interested in, increasing the chances of being chosen by them
Acceleration Programmes’ Best Practices
In order to attract startups that show considerable potential you need to ensure that you:
- are in close contact with each startup, your interactions with each startup are thus personal; given the cohort organisation, it would be easier—yet highly ineffective—to lump together the needs and expectations of all the startups taking part in a specific acceleration programme,
- provide sufficient leverage in the form, for instance, of media reach or business connections,
- help facilitate the performance of the startup’s business objectives, such as entering a new market,
- are not the centre of attention by allowing the team to focus on the project; you should direct your attention to the education and mentorship aspects,
- are establishing objectives of your own which—if not foreseen by the startup—may be its downfall, such as:
- hiring additional personnel; a product-oriented startup will not succeed without a sales team,
- acquiring further financing without which the company will not grow,
- help the startup in a way that corresponds to your offer (shareholder equity ratio).
Attending Wolves Summit in October was very eye-opening with a lot of young, ambitious business founders who have real product, real service, who want to sell it to the real world and we were very impressed.
Stanisław Knaflewski, Altamira
Throughout the article, a great emphasis is placed on the long-term relationship with startups, and with reason. Here’s just a few:
- It raises your profile as an acceleration programme
- When the decision time arrives, the startup will remember your organisation since you were interested in the startup long before other programmes
- Regardless of the time of year, you will be able to support startups
- You will get ahead of and stand out from the competition because you have already established relations with different startups
When you understand the importance of staying connected with the innovation ecosystem all-year-round, and you decide to broaden your strategy accordingly, you will never struggle with filling the acceleration programme anymore. This will help you introduce innovation to your company sooner and stand out from the competition.
All that can be achieved using the Wolves Match platform which allows you to be in close contact with the best tech startups, receive updates from them and obtain information regarding the new ones that joined the platform and fit your requirements. With the knowledge and the tool in hand you—undoubtedly—will attract the right startups for your acceleration programme which will appreciate both the time and effort and the money invested in them.
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