Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Applying for the Accelerator Academy

Application for the Accelerator Academy 

During my crowd-funding experience I was told that a lot of start-ups join Start Up Accelerator programmes to "Accelerate" the growth of their company, after crowd-funding. I didn't know too much about accelerators but thought that I should try and apply for something where I will be working in an incubator surrounded by other young start-ups.

I came across a competition that was being hosted by Dell, it was called the "Dell Start Up Residence Competition 2014" the prize for the competition was to be able to work from the Dell offices during the growth of your start-up. I applied straight away and a week later I got an email saying that I had made it through to the final rounds and that I was invited to the final round of judging. It said in the email that their offices are based in Bracknell. I realised that I had no idea where Bracknell was and so I looked on the map and saw that it was outside of London, near Reading.

I had got engaged in December and we were in the process of buying a house near Stratford in East London so I suddenly panicked thinking that it would be very difficult to commute to Bracknell every day. I emailed the lady at Dell back and explained the situation and that I would have to pull out of the final judging round as I didn't want to waste anyone's time.

Situations change

The lady emailed me back saying that she understood the situation and that one of the judges on the panel was really impressed with my entry and would like to offer me some support. She told me his name was Ian Merricks and he runs the Accelerator Academy. He asked if she could introduce me to him. I replied saying yes of course.

Everything happens for a reason!

I then never heard anything, a couple of weeks passed and I emailed her again to ask if she could introduce me to Ian. I got an email saying that she had left Dell, the man who emailed me said that he would introduce me to Ian. Luckily it was just in time as the application submission date for the Accelerator Academy was coming to an end. I was told by Ian that they receive over 100 applications per semester and only select the best 10, but that I should still apply.

A week later I had to have a Skype interview with Ian which was pretty scary. I was being asked a lot of questions about MyCarGossip, the business and financial projections. I then sent him my business plan that I had written for Seedrs crowd-funding. I was told that he had to liaise with the other mentors at the Academy and he would let me know in 24 hours if I had been accepted.

24 hours later I received a "Congratulations" email from Ian to say that I had been accepted and I was one of the 10 companies to have a place on the Accelerator Academy.

The Accelerator officially started at the end of April and lasted for 3 months.

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