When you are researching an accelerator you usually just hear from the individuals running the program or what you can read on their website. We know we can tell you why you should or shouldn’t apply to our program, but it would be more beneficial for you to hear the perspective of the individuals who most recently went through the program.
We asked the startups of UpTech 6 to provide us with their perspective on the program. We will be sharing their thoughts in a series of blog posts. In the first edition, you will hear from Marc Johnson the CEO and Co-Founder, Team Central and Julie Klear the CCO and Co-Founder, Zid Zid.
How do/did you get the most out of the program?
Marc Johnson: A number of ways, I think the mentor program was an incredible help for our team. We received help on a number of different topics ranging from our financials to marketing. The daily focus of being data driven and focusing on the key areas that are going to be critical to your success. The preparation and execution of Demo Day, being able to tell the story of your product to a group of people. (Obviously the funding has also been critical to the progress we have made).
Julie Klear: The weekly one-on-one meetings with JB, UpTech’s Executive Director helped me grow immensely.
What was the most valuable aspect of the program?
MJ: I do not know if it was one specific thing, to me all of the things mentioned above contributed. Marc Johnson
JK: JB, generous mentors, Abby always on hand and helpful, a great working space.
What was the least valuable aspect of the program?
MJ: I think the educational content was generally really good. I would say there were some sessions that should be done differently to provide maximum value. The worst feelings I had were some of those sessions thinking about everything I had to do to keep my business moving. For that hour I am not getting the value or learning something I need.
JK: It was all amazing.
Why did you decided to go through the program?
MJ: “I have heard they analogy many times now that starting a business is like running a marathon. You do not just jump right in without training or you fail. I think what a program like UpTech does is it helps provide you with that training. You have to be incredibly good and lucky to successfully launch a sustainable business. I believe your chances of success go up much higher with the support, education, and funding UpTech provides.”
JK: We decided to go through the program because of UpTech’s solid reputation, Kentucky location, and the deep level of commitment by JB.
How does the mid-west location affect your startup?
MJ: I think it is positive because I have a great customer base in cities all across the mid-west. It may impact me as I start to look for further funding, but I will not make that judgement until I get started.
JK: In a very positive way, through access to the right set of mentors and our first customers.
Thoughts on the startup community here in our region?
MJ: It is very helpful to me and a good thing for our local community, especially tech-entrepreneurs like myself. It has a great give-back perspective that is something I am passionate about.
JK: StartupCincy is a strong, committed, and vibrant community and only brigs so many positives to a startup – resources, advice, interesting talks, and like-minded individuals all working hard.
Any other information/advice you’d like to share with potential applicants?
MJ: Just do it.
JK: The startup community here is strong, dedicated, and moving the needle in so many ways! UpTech alone gives you this and so much more.