Ever thought of applying to a startup accelerator like Y Combinator or Techstars? Notable companies like AirBNB, Dropbox, and Sendgrid trace their origins back to these top programs. But to outsiders, these programs can be black boxes. What goes on in those three months behind closed doors? What should entrepreneurs know before they apply?
Matt Cartagena is the VP of Marketing for VineUp and the co-author of Accelerate: Founder Insights Into Accelerator Programs. Accelerate is the first comprehensive guide to leading accelerators and the authors interviewed 150+ entrepreneurs who have gone through the top programs. He generously agreed to share some insider tips and illuminate the world of startup accelerators.
In the interview we cover questions including:
- Are accelerator programs a boon or a distraction for your startup? Are they worth it?
- What are the most valuable things that entrepreneurs take away from accelerators?
- What are the secrets to getting accepted into the top tier programs like Techstars and Y Combinator?
- How can you best leverage your accelerator to advance your startup?
- What are the biggest mistakes founders make vis a vis accelerators?
- Are accelerators replacing MBA programs as the standard for entrepreneurial training?
- What can authors learn from entrepreneurs and vice versa?
- How can you leverage Kickstarter, Twitter, and social media to launch a bestselling book?
- What was it like to publish with FG Press? (FG Press also published Uncommon Stock)
- What's on Matt's reading list?
Matt probably knows more about accelerator programs than almost anyone around and it was a pleasure tapping his brain. Check out the interview and let us know what you think!