The objectives of the meeting were to create synergies between the 16 attending accelerators, to come to terms with issues shared and to get a first working experience with the monitoring team of FI-PPP advisors.
During the first part of Day 1 the participants reached an agreement on pending issues such as call dates, submission tools and common landing page. Further topics discussed included the evaluation mechanisms, communications and a common launch event.
The following sessions engaged the External FI-PPP advisors, successful entrepreneurs and venture capitalists who make their time and expertize available to support this programme. Through panel discussions, the participants shared ideas and options on how to build a profitable business and what are the secrets to make successful start-ups. The main discussion revolved around the management of early stages of start-ups, when their cash flow are still negative, and the advanced marketing strategies for delivering the products to customers.
Day 2 had a busy agenda with four accelerator sprints. Participants split in groups to discuss about their acceleration methodology, targeted markets, staff involved and execution, in a wide and interdisciplinary exchange of information. Furthermore, the session allowed them to share common ideas about future activities and concrete next steps.
Thanks to the presence of the external advisors, the accelerators received an impartial opinion on their work. Between the many take-home messages, it is worth to list the following:
- Set high but achievable goals, define KPIs accordingly
- Accelerators' role is to support startups in the definition of their business models, providing environment, tools and mentors
- Although entrepreneurship cannot be taught, it is fundamental to hire skilled people, who already achieved some success in the field
The synergies and learning from each other achieved so far will be solidified further at the next workshop.
The evangelising on FI-Ware technologies needs to go hand in hand with the improvements in the acceleration process. To this end, the FI-Ware technology project will provide opportunities to learn, in the form of a group of experts, web-seminars, coaching if requested or whatever is needed to ensure that all accelerators are in pole position for their launch.