The value of an accelerator

Contents

We know that being a founder in Web3 is hard, much harder than a founder in a classic Web2 startup. 

90% of those startups fail. If you’re Web3 startup you have technical risk, you have business model risk, you have regulatory risk and now you have reputational risk after last year’s FTX events. 

We know for sure though that projects can survive and thrive in all markets. It’s happened and we have great examples of it in our portfolio. 

Research shows startups that ‘graduates’ from an accelerator program have a better survival rate, they help startups to flourish and avoid a premature death in their business lifecycle. 

The accelerator experience is a process of intense, rapid, and immersive education aimed at accelerating the life cycle of young innovative companies, compressing years’ worth of learning-by-doing into just a few months. 

And with so many accelerators out there, how do you as a founder decide which option will make sense for you and drive the most value.

We wanted to share our top considerations for assessing value of an accelerator from the mouths of some of the founders who have experienced ours. 

Most reputable accelerators will be made up of the same core ingredients across a 12 week program:

  • Mentorship
  • Business Strategy and product market fit workshops
  • Weekly Office Hours
  • Networking
  • Support with Fundraising 
  • Demo Days

These are great starting points, even our own Base Camp accelerators are made up of the same principle features. 

However, what we have learnt over time is the value is locked up in intangibles below the surface.

It’s these that have driven our success for founders as the worlds No1 Web3 accelerator.

The intricacies of Web3

“Web3 knowledge is very new and concentrated in a few heads, not written down, and not available in universities or anywhere. I knew there was critical information I needed to find, and so that’s why I chose Outlier Ventures.” – Justin Banon, Boson Protocol.

We have been working with Web3 startups since 2014. Not many programs can say that.

This gives us a big advantage when it comes to understanding the intricacies of Web3…time.

This time has allowed us to develop insights, models and processes which keep us at the forefront of the ever-changing Web3 landscape.

Examples such as:

  • How to design tokens with our industry-defining ‘Token Design Canvas’
  • Refining your pitch and product through meeting with dozens of mentors
  • Presenting your growth throughout the program at our Elevate Demo Day

As a Web3 founder joining an accelerator you need to be confident that you’re getting the right partners to take your startup to the next level. That means being part of a Web3-first program with an intimate understanding of the unique space and all of it’s its nuances.

“With Outlier, you are not only joining an accelerator, you are joining and entire community that can provide you insights at every level of your company, from product, to marketing, to finance to legal.” – REMX

Deep thinking

“It was the vision of a fairer and more equitable Web that really inspired me and got me to know about Outlier Ventures.” – Justin Banon, Boson Protocol

We are known in the industry for our in depth thought leadership and you will experience this as part of our programs.

We have 100 of the best minds in Web3 as part of Outlier and our wider network constantly doing the hard work and asking the difficult questions for a fairer and more equitable future of the web can take shape.

By joining our accelerator you become part of this braintrust, and it’s value extends beyond the 12 week program. 

“OV enable founders to think bigger with support from day one, all the way thought and ongoing” – Esther O’Callaghan, Hundo

Challenging ideas

“Finding out that you’re wrong and improving as quickly as possible before you run out of money is what you’re doing with a startup, and challenging your ideas early is far cheaper. At Outlier Ventures, there are super smart people ripping ideas apart and putting them back together again, and that’s the value.” – Justin Banon, Boson Protocol

If you don’t like your ideas challenged, we probably won’t be the right accelerator for you.

Challenging ideas, concepts and models is critical to our programs and to drive the most value for our founders.

Rarely does a start-up join our program with the perfect idea, product and market fit. In fact some start-ups look totally different once they graduate, but always for the better.

In fact Boson Protocol, a huge success story within Web3 dCommerce, started life as a  blockchain version of a digital voucher system. During the program we identified the real market fit and ambition behind the founder and idea and pivoted the business instead to develop the fundamental infrastructure for enabling all e-commerce across Web3.

‘If I had known how much our valuation would have increased by working with you guys, joining the Base Camp program would have been a no brainer” – Oddin

Network

“With OV it’s like having a full executive board at my table. I was on my own, and then the table was full” – Alex Mitrovich, CEO Unique Network

One of the most high agency outcomes for founders participating in our programs is the network.

No only do we find founders benefit from the composable network effects from the 100+ subject matter experts we have within Outlier, but also the 247 teams who make up our Outlier Portfolio, our Web3 native mentors and investor network.

By going through our programs you benefit from a decades worth of network building within the Web3 space, something you won’t find anywhere else.

Ultimately, the value of the network is locked up in both the short and long term benefits of being part of the Outlier Ventures family.

Overall, it’s important to make the right choice for you as a Web3 founder.

That may be Outlier Ventures, that may be another great program.

But when accessing the value of an accelerator, be sure to look beneath the surface at what value you will really be able to extract.

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