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Start-Up Accelerator Best Practices: Speed the Launch of Sustainable Businesses

Format: On-Demand Video, DVD, or PDF Transcript
Originally presented: March 27, 2014
CLE credits available. Click here for details.

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Start-up accelerators are booming. Hundreds of these business-sprouting programs have been developed and more are on the way. The successes of early accelerators have generated a rush among economic development agencies, innovation-driven corporations, and VCs to establish their own programs and bring critical resources, mentorship, and funding to promising early-stage companies.

Universities and their tech transfer organizations are also coming to the party as they seek new and more effective means of turning academic start-ups into meaningful revenue- and job-creation engines.  

But not all reviews of accelerator programs are positive – and not all programs are created equal. Without careful planning to ensure the right mix of start-up founders, mentors, funding sources, training, resources and events, you can spend a lot of time and effort without much return — and alienate your start-ups and your support network in the process.

That’s why Technology Transfer Tactics Distance Learning Division has recruited experts from Techstars – the world’s #1 accelerator — as well as AZ Furnace, one of the top university-based accelerators, to share their best practices, lessons learned, and key success strategies in this practical program:

Start-Up Accelerator Best Practices:
Speed the Launch of Sustainable Businesses

What can you learn from these top programs? Plenty!

Techstars is the #1 start-up accelerator in the world. With selection rates lower than Ivy League admissions, Techstars start-ups have to be the cream of the crop to earn a seat at the table — and that draws the top mentors, investors, and other key support network members. Techstars is backed by over 75 different venture capital firms and angel investors, who are vested in the success of participating start-ups. Companies average over $1.6M in outside venture capital raised after leaving Techstars.

AZ Furnace has quickly become a key factor in getting more new ventures launched and more University of Arizona State IP formed into well-shaped technologies and start-ups with commercial potential . AZ Furnace goes far beyond the incubator concept, and is being recognized as a best practice for university-based accelerator programs.

Please join Gordon McConnell from AZ Furnace and Nicole Glaros from Techstars for this distance learning event, and learn their proven strategies and best practices for creating and sustaining a vibrant, effective accelerator:

  • Having the right team: Recruiting great leaders and mentors and leveraging their strengths
  • Mentor-led: Running accelerators like the private sector — e.g. pushing the start-ups hard
  • Working with the Tech Transfer Office
  • How to constructively coach business founders
  • Best practice advice on how to help teams work through their challenges
  • Sourcing: Evangelizing to the student and faculty
  • Securing funding sources that thrive on supporting early-stage start-ups
  • Creating an environment of trust and alignment among all parties
  • Criteria points to ensure you pick great companies
  • Setting the tone to drive towards results through training programs and networking events
  • Running competitions that make sense and bring the desired results
  • How to accelerate best product/market fit and when to pivot
  • Managing Failure (know when to let a project go)

Your Expert Presenters:

Nicole GlarosNicole Glaros, Managing Director for Techstars, is based in New York City during the Spring program starting in April 2013 and is Interim Managing Director at Techstars in NYC. She got her entrepreneurial start in the 4th grade, orchestrating cousins into theatrical plays and charging neighbors admission.  From there, she founded three start-ups including Property Management Shop, all of which are still operating.  She has spent nearly a decade working to improve the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Colorado through leadership roles at various organizations and incubators such as CTEKInvestor AvenueCleanLaunch, and the Advance Colorado Center.  

Gordon McConnellGordon McConnell, Associate Vice President, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group at ASU, is the leader of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group at ASU. During his time in ASU Gordon created the Alexandria Co-working Network, the pracademic startup training program Rapid Startup School and the Furnace Technology Transfer Accelerator. He is the Principal Investigator for the Pracademic Center of Excellence in Technology Transfer (PACE) which is funded by the US Department of Defense. Previously Gordon was Deputy CEO of the Dublin City University (DCU) Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurship in Ireland.

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Texas CLE applications must be submitted 45 days in advance of the live program or the Texas State Bar charges a $100 “late filing fee” which is payable by the attendee and brings the total fee to $150. Florida CLE applications must be submitted 45 days in advance of the live program or the Florida State Bar charges a $150 “late filing fee” which is payable by the attendee and brings the total fee to $225.


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All Technology Transfer Tactics' professional development courses and designated educational offerings on the topics of licensing, technology transfer, and technology commercialization at Technology Transfer Tactics' conferences or meetings are eligible for CLP continuing education (CE) credits for certification renewal.

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