The seven startups in our Summer Accelerator are off to a solid start. Last week was a busy week! Each startup met with mentors who will guide them through tough decisions this summer. Many of the mentors are entrepreneurs themselves–some have even come through our program. We were lucky to have the VERIPAD team with us, Build on the Go, Localtarian, and more. Other mentors are CCNY alumni with years of experience in business and other related fields, like Frank Jones.
Last Tuesday, startups also met with investors who have given them guidance as to what they might look for in a young startup. Representatives from Litchfield Capital, Ciel Capital, Soundboard Angel Fund, Elab, Microsoft, ScienceVest, and Techstars all met with the entrepreneurs one on one.
That day, we also heard from Howard Morgan of First Round Capital and CCNY class of 1965. It’s because of Howard Morgan’s generosity that we’re able to support the Accelerator Program, by providing each of the teams with a stipend so that they can forego summer jobs or other opportunities. We also heard from Zahn Center Board Chairman, CCNY alum and Chairman of Sandata Technologies, Bert Brodsky. Bert Brodsky shared his experiences as an entrepreneur himself with the cohort.
On Wednesday, our founders met with legal consultants from Wilkie Farr & Gallagher, LLC, to discuss any legal concerns and learn how to draft contracts and other official documents.
Finally, on Thursday, the startups met their BNY Mellon mentors. This is the second year that experts from BNY Mellon will work directly with our startups in the Accelerator. Their employees have volunteered their time to meet with our founders weekly to work on their financial projections. At the end of the Accelerator, each startup will present to BNY Mellon in a mini-competition.
After startups met their mentors, we stayed at BNY Mellon to walk through a critical path workshop. The goal was to get all the “issues” out on paper so that each team could remove any road blocks keeping them from succeeding this summer.
This week, startups settled into the first “normal” week of the Accelerator Program. They mostly work on their own at the Zahn Center, while attending workshops (on Sales, Marketing, Software, and Hardware). They also meet with their mentors from BNY Mellon and Wilkie Farr, as well as report weekly to their assigned Zahn Center staff mentor. We can’t wait to update you throughout the summer on their progress.