Flaviu Simihaian's Blog - Entrepreneur and Developer

A Viewpoint on Startup Accelerators or the New MBA

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A year go, my startup (iMedicare) joined RevTech Labs, a tech startup accelerator in Charlotte, North Carolina. We still hadn’t launched the product and we knew a handful of people in the industry, through the Python Meetup I organized, and where I met my cofounder.

Packard Place and RevTech Labs gave us free space for 3+ months and introduced us to our current lawyer, Fred Hutchison, Dan Black, a business development expert that helped us (introverted tech guys) generate our first sales, and many other great advisors. We met 100+ people in 3 months.

These advisors offered us the chance to exhibit at the Huffington Post event around startups at the Democratic National Convention. There, we met one of the leading healthcare accelerators: Blueprint Health. After applying on a whim with a video done during a break from coding at 3:40AM, we got in.

So, in January, we moved to SoHo, New York City to participate in the third class of Blueprint Health. The 3 months of the program were the least amount of sleep I have ever gotten in any 6 month stretch of my life. We met 500+ healthcare industry advisors, entrepreneurs, and investors in 3 months.

Every program mentor introduced us to someone relevant for our business or gave us very useful advice going forward. Some questioned the business’ entire premise and some thought we should go in 10 other directions. We learned how to focus on our business and eliminate all distractions. This has been the most valuable lesson of all.

Preparation for demo day taught us how to present in front of 500 investors with diction, persuasiveness, and pizzazz. Without any control over the slides!

Now, we just finished raising a round of seed financing,hired a full-time Director of Business Development and are growing the company to the next level. But I wanted to take the time and recognize that we could not have done what we’ve done so far without all the help we’ve gotten along the way from both the Charlotte and New York City startup communities.

For me personally, each accelerator was a 3-month MBA program, that made me a better entrepreneur and more likely to succeed. Time will tell.

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