Lessons learned from growing AngelHack’s community to 150,000+ members
Building a community for your brand is big. For your personal life, your community is pretty obvious. Your friends, family, coworkers, SoulCycle group, you’re likely part of tons of small communities. But your company has a community too. Are you fostering it and taking advantage of it?
Early-stage startups from around the globe seeking seed funding
Every year, our Global Hackathon Series grows bigger and better with amazing sponsors and opportunities to innovate to entrepreneurs just waiting for their tech potential to be unearthed. The winning teams from the 55 hackathons we held this Summer all received an invite into our pre-accelerator program, and 37 of them are now in the early-stages of becoming a real startup.
Hackathons draw in a ton of developers (obviously), but designers come in droves as well. And are equally as important to the success of the team. ‘Cause we all know a brilliantly engineered project in the back-end, falls apart if the front-end looks like garbage. Well our friends at CoastalCreative.com created a beautiful infographic to help designers know what’s BIG in design trends for 2017. Check it out and be inspired for your next hack!
We’ve been talking a lot about our own pre-accelerator, the HACKcelerator, lately and a question that often comes up is “what exactly is a pre-accelerator?” With all the startup terminology rapidly entering the mainstream vocabulary, it can be freaking hard to keep up.
We got you.
What is a pre-accelerator?
A pre-accelerator is a program focused on early stage startups, taking them from concept to MVP (minimum viable product).
A big part of the program, which generally run about 8 weeks, is mentorship. Experienced mentors will come in and give the team guidance with product and customer validation, marketing, product development, pitch and anything else needed to build the product to a place in which it can attract investment and attention.
Meet potential co-founders and other like-minded individuals
Get easy access to the startup ecosystem
Get exposure to other accelerators and investors
Access to equity-free knowledge
While still a pre-accelerator, the HACKcelerator is different than all the rest. The 12-week program is invite-only, which narrows the focus towards hackathon projects (from AngelHack’s Global Hackathon Series) and turning them into viable startups that can afterwards choose to either enter into an accelerator like Techstars, or to bootstrap their way, hopefully to startup success. Check out some past teams that have done it.
In terms of program length, the HACKcelerator runs about double the length of most pre-accelerators (five or six weeks on average), at 12 weeks. That’s double the amount of mentorship, helpful curriculum and more ;)
Usually a fledgling company trying to access resources like this would have to have a certain amount of traction already to get accepted into a program like this, the HACKcelerator is a way around that roadblock. We spot the potential at a hackathon, somewhere the team may have not had any idea would lead to an actual startup.
“50% of our active companies raise funding and more than 25% are accepted into a later stage accelerator such as Y-Combinator, Techstars and 500 Startups,” says Milan Koch, AngelHack Managing Director, HACKcelerator. “Our portfolio is currently valued at $40 million, which is a lot for a pre-accelerator that focuses on founders with a concept, as opposed to startups that have a live product with notable traction.”
Another differentiator for the HACKcelerator is the diversity of the teams. Because the only way to enter into the program is to receive an invite once you win at an AngelHack Series event, of which there were 61 hackathons all over the globe this year, the teams coming in come from everywhere.
Most other programs are more catered to their country.
Why Would An Accelerator Partner With A Pre-Accelerator?
It’s not uncommon to have teams that go through the program enter into an accelerator program afterwards. Last year’s batch saw SocialCapital enter into Techstars and Atumsoft into Brandery.
By partnering with the HACKcelerator, these accelerators get first dibs on the teams they see that have the most potential.
Global Demo Day
Just like a full-fledged accelerator, a pre-accelerator usually has a Demo Day. The HACKcelerator sure does, and it’s one of the hottest tickets in town during the Fall in San Francisco. And Startup Bash after the show? Always memorable, and a great way to have a blast networking with the teams.
It’s a night in which the local tech and AngelHack communities come together to celebrate the companies who’ve endured and thrived during the program, and get an early glimpse at hot new companies that may be just about to hit their big break.
Hint: keep your eyes peeled for GDD + Startup Bash ’16 news. Early bird tickets go on sale soon ;)
On September 8-10, the AngelHack team hit the ground in St. Louis, MO for the first RGAx-AURA Blockchain hackathon. The internal event took place at RGA’s insanely beautiful new headquarters which hosted 60 developers, designers and entrepreneurially-minded attendees.
Once again, our Bay Area community came out strong! This time, we worked with U.S. Bank and Mastercard to bring you guys the Think Big Hack Small hackathon, focused on creating innovative solutions for small business owners.
The 2016 HACKcelerator program is about to kick-off, taking winning teams for AngelHack’s 9th Global Hackathon Series through a pre-accelerator program geared to provide them with mentorship and resources to help turn the projects that emerged from the span of one weekend into startup successes!
“ To date, the HACKcelerator has had two Google acquisitions and one to Box. Our overall portfolio value is $40mm, while roughly 25% of our active companies get accepted into a later stage accelerator such as Y Combinator andTechstars and 50% are able to secure venture funding.” — Milan Koch, Managing Director HACKcelerator
Here are just a few companies who’ve emerged from past HACKcelerator batches and gone on to greatness.
Testlio (2013 HACKcelerator Batch)
Winners of AngelHack London 2013
Testlio seamlessly integrates into your development process to make sure bugs never hit production. You’re provided with your own dedicated testing team, loaded with a full range of devices and every tool.
Founders Kristel and Marko have led what started as a simple hackathon project to immense success (and got engaged in the process!).
Testlio was a part of the first Austin Techstars class, and has since gone on to expand the company and just raised $6.25m in April.
Ready for a throwback? Check out this awesome video of the team practicing their Global Demo Day pitch, and read about their strategy here.
Atumate (formerly Atumsoft) seemed to come out of left field, tackling an issue that most people aren’t aware even exists: laboratory instrumentation monitoring and data collection. They’ve created the new standard in data collection and analysis, using wireless connectivity and the flexibility and mobility of IoT technology.
“The beauty industry is a 36 billion dollar a year industry that has yet to be disrupted. I want to change that. Will you join me?”
That line from Tousled founder Priya Dandawate’s demo at AngelHack Seattle is stillreferenced during our CMO’s infamous pitch workshop, as an example of a perfect way to grab the crowd’s (and especially the judges) attention.
And grab their attention she did. Tousled has grown into Seattle’s leading mobile hair salon, providing on-demand haircut and styling, massages and more to the Seattle community.
AngelHack aims to drive open innovation that positively impacts the world, and bridges the gap between Silicon Valley and entrepreneurs globally through hackathons, virtual competitions, accelerator programs, Meetups, and various developer initiatives to over 100 cities around the globe.