It’s that time again everybody…. Hackathon season is in the air. That friendly feeling of anxiety while Red Bull courses through your veins, you scramble to enter the last few values into your line of code, driving you through the finish line. You did it, and that feeling is all too real. That feeling is going to push you to tackle hackathon on top of hackathon, earning you the title of seasoned veteran.
On September 24, 2016 AngelHack’s Director of Social Innovation, Rachel Katz had the opportunity to participate as one of the panel members at The Tech Museum in San Jose for the hackathon, “Hack Homelessness.” The teams participating had to think critically and build something in the span of a few short days all with a singular mission in mind: create innovative projects that fight homelessness.
Not long ago the AngelHack team put our heads together to figure out what cities we were going to bring our Lady Problems series to. We knew we couldn’t leave out Delhi because of our awesome community in this awesome city!
Australia. A continent known for its amazing wildlife, natural beauty, abundance of climatic zones, and a rapidly growing tech and entrepreneurial industry. That’s right, the land down under’s tech sector and economy has skyrocketed in the last 2 years! Which is just one reason we love our hackathons there!
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.
- Get into a lean startup mindset
- 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?
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 ;)
We absolutely love our London community and because you are all such amazing people we knew that our hackathon needed the perfect spot to house you all. We teamed up with the one and only Innovation Warehouse!
Once again the one. The only. The amazing Amazon Web Service is partnering with us! This year they are letting us use their beautiful AWS Loft in New York City!
When we started the Lady Problems Hackathon Series, there was one thing we knew for sure: building a coalition of partners and advisors who could guide and help us in our mission to support women in tech and entrepreneurs across the globe would be essential.