I spent a little time at StartupWeekendHamilton3 in April as a mentor and was talking to a young founder who proclaimed that there was one great accelerator in Canada. Who he said it was surprised me a little and got me thinking, what makes an accelerator “the best” and why should an eager founder care? The baseline in my mind is Y-Combinator. No one can argue it is the best seed-stage accelerator based on its results. What is difficult for everyone to agree upon is what does it do to achieve those results or even harder, what defines success?
The incubator/accelerator market has a growing number of people watching and waiting for its bubble to pop. The reasons cited for this looming pop should be obvious: most accelerators aren’t going to perform as well as some TechStars programs and not even close to Y Combinator. Poor performance (measured in the number of short-term wins) along with the short-term nature of the funding behind most of the accelerator programs will cause them to run out of money and simply fade into startup history.
But that won’t pop the bubble.
By Daylin Mantyka
As a regular feature, we provide our readers with a roundup of some of the best articles we have read in the past week. On the podium this week are Techvibes, MarketingProfs, Co.Create and GigaOM.
Ian MacKinnon talks about the pros and cons of joining an accelerator and whether or not it’s right for your company.
The problem isn’t too little smart money, it’s too many dumb deals
By Ronald Weissman
The meme of the month is “The Series A Crunch.” According to Crunch Theory, many worthy seed-funded startups lack follow-on capital because VCs now have smaller funds or have moved later stage. CB Insights estimates $1 billion in seed financing will be “incinerated” and at least 1,000 companies will be orphaned. Other data suggest that the number of orphans could be much larger.
Those who say the problem lies with VCs (CB Insights isn’t one of them) must argue that the number of Series A deals has fallen sharply. This is not true and the problem lies elsewhere. Whatever the cause, there is, certainly, a capital crunch for seed-funded startups and it is likely to get worse, as the backlog of seed-stage companies needing Series A funding continues to grow.
I just this minute got off the phone with a CEO who has twice been a client. Along with a technical founder, he’s been working on a new startup for about a year now, and he wanted to pick my brain a bit on messaging and positioning. He said he was struggling with the consistency of his messaging, especially when it came to pitching investors. The company is looking for $500,000 in an angel round.
“Investors are telling us we sound like a completely different company the second time they hear our pitch,” my friend said.
Planning for the New Year
December 23, 2013 by David French
I was recently sitting at a hotel bar and overheard a circle of businessmen talking at a nearby table. I couldn’t help listening in. What I heard spaced over about an hour was strangely familiar [...]Read more... -
Great articles roundup: Social media, content marketing, marketing strategy and startups
December 20, 2013 by Daylin Mantyka
It’s Friday, yet again, which means it’s time for our weekly roundup. This one happens to be the last of 2013. Over the week, we’ve read great content from Social Media Explorer, Marketing Sherpa and Startup Professional Musings [...]Read more... -
Damn it, Beyoncé: Now all the pundits will say marketing is unnecessary
December 19, 2013 by Francis Moran
It didn’t take long after music megastar Beyoncé dropped her latest release onto Apple iTunes with no advance warning or usual hype-fest for the armchair pundits and marketing deniers to trumpet that marketing was now dead [...]Read more... -
Five keys to your presentation success in 2014
December 18, 2013 by Anil Dilawri
The good news – 2013 was a good year for most businesses. The bad news – most business presentations delivered in 2013 still sucked. Whether it’s an investor pitch, an elevator pitch, a customer update, or an important sales presentation, here are five ideas to help make your presentations remarkable in 2014 [...]Read more... -
Becoming a more successful you in 2014
December 17, 2013 by Leo Valiquette
It’s that time of year again, when pundits and armchair quarterbacks of every stripe offer up their insights on the year past and their predictions for the year to come. This isn’t one of those posts [...]Read more... -
Best of: I’m sick and tired of hearing that Canadians don’t take risks
December 16, 2013 by Francis Moran
This is the next entry in our “Best of” series, in which we venture deep into the vault to replay blog opinion and insight that has withstood the test of time. Today’s post hails from December 2011. We welcome your feedback [...]Read more... -
Great articles roundup: Social media, Gen Y, communications and entrepreneurship
December 13, 2013 by Daylin Mantyka
It’s officially the end of the working week, which means that it’s time for the Friday roundup where we’ve compiled a short list of the top articles we read and loved [...]Read more... -