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About ACCEL.MN


Accel.MN is a totally free program for entrepreneurs to refine their ideas and be prompted into action in a collaborative setting.  Think of it as a "pre-accelerator", or a program that would prepare you for a more traditional accelerator seeking to invest seed funding in exchange for equity in your startup.  

The mission of Accel.MN is to accelerate the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Minnesota by improving the collective education, network, and support of early-stage entrepreneurs and by promoting a positive startup culture. 

The program focuses on the early phases of startups, including idea generation, market validation, business design and growth. Essentially, the educational component of a startup accelerator is being provided to entrepreneurs for free, while also building a valuable network among the participants. The content is sourced from world-class organizations such as the Kauffman Foundation, Techstars, and Business Models Inc.

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About ACCEL.MN


Accel.MN is a totally free program for entrepreneurs to refine their ideas and be prompted into action in a collaborative setting.  Think of it as a "pre-accelerator", or a program that would prepare you for a more traditional accelerator seeking to invest seed funding in exchange for equity in your startup.  

The mission of Accel.MN is to accelerate the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Minnesota by improving the collective education, network, and support of early-stage entrepreneurs and by promoting a positive startup culture. 

The program focuses on the early phases of startups, including idea generation, market validation, business design and growth. Essentially, the educational component of a startup accelerator is being provided to entrepreneurs for free, while also building a valuable network among the participants. The content is sourced from world-class organizations such as the Kauffman Foundation, Techstars, and Business Models Inc.

PROGRAM STRUCTURE

Accel.mn will utilize the “flipped classroom” model, where content will be provided prior to each of the sessions to level-set participants based on their individual backgrounds and to prepare them for an engaging conversation.  This will be done in the first hour as a debrief among the participants with opportunities to share personal takeaways and key lessons.  In the second hour, a panel of experts on the particular topic will join the group for a chance to ask specific questions and hear the differences between theory and practice.

One of the goals of the program is that new ideas will spark between the 20 bright participants. While the effect may be similar to a Startup Weekend, this is a much more immersive program.  It allows participants to focus on their individual ideas, instead of being forced to work on someone else’s idea.  It also builds skills and provides exposure to new methodologies.  Most importantly, this program will form a tight network of other entrepreneurs that can continue to provide support and advice long after the program concludes.

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Participate


Participants come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and that is what makes this a valuable program for everyone involved.  Diversity of skills, experiences and perspectives among entrepreneurs is highly correlated to better outcomes in their startups.  Through Accel.MN, entrepreneurs are exposed to a network they likely wouldn't have met on their own, and because the program is designed to create lasting bonds, participants leave with a valuable asset to help them achieve their ambitions.  The one common theme is that all participants are passionate about starting something.

Participate


Participants come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and that is what makes this a valuable program for everyone involved.  Diversity of skills, experiences and perspectives among entrepreneurs is highly correlated to better outcomes in their startups.  Through Accel.MN, entrepreneurs are exposed to a network they likely wouldn't have met on their own, and because the program is designed to create lasting bonds, participants leave with a valuable asset to help them achieve their ambitions.  The one common theme is that all participants are passionate about starting something.

The ideal participant is someone that is passionate about technology and is currently toying around with an idea for a business.  The quality of the idea is secondary to the potential of the person and the value they would bring to the program.  You don't have to be an experienced entrepreneur working on an established startup with significant traction. In fact, those companies are better suited for traditional startup accelerators that will provide a platform to pitch to investors.  If you are a serial entrepreneur looking for your next idea, this might be a great place for you to find it.  If you simply have an idea for a business, but are unsure of the next steps, this is the perfect program for you.  The sequential nature of the content in Accel.MN will provide structured guidance, allowing participants to dip their toes into the water without quitting their day jobs and burning their life savings.

The value proposition for participants is:

  • Increased general knowledge of startups

  • Acceleration of your particular idea or business

  • A tight network of other talented entrepreneurs (20 per cohort), selected for their high potential and diversity of skills, experiences and perspectives

  • Inclusion in a growing society of entrepreneurs in MN with opportunities to connect across cohorts

There are no financial or equity requirements for participating.  The only requirement is that participants bring a high level of commitment and effort to the program.  This means they must be able to attend all 6 sessions and complete all pre-readings, videos, workshop exercises, team-building activities, and homework assignments.  You will get out what you put into it, and your effort will also enhance the quality of the program for others in the group.