A ‘pop-up’ Accelerator alongside the latest co-working space


With the growth in the number of Accelerators it is becoming easier to put together short-term teams to curate ‘pop–up’ Accelerators, especially when they are co-located with existing startups.
Incubators and Science Parks with their colonies of early-stage ventures are ideal locations for Accelerators, which can also generate candidates for their hosts. Accelerators entail the bringing together of groups of ventures with similar issues, and the bringing together of teams of facilitators and supporters to deliver the process – a bit like putting together the cast for your new film: you can never be sure that people will indeed be available when you come to want them! Startupbootcamp’s FinTech Accelerator at the Rainmaking Loft in the City, now half way through its 12-week programme, has done just that.
What started as a one-man role (in John Bradford’s case at Ignite, it was him and a superb assistant), has now morphed (for example at Startupbootcamp’s FinTech) into a whole ‘pop-up’ team. Their roles include supervisory facilitation, communication/marketing, mentor management, event management, learning management, legals and documentation, and of course leaders with reputations and with connections in the fields concerned. While there is indeed a close-knit startup community at least in London, putting together such teams is a different matter in more remote locations, such as Nottingham, Newcastle or Swansea.
Jon Bradford’s success was built on his many connections, whose passion about or interest in startups enabled him to draw willingly on their help. Other Accelerators have relied on a small number of faithful people who have made their particular contributions. And mentors who have ‘done it before’ have been significant supporters. While the best of these are often irregular contributors because they are busily occupied on their own enterprises, alumni are often outstanding contributors. At all events, the role of mentor management is becoming critical issue.
Startupbootcamp has relied on networking and its many local connections, both in recruiting startups and in putting together its management team – recruiting students and graduates where there is a strong interest in startups and early-stage ventures, and using what is now a good market for temporary placements and interns (with a number of job board websites like http://workinstartups.com/). Moreover it has the benefit of many connections with experienced mentors; it aspires to Angels-in-residence; and it has access to a host of entrepreneurs-in-residence, located as it is in a small part of the Rainmaking Loft in London, a new co-working space for some 45 new ventures.

See also: Startupbootcamp – a leader in nurturing young businesses http://wp.me/p3beJt-8C

John Whatmore
September 2014