We’re on the sunny island of Tenerife this week for our week-long pre-accelerator course for startups.
We started running pre-accelerators back in 2010 when we realised there was a huge gap in the support available to startups before the accelerator stage, beyond basic startup advice. Previously we held all our pre-accelerators in London to great success. Lots of happy startups, and a good bunch of them getting through to full accelerators.
So why did we choose to run the next one in Tenerife?
- Immersed. Normally pre-accelerators or startup courses are 9-5, so it’s fine when you’re there, but when you go home, you’re faced with housemates, spouses, cooking, events; every day life. Here on the island, living with one another for a week, everyone’s minds are much more focussed on their business away from distractions. Even the chats over beers are tech focussed (inevitable I guess) so everyone really is immersed in the world of tech startups.
- Getting the head space to think creatively. We’re out here by the beach, with the sea and sun nearby, and very little else. When faced with the toughest problems within their startups, our teams can walk by the beach, hide away in their apartments, or sit on their balcony and do some literal blue-sky thinking to really get the head space to come up with creative ideas for their business problems.
- Shared purpose. All our teams are here with the same goal: to get their startup accelerator ready. Group living and a sense of shared purpose really spurs everyone on, and creates a supportive environment amongst our entrepreneurs.
- A whole week with a mentor. Everyone knows the value of speaking with someone who has been there, done that. But most of the time you get between 20 minutes to an hour with a mentor, and then they disappear off to their busy lives, before you got the chance to ask them about their startup, or really tell them about yours. By flying our mentors out to Tenerife, our teams are able to hear off-the-cuff stories about real life startup experiences, catch our mentors for multiple impromptu chats during the week, and don’t need to save up all their questions for a small slice of time.
- Mix of cultures and exposure to a new tech scene. We’ve got teams from across the UK as well as Spain and the Canary Islands, which allows everyone to experience another culture, and exchange some language skills (so far we’ve learnt curse words and how to say ‘beer’ in 3 different ways). We’re also getting an insight into Tenerife’s blossoming tech scene with visits from mentors on the island.
- Cost-effective. For non-London teams, it works out cheaper to fly to Tenerife and have your accommodation and food covered in the cost of the pre-accelerator, rather than finding a week’s accommodation in London plus paying for the tube and evening meals.
- SUNSHINE. Because who wants to dream up their big startup idea in the grey and cold of London?
Midway through this week’s pre-accelerator, we’re already dreaming of where to go next, so let us know what’s on your wish list! And to hear first about our next pre-accelerator and other startup programmes, sign up to our mailing list.