29 Feb Local Accelerator Redefines the Model it Created
A year ago GeekWire wrote about the expected explosion of the Dallas/Fort Worth tech scene, and the explosion has been extraordinary. Tech Wildcatters, the preeminent accelerator, helped to develop the model now used by hundreds of others groups and is changing the model to better support startups and translate great ideas into successful ones.
Tech Wildcatters is just one option in DFW; RevTech, Collide Village, Accelerate NFC, Health Wildcatters and Motive also offer beneficial programs.
David Zax of Fast Company writes that Gabriella Draney-Zielke, the founder of Tech Wildcatters, recognized that there were specific behaviors people had that predicted success. These include the desire to look toward the need of the customer while still having the will to win, as well as the need for a clear power structure. If these foundational blocks were in place, then the hard work is ready to be done.
Now, Draney-Zielke is leading Tech Wildcatters in a new direction and improving the accelerator model through the financial incentives offered by encouraging adjustment to better serve its clients. By having the founders focus on the phase that they are in instead of worried about their standing among the rest of the cohort, they can better develop a viable product.
Tech Wildcatters employs a five-level process that helps to develop the different elements of the life cycle. This has allowed there to be more than 100 startups admitted this year compared to the fewer than 20 previously accepted. Without the constant comparison to other founders’ work, the startup is better able to focus on the needs of their organization without fear of falling behind or failing.
The financial incentives have also changed, offering $30,000 for eight percent equity over the first few stages. And then to those in Level 5, there is an opportunity to receive a $100,000 follow-up investment, providing the financial backing that may be necessary for ultimate project success.
By adjusting the model used by Tech Wildcatters, Draney-Zielke is embracing the message she preaches that any startup — regardless of where it is in terms of growth and development — can adjust to better serve the customer.
Blog post by Harmony Tapper