Accelerators like Y Combinator and Techstars have rapidly emerged as important launchpads for a whole host of young tech startups. Through a combination of connections and coaching, accelerators help guide infant companies through the wobbly stage until they can stand on their own two feet.
It isn’t easy to get accepted by an accelerator, but those who are accepted gain access to mentorship, technology, office space and an innovative community – all the ingredients they need to get a business up and running. But what happens afterwards? Startup accelerator programs only last a few months, after which companies are more or less left to fend for themselves. It’s a recognized weakness in the accelerator model that one Dallas-based accelerator is hoping to fix, and not just with its own graduates.
REVTECH has come up with the novel idea of helping not just its own startups, but also those that have graduated from other accelerator programs, with the launch of its inaugural Graduate Program this week. Open to any startup that’s completed a recognized accelerator program, REVTECH’s new Graduate Program is hoping to help some of the “best and brightest” new retail tech companies to establish a presence in Dallas.
To make it happen, REVTECH has teamed up with Silicon Valley-based venture capital fund GrowthX, which operates an invite-only Market Acceleration Program (MXP) that helps selected companies find the perfect product-market fit so they can start finding customers and bringing in revenues.
A total of seven startups have been accepted into the inaugural Graduate Program, where they’ll be fast-tracked into an adapted MXP that can help the startups zero in on their product markets. At the same time, REVTECH will organize meetings and workshops involving local mentors, investors and customers to help participating startups get the ball rolling, so to speak. Finally, the program will conclude at REVTECH’s 4th annual “Tech Trends in Restaurant & Retail” event at the Addison Conference Center on March 30, where the startups will be given the chance to showcase what they’re doing to an audience of 250 industry executives and investors.
“We expect that spending four days immersed in our community, leveraging our network and experiencing Dallas, will entice these brilliant entrepreneurs to at least establish a local presence,” said David Matthews, managing director of REVTECH.
Among the participants are GlamStreet, a San Francisco-based virtual makeup app maker for brands and retailers, which successfully graduated from the 500 Startups accelerator; forrge, also based in San Francisco, which graduated from XRC Labs Accelerator with an on-demand staffing platform for QSRs and retailers; and Dallas-based PnP Loyalty, which graduated from REVTECH’s own program with a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution that works behind the scenes to support all loyalty marketing needs for QSRs and convenience stores.
“This first cohort of accelerator graduates is tackling key issues of the restaurant and retail industries,” Matthews said. “They are solving for worker productivity, customer loyalty, store analytics and enhanced product selection — topics of great interest to our locally-headquartered operators.”
The success of this initiative remains to be seen, but it’s yet another great example of how Dallas’ entrepreneurs are using innovative new ideas to reel in some of the country’s most exciting startups into the city’s burgeoning tech scene.
Photo source: Pixabay
Blog post by: Mike Wheatley