Remember that time you guys hung out with us, and watched former NFL player Mike Brown talk about his journey toward building a successful startup? (If you don’t, the clip is below). Well, now he is taking his company to the next level.
(Video: Niranjan Deshpande)
Meet 500 Startups newest batch attendee, Mike Brown. If you aren’t familiar, 500 Startups is an accelerator that is easily on par with the Harvard and Stanford of the accelerator world. Mike will be growth-hacking company Win-Win to success.
So, how does one get accepted into such a prestigious place? The one thing I can tell you is that traction is key, among other things. Before Mike approached 500 Startups, he made sure that he was completely prepared. He had a product in the marketplace that had already been validated by customers. He also already raised $1 million in funding. He had done so much to minimize the risk of the investment, that it became a no-brainer for 500 Startups.
So, the questions remain; if you have all of this going for you already, why go into an accelerator that will essentially give you $150,000 in exchange for 6% equity stake in your company, in addition to charging a $37,500 participation fee?
It’s about the network, access, credibility, and relationships. Brown will be able to accelerate his company much faster than he could on his own. When you are at the early stages of building, you absolutely need that support. Brown will be immersed in strategic growth hacking courses, connections, advice, and an incredible community that will assist in getting him to the next level. Additionally, he now has the name attached, so when he goes to fundraise later down the line, investors are looking at him differently.
I think we as a community, African Americans in particular, are afraid to invest in ourselves because this requires giving something up–equity, money, time–something. We have to understand that making sacrifices are an absolute must, in order to grow. Brown gave up a percentage of his company, but he gained so much more in return. A lot of building a business is about who you know. Working with 500 Startups is giving Brown’s company the credibility it needs to accelerate its growth into an even bigger success.
Do you feel your company is ripe for venture capital investing? Have you similarly checked everything off the list to minimize the investing risk of your company? If so, check out the 500 Startups link here.
Sequoia Blodgett is the Technology Editor for Black Enterprise, Silicon Valley. She is also the founder of 7AM, a lifestyle, media platform, focused on personal development, guided by informed, pop culture.