Launching a startup is an adventure. It is filled with excitement, frustration, fulfilled or broken dreams. I’m sure anybody who’s been in this business has memories about all the long days and sleepless nights. We, “The Beagles”, are of course no exception. We’ve come a long way from being a team spread across the world working on a prototype of an awesome and innovative product. Everything has changed in the way we work since we’ve all been reunited and working together, inside one of the best sceneries a young and ambitious company would wish to.
We always get asked about the Microsoft Accelerator by people in our networks. MSVA is an immersive mentor-driven program, currently with 7 global locations around the world. How did we end up here and what’s the story? Glad you’ve asked! We, the Beagle pack, are a truly international team, who love to travel, so Microsoft Ventures in Seattle seemed like such an obvious match for us. Since we’ve been here all the team members are implicated in all the business and development areas and that feels great, contributing to the “product” and not just to the “app” or the “business plan”.
Everything here happens in a really fast paced fashion. Every week has a specific theme (like customer acquisition, branding, tech etc…) and there’s always a hands on workshop or a seminar happening. Being in an accelerator makes your product and business plan seem much more tangible because you get so many eyeballs on them. Changing them is a constant you have to get used to. It’s not uncommon to have to do a impromptu demo and pitch for somebody interested in the startups in the program who was just passing by your desk. What’s great is the sheer amount of feedback you get. We’re thrilled when we just throw our product in the hands of somebody and see how they react and interact with.
From a cohort perspective, MSVA is an environment that makes you more eager than ever for success. The mentorship is great for validating your plan and make you feel more confident about it. The friendship with all the other teams in the cohort is great and fantastic stories emerge right next to you. I would define the relation between the teams as “loud collaboration and silent competition”. It’s true, we help each other as much as we can. Every team has some core expertise or connections that other don’t and everybody is open with sharing their resources. If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably be swimming faster if you have a great swimmer in the next lane. Every team here is great, with unique stories and awesome products. We’re proud to be friends with them, be part of their story and have them in the next lane.