Clifton Wilson of Seed Hatchery 2012′s Safety Hound wrote a letter of advice to our current cohort. We thought it was pretty relevant to anyone in, or considering, a startup accelerator and Clifton was nice enough to let us share publicly:
To the people in a tech accelerator program, especially those in Seed Hatchery 2013:
Please learn from my failures during my own SH experience.
When I started an accelerator program, they suggested reading this book soon. I am not suggesting you read it. I am imploring you to read it. It is one of the most important things you will do. The most important lesson I failed to heed was ask about price. It is all fine and dandy to say “do you like my widget,” BUT you have to ask “how much would you PAY for my widget.”
Engage your mentors early. I have three top notch mentors and they are awesome, but I am guilty of not engaging them early and often. I had the opportunity to engage them three weeks in but I waited nearly 45 days. I lost weeks. I still didn’t do I good job for another ten days after that. Now I am emailing and asking tons of questions.
Learn the tools of the tech trade.
For example, You may need a web site. Do you know what a wireframe is? No? Neither did I. You need to go find out and learn how to make one. If you don’t know, ask a mentor quick.
Ask lots of questions.
Take advantage of the network being built around you. When you meet someone, listen to them. So many people offered to help that I couldn’t take advantage of all the offers. These people are volunteering to be around to help you become successful. Make sure you use their time wisely. They want to help.
Learn from my failures. Don’t lose site of your goals and keep an eye on that dang clock. It moves fast.
Thanks for listening, and good luck-