What To Do After an Accelerator
Some accelerators are okay at building a network and engaging alumni. Some are terrible. Most succeed at bonding the participants of the same batch. Those founders spend a lot of time together so it’s only natural for them to develop friendships. But what happens after an accelerator? Usually, not much. Here is how it could be different and why it matters.
Y Combinator understood that one of the most important things for any accelerator is the network effect, or in other words knowing other founders in the accelerator. Here is what ex-president Sam Altman had to say about it:
We at Y Combinator always say we want to get a lot bigger because this is a network effect, this is a network that matters. Most venture capital firms will say out of one side of their mouth, “Oh no, smaller is better,” because they don’t want to work more. Then they’ll tell all their businesses, “The network effect is the only thing that matters.”
Keeping the community alive is easier than building one
Due to inertia, it’s hard to start a community. Keeping the ball rolling is a lot easier. That’s a very simple but valid reason why accelerators should invest in keeping the community alive. It will probably increase their brand value by quite a bit due to the fact that the value they provide would expand from months of content to, possibly, years. That being said, you don’t need to wait for accelerators to act. You can take action yourself. I will soon tell you how.
Knowledge needs practice
In the 4th grade of school, I studied French for a year. Today I don’t remember a word. Why? Because I didn’t practice it. That’s why keeping the community alive is important. You need to practice applying all the knowledge you acquired in order not to lose it. There is no better way than advising other startups. And even if you are adept at that new secret tactic you applied in your own startup, teaching others is still the best way to formalize that secret tactic in your head.
The culture of helpfulness
This is from the website of Y Combinator:
Y Combinator understood something important. Community is fundamentally about being helpful. Communities don’t survive on selling to each other. Or interesting content — that’s media. Communities are about members being helpful to each other.
So, knowing all this, what can you do?
GrowthClub was created to address exactly the problem I described above. GrowthClub is a community of founders with $5K+ MRR where founders exchange growth hacks and build genuine connections in 1-on-1 video calls. It is like YC’s famous Office Hours but in a 1-on-1 video call, and done in a peer to peer fashion — you both help each other out.
It might be somewhat counterintuitive but 1-on-1 video calls are the most effective tool for people to connect nowadays. That is a big part of what I think GrowthClub got right. Another big part is helpfulness. GrowthClub’s team is very selective with who they bring in, and helpfulness is a big criterion. GrowthClub also nudges people to help each other by having a clearly structured call where 50% of the time is spent on one person and 50% on another and providing them different coaching tools, exercises, methodologies.
Therefore, here is what you can do after an accelerator:
Advise your accelerator to join GrowthClub, because they have deals for accelerators
Join GrowthClub yourself
Invite your accelerator peers to join
Already next week GrowthClub is starting to work with the accelerator TechMinsk. 13 teams will join GrowthClub to keep in touch and grow together after an accelerator. Exciting times!
One of the biggest values accelerators provide is building a community among founders, but they rarely do much to keep it alive. Startups like GrowthClub solve that problem by providing a tool that can keep the community alive and connected while reinforcing a culture of helpfulness. And you don’t even need to be part of an accelerator to join!
Thanks for sticking till the end! I am a hands-on advisor at GrowthClub. GrowthClub is a community of founders with $5K+ MRR where founders exchange growth hacks and build genuine connections in 1-on-1 video calls.
I started with GrowthClub as a user. I liked it so much that I ended up helping the founder. Currently, after experiencing a great inflow of founders from our launch on Product Hunt and Indie Hackers featured article, we are signing up 30 hand-picked founders to form the core of our platform to actively iterate the product with them.