The Spark* Accelerator is an experience that many of the entrepreneurs refer to as ‘life-changing’. Your brain will hurt. You will laugh. You may even cry! In five days you will move to a whole new level of effectiveness as an entrepreneur. Your startup will become super focused, you will be better equipped to change the lives of people living in poverty, your business model will be way stronger, you will be a better entrepreneur, you will be better at raising cash, making deals, getting impact and getting sh#t done!
The difference between an entrepreneur on the first night of the Accelerator and how they pitch at investor day is massive. This will be one of the most intense and powerful weeks of your life as an entrepreneur.
So what can you expect if you are selected for a Spark* Accelerator?
1. You will be intimidated by the others in the room.
Hundreds apply to be Spark* entrepreneurs and we only select 10-15 for each intake. Chances are you might be used to being one of the smartest people in the room, or the natural leader in a group. At a Spark* Accelerator all of the entrepreneurs are very impressive! You will have to work hard to stay at the Spark* level (but also know we will give you lots of support).
2. The facilitators are world class.
The lead facilitators that run Spark* Accelerators are proven entrepreneurs who have built highly profitable startups or have changed the lives of tens of thousands of people living in poverty. Your support facilitators will be successful international entrepreneurs or Spark* entrepreneurs who have been through the Accelerator before.
3. You will have time to focus on your startup.
The Spark* Accelerator is not a regular leadership or business training program. This means that you will have lots of focused time to really hone down on your project. This will be big picture thinking. Your brain will hurt, your model will likely change a lot and you will need to work hard! Again, we provide awesome support for you throughout the week.
4. You will learn a lot.
Throughout the week you will engage with a world class, award winning curriculum that covers:
- Strategy: We will challenge you with new ways of how to structure your startup, test new ideas, understand your users, refine your business model and theory of change and together we will check out case studies of other great social entrepreneurs.
- Impact: How to determine and report on the impact you are having.
- Funding: How to raise funds and look after them and report on them in the best way.
- Sharing Your Vision: You will become very good at pitching, public speaking and networking.
- Looking After Yourself: You will learn about how to stay at peak performance so you can be super effective as a Changemaker.
- Innovation tools: You will be able to come up with awesome ideas quickly with the tools we give you.
The Accelerator is amazing, but it is just the beginning. We work alongside you for the next 12 months to help you prove your model, move out of startup and move into scaling your idea.
Specifically we provide support including:
▪Regular business and strategy support with the Spark* team.
▪Free access to graphic designers and web developers to get your startup looking great with a quality logo, brand, and website as well as marketing collateral like business cards, proposals, social media cover photos and promotional images.
▪Access to legal support through our partner pro-bono legal firms.
▪Help for you to track and report on your impact.
▪Access to research assistants to help you identify partners and opportunities for your startup.
▪Access to quick injections of small funding (AU$500 a time) to help you test new ideas or overcome barriers.
The best Spark* entrepreneurs move into growth, where we provide larger amounts of support to help you grow a model that have proven in the startup phase. At this level you can access larger grants of $25,000 Australian dollars, are connected directly to our investor partners and our team work closely with you to strategise specific approaches that will help you dramatically increase your impact and sustainability. Approximately one in every 25 Spark* entrepreneurs gets through to this stage, so it is very competitive.
What are you waiting for?