In the current state of the world, what we once knew to be a traditional accelerator has been disrupted and then some.
Traditional accelerators around the world (like 500Startups) are changing the way they interact with startups. They must have thought: Yes, we keep the standard terms that helped us make better decisions and lower risk, to this point, but we will no longer do structured batches. Why limit ourselves to certain periods of the year? Entrepreneurship doesn’t come in seasons, it just comes whenever it’s ready to manifest itself with a solid structure.
We had a similar epiphany, that produced an exciting outcome.
The given-for-granted possibility of physically being together in a room was gone. This vital component dissolved our program manager’s ability to read the room, filter subtleties and nuances from the group, and deliver direct and thoughtful feedback on the spot that could further help the startups develop in a significant way. We needed something more. More precise. More customized.
Through collaboration our team came up with the Scaling Manager’s role.
Who are the Scaling Managers?
Scaling Managers are people within the acceleration team, who dedicate themselves to follow the advancement of one or more organizations at the same time and have a comprehensive knowledge of the state of things of a participating startup.
MTB has created the Scaling Managers concept to provide highly customized programs to each startup. By assigning Scaling Managers to the startups we allow founders to have regular reviews of their work during the program as well as maintaining expectations.
This new format was implemented in 2020, and so far the feedback from our participating companies has been highly positive.
The Scaling Managers not only provide regular reality-check type feedback to the startups but coordinate their agendas and outcomes, agreed together with the founders, of the program they participate in.
You can think about the Scaling Managers as sort of temporary advisors to help guide the direction of a startup during the acceleration program and be the point of reference between the two entities after the demo day.
Scaling Managers for Corporate Accelerators
As a subset, the implementation of the Scaling Managers is a perfect fit with corporate acceleration programs. The mother company can bring in experts from the business units to learn more about the startup world—side by side with who is doing it—as well as startups being able to tap into senior managers who have deep knowledge in specific industries. Same as they would do with advisors.
The creation of such a connection between the founder, and the Scaling Managers suggests that there might be potential, even after the program, to turn it into an advisory collaboration.