Startup Accelerator Spotlight: SEED SPOT

Seed Spot

SEED SPOT Ventures are solving problems that will have incredible community and global impact.

Name of Accelerator: SEED SPOT

Seed Spot

Courtney Klein, Co-founder & CEO

Location: Phoenix Arizona and Washington, DC

Website: www.seedspot.org

Co-Founder and CEO: Courtney Klein

Director of Administration: Corinn Perry

 

This article is part of our Startup Accelerator Spotlight Series featuring accelerators from around the world. We hope these spotlights will assist the entrepreneur should they consider attending an accelerator program.

In two sentences or less, tell us about your accelerator and its objectives.

Our mission is to educate, accelerate and invest in entrepreneurs creating solutions to social problems.

Why is your accelerator program unique? Please describe the benefits of participation in your program.

We do a few things differently than most accelerators.

  • We do not take equity in any of the ventures we work with. Period.
  • As a nonprofit, we are able to leverage an incredible amount of resources for entrepreneurs that they otherwise may not be able to afford or access.
  • We accept both for-profit and nonprofit ventures and find that being in the room together often leads to more innovative solutions.
  • We pride ourselves on being inclusive, 49% of alumni are female founders, 45% are minority and we have served entrepreneurs from 18-82 years of age.
  • Social impact is our core. We only work with entrepreneurs who are building products, services or technologies that make the world a better place.

We will do anything for our entrepreneurs. Our love for them is our ultimate differentiator.

Are you a female founder that could benefit from a Women’s Boot Camp?

< see related: FundingSage’s Women Entrepreneur Spotlights >

What is the most difficult part of working with startups?

The most difficult part is that our team feels we can never give enough. The individuals and teams that are a part of our programs put their dreams on the line every single day in order to make the world a better place. They motivate us to work harder to give them the support they need to succeed and amplify their impact.

Also, it’s difficult to not jump in and join every entrepreneur’s team! SEED SPOT Ventures are solving problems that will have incredible community and global impact. The energy of all the entrepreneurs is phenomenal and we just want to be with them all the time. We want to work with them constantly. It might sound cheesy, but seeing each entrepreneur leave the program is like your first kid going off to college – you are proud but will miss seeing them every day! #EmptyNester

What do you enjoy the most; what do you find most appealing about working with entrepreneurial startups?

There is a distinct passion that each venture has when they come into our program. They aren’t waiting for problems to solve themselves, but instead are taking matters into their own hands and creating a solution that works through business. That brand of individualized motivation is powerful and easy for us to ignite as mentors and program leaders for these startups.

Seed Spot
Tell us about your success stores; which are the most interesting companies to have participated in your program?

Too many to count! A few by industry:

Healthcare: Epifinder  provides software to doctors to help diagnose epilepsy syndromes at the point of care. The proprietary software uses machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms on the back end to help with diagnosis.

Education: AVA School Solutions is a mobile-friendly health screening management system for schools that is easy to implement, eliminates paperwork and increases accuracy.

Human Rights: Celebrate EDU is a nonprofit on a mission to encourage and empower young adults with developmental disabilities by providing innovative entrepreneurial education that builds on their interests and passions so that they can create happier and more productive lives.

Energy and Environment: BEhelper is an app that generates actionable insight for a building’s energy usage from pre-design to occupancy in 5 minutes or less.

Agriscaping provides an innovative solution that is helping people transform their front or back yards into beautiful and productive food gardens.

Animal Welfare: Vestafy is the shelter operations and field services first workflow management software that supports the organization’s animSeed Spotal life saving capacity through improved efficiency.

Interested in reading more about SEED SPOT alumni?

What are the three most important factors startup entrepreneurs should consider when contemplating attending an accelerator?

  1. Community: Starting a venture is hard and can be lonely, especially as your team grows. When looking for an accelerator or incubator, make sure that the community is supportive and fits your own style.
  2. Access: Accelerators build lots of relationships for their ventures. Understand what you need most as an entrepreneur and find out if the accelerator has access to what you need. No matter what meeting you are going to or what program you are joining, have what you need to get out of that interaction WRITTEN DOWN so you are ready when someone asks what they can do to help you.
  3. Alignment of Interests: Look at who is running the accelerators – are they interested in seeing you succeed as an entrepreneur? Are they looking for a big pay day? Make sure you know their motivations and if they have your back 100% … no matter what.

< see related: Two Key Factors in Getting Startup Advice from Professionals” >

What else would you like to share?

SEED SPOT currently has programs running in Phoenix, AZ and Washington DC! Check out our website to learn more about which program is right for you and your venture.

We are also a non profit! Check us out to learn more about how you can support social entrepreneurs who are changing the world.

The Seed Spot Team

Seed Spot

Photo Credit Sierra LaDuke, Intern

Co-Founder and CEO-Courtney Klein

Director of Administration:  Corinn Perry

National Director of Expansion:  C’pher Gresham

Director of SEED SPOT NEXT:  Gretchen Naugle

Phoenix Director of Entrepreneur Initiatives:  Lauren McDanell

Phoenix Operations Manager:  John B. Johnson

 

 

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Are you familiar with other accelerators you believe should be spotlighted?  If so, we would like to hear from you.  Tell us about them, sharing your comments below!


Pam Goforth

Pam Goforth is Research Manager for FundingSage, which provides valuable information, tools and resources to entrepreneurs seeking to start, grow and fund a business.