SaltMines Group Managing Director Terence Channon discussing their approach:We get our hands dirty and actually get in the trenches with our founders when it comes to writing code, building product road maps and developing acquisition campaigns.
Name of Accelerator: SaltMines Group
Location: Vero Beach, FL
Managing Director: Terence Channon
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 goal is to put a start-up in business and reach viability. We want to get the engine going as well as have the compass taking the vehicle in the right direction towards business success.
Why is your accelerator program unique? Please describe the benefits of your program.
We get our hands dirty and actually get in the trenches with our founders when it comes to writing code, building product road maps and developing acquisition campaigns.
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What is the most difficult part of working with startups?
Getting a founding team to embrace discipline and process without oppressing the creativity. Entrepreneurs have tremendous energy and their inherent creativity is where these wonderful ideas spawn from. However, without a strong foundation – understanding where your capital is going, developing structured criteria for pursuing a new project and tracking activity – startups can stall before they even get going. Everyone wants to succeed yesterday – setting the stage to expect it may take several years before success is realized is a mindset that is hard for a passionate entrepreneur to take in.
What do you enjoy the most? What do you find most appealing about working with entrepreneurial startups?
Being around the sheer joy and passion of founders is absolutely compelling and inspiring. When you are sitting in the midst of innovation and passion, it is almost like the source of life. I think of our ancestors having discussions to leave a certain area to seek better living conditions or to remain where they were to build a foundation for the future. It is in our nature to explore and commit to the unknown – and spending time with those that are pursuing that is very invigorating and rewarding.
Tell us about your success stories. Which are the most interesting companies to have participated in your program?
Currently, we are working with a music-sharing technology company – a platform offering creative ways for consumers to share music with friends and discover new songs. People love music of all sorts – the appetite is seemingly insatiable. It’s very interesting working alongside a team that is swimming in a space that everyone can smile about.
What are the three most important factors startup entrepreneurs should consider when contemplating attending an accelerator?
- Team Chemistry.
It is important to get along with your team and your mentors and have all interests aligned. We have seen many companies get shut off because of an inherent distrust between the founders and investors. If everyone is on the same page, the tough conversations are more likely to end with a mutually agreeable solution rather than a stand-off.
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- Real Value.
Giving up equity can be very expensive. Whether the accelerator takes 2% or 50%, think to yourself if the company will one day be worth $1 billion. Will you be able to succeed independent of the accelerator? If so, then consider passing despite the benefits. If not, then giving up more should not be an issue.
- Money never solves the problem.
Raising capital may be a milestone but it is not a business objective. Joining an accelerator, especially ones that provide cash, does not guarantee success. Make sure your business has legs before jumping into a program. An idea is never enough.
What else would you like to share?
Aim to get independent from financing. Build your product, get to market and leverage your capabilities to drive new revenue. The sooner you can keep the cash balance from going to zero, the higher chance of success you will have. Almost every successful startup we have spoken with has embraced doing some non-core things early on to make sure they had the runway to succeed. Stay positive – stay healthy. Get some sleep, spend time with family & friends and exercise. When your mind and body are in a good spot, success comes much easier and with much less resistance.