The South Florida Accelerator is Florida’s First Innovation Aggregator targeting digital health, medical devices, loT, human capital enterprise and FinTech.
Name of Accelerator: The South Florida Accelerator
Managing Director: Christopher Malter
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.
TSFA is a non-traditional innovation aggregator that funds and nurtures start-ups in digital health, medical devices, loT, human capital enterprise and FinTech. Through our “Off-Ramp” Model, we rapidly increase valuation, minimize risk and maximize return for both our entrepreneurs and stakeholders.
Why is your accelerator program unique? Please describe the benefits of participation in your program.
The South Florida Accelerator is Florida’s First Innovation Aggregator targeting digital health, medical devices, loT, human capital enterprise and FinTech. Our largest differentiator regionally is our strategic corporate partnerships which provide many of our startups at the very onset the ability to create IP which can be “Off-Ramped” rapidly for acquisition and/or carry thru to commercial viability.
What is the most difficult part of working with startups?
Expectations and Preconceptions. Expectations – Quite often the team needs to be built up. Quite often it is the expectation from the founders that it does not. Preconceptions – Preconceived POC and capabilities, experience of existing management and/or valuations.
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What do you enjoy the most; what do you find most appealing about working with entrepreneurial startups?
The passion. Entrepreneurs embody passion, inspiration and hope. Every day is a new day filled with energy and growth. I love innovation and creating applications that influence quality of life and make it easier, better and more productive is what I find most appealing.
Tell us about your success stories; which are the most interesting companies to have participated in your program?
Two immediately come to mind. First is a bioinformatics company targeting advanced cancer patients and their quality of life. Second is a technology developed by elementary kids as part of a school project that reduces gas emissions and increases monitoring of children during car line drop-off and pick-up. We were so impressed with these kids and their passion to make their community a better place, we decided to support it.
What are the three most important factors startup entrepreneurs should consider when contemplating attending an accelerator?
- Management – Building and retaining a great team is essential to success.
- Commitment – I always find it amazing when a startup team takes for granted the dedication an accelerator must commit to their company. If we are in 100%, then it stands to reason the startup team is in 100%.
- Execution – Getting to the 10-yard line does not equal a TD. Startups must execute and deliver.
What else would you like to share?
Startups must understand that funding is not the Holy Grail. I have seen well-funded startups fail because they could not execute or had difficulty pivoting. Also, the more you can do without funding will dramatically and positively affect your leverage when the time comes to seek funding.
Are you familiar with other accelerators you believe should be highlighted? If so, we would like to hear from you. Tell us about them, sharing your comments below.