Startup Studio is one of a very few startup accelerators that are well positioned inside the Mexican ecosystem.
Name of Accelerator: Startup Studio Monterrey
Location: Monterrey, Mexico
Managing Partner: Mario Garcia
Program Manager: Carlos I. Garcia
This article is part of our Startup Accelerator Spotlight 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.
We are a high-impact, digital startup accelerator that focuses on helping early-stage startups find a product-market fit and begin scaling up within 20 weeks time.
Why is your accelerator program unique? Please describe the benefits of participation in your program.
Startup Studio is one of a very few startup accelerators that are well positioned inside the Mexican ecosystem. Our program has no initial costs for the entrepreneurs since we just ask for a small share of the startup’s equity and our specialization in digital, scalable startups allows us to shape a strongly fitted program and network of allies, mentors and investors.
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What is the most difficult part of working with startups?
This is a hard one, so we’ll cheat a little by talking about our two biggest challenges… The very first challenge for us is helping founders stay focused, agile and motivated through the rough patches that arise along a startup’s development.
Our second biggest challenge is not getting too involved or having too much influence in a startup’s development. Sometimes we have some exciting ideas or strong opinions around all these projects, but it is paramount for us that whatever is done reflects the founders’ visions and not our own.
What do you enjoy the most; what do you find most appealing about working with entrepreneurial startups?
If you’ve taken a look at Mexico’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, it is no secret that we are still way behind other innovation hubs around the world, although in recent years the spark was lit and an incredible growth spurt has begun. For us, this means that there’s still plenty of amazing things to be done and we are so excited to help lead the way with the startups in our family.
Every day we find new talent in the most unexpected founders and we think it’s just awesome how everyone is constantly helping everybody else without even hesitating. We have founders of health startups helping founders of financial startups with precious information and ideas going back and forth. When you put a bunch of these startups in the same room, everyone’s IQ goes a dozen points up (ourselves included).
Tell us about your success stories: which are the most interesting companies to have participated in your program?
Maybe two of our most interesting startups right now are Blooders and Spider Fleet.
A startup dedicated to solving the many areas of opportunity around blood donation. Over the past few months, they have built a platform where blood donors can see where blood is urgently needed, see if they are viable donors (through a series of tools including personal donation calendar and brief/user-friendly questionnaires), make an appointment and share their participation with others. The platform makes the donation experience at least twice as fast and simple, which encourages more people to donate blood. For people or family members with an urgent need of blood, they help through the creation of campaigns that are shared throughout their community.
Finally, they solve a BIG problem for hospitals through their blood bank administration system where they enable hospitals to easily manage appointments for blood donation, control their inventory levels and easily transfer inventories to other connected hospitals. This minimizes waste and precious resources that normally occur in these processes. These guys have won a bunch of awards and during their limited beta test of the past few months, 20 hospitals have adopted the platform and 4,000 donors used the platform, of which 60% were first-time donors. Blooders is expected to transition to growth phase soon.
A platform for tracking and managing most types of terrestrial vehicles, providing tips with pinpoint accuracy to fleet managers and owners based on their analytics of all the data generated from the vehicle’s sensors and the driver’s driving behaviors. Their main focus right now is on light and utilitarian vehicle fleets, providing them with safety and cutting costs from maintenance and repair, fuel consumption and traffic tickets. This startup was awarded as the best lean startup in Mexico’s entrepreneur week by the National Institute of Entrepreneurship; they are about to complete their beta stage and will soon be looking to scale up.
What are the three most important factors startup entrepreneurs should consider when contemplating attending an accelerator?
We are in contact with many startups every day and look at many other success and failure cases around the world. Here’s what we think an entrepreneur should think about when applying to an accelerator:
Agility and dedication are key.
With or without an accelerator being too slow and taking too long to launch constitutes your biggest risk of failure. If you and your team are truly on a “make-it-count’ mindset and really dedicate yourselves during an acceleration process, you can get incredibly far. If you cannot commit yourselves 100% right now, you’d be wasting a lot of the opportunities an accelerator can offer.
Startups that learn from mentors/investors/other entrepreneurs are much more likely to succeed.
Normally an accelerator is one of the best places to get all these, as long as you are open about what you are doing and willing to listen to other people’s opinions and tips.
Accelerators are pretty much facilitators/enablers.
By this we mean that we help you make a bunch of things easier and faster, but the founders are the true drivers of the startup who have the initiative and know their industry better than anyone else in the accelerator (so don’t expect an accelerator to operate your business or make key decisions for you).
What else would you like to share?
We love to hear new interesting ideas about how we can collaborate with others, especially when it’s about helping the entrepreneurial ecosystem grow or helping an awesome startup become “awesomer”. If you want to share ideas with us, send us an email and we’d be glad to have a chat over coffee or beers.
Is there an accelerator you would like us to spotlight? If so, let us know through your comments below.