Telluride, (TVA) is uniquely positioned to help companies across many different verticals.
Name of Accelerator: Telluride Venture Accelerator (TVA)
Location: Telluride, CO
Managing Director: Marc Nager
Program Manager: Ashley Nager
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.
We’re creating global solutions from one of the most beautiful places imaginable – the mountain town of Telluride, CO.
Why is your accelerator program unique? Please describe the benefits of participation in your program.
Our main value prop is our mentor network. Telluride attracts a ton of successful and unique people. We have an incredible concentration of world-class entrepreneurs, many of whom live here, and who’ve found success in a number of different industries. So TVA is uniquely positioned to help companies across many different verticals.
From a numbers perspective, we offer $30k for a 5% equity stake, but we’re also working on a new model where we exchange $30K, essentially as a loan, which can convert to equity in certain circumstances. It’s a hybrid model that hasn’t been done before, but has us excited. Another unique feature? You get to spend 4 months at 9,000 feet while receiving world-class mentorship and guidance – no other accelerator can say that!
What is the most difficult part of working with startups?
Just the variety of teams, personalities and company stages can be a challenge. Everyone is at a different stage and sometimes in different industries, and working with each means being able to switch gears to make sure you’re truly understanding their position and not just reciting classic startup wisdom.
What do you enjoy the most: what do you find most appealing about working with entrepreneurial startups?
The people make every long day worth it. Entrepreneurs have a fire in them and everyone’s fire burns at different temperatures – and they all add life to our community in different ways.
Tell us about your success stories. Which are the most interesting companies to have participated in your program?
A couple success stories out of TVA: Fresh Monster’s natural hygiene products for kids is on store shelves in Target. Life Dojo is signing massive contracts in the healthcare space. Western Rise is taking the outdoor clothing space by storm. We have a lot of companies to be proud of.
What are the three most important factors startup entrepreneurs should consider when contemplating attending an accelerator?
- Be prepared to be uncomfortable – growing quickly comes with growing pains, but you’ll be above the clouds at the end of it.
- You’ll need to commit full time. An accelerator is all about moving quickly, which means you need to be able to devote most if not all of your day to developing your company. Part time accelerator isn’t much of an acceleration.
- Most importantly, talk to people. Talk to people who’ve gone through the program you’re thinking about, talk to the leadership, talk to people’s experiences in other accelerators. It’s the best way to find out if this exciting next step is right for you.
What else would you like to share?
One big thing I’d like to share…Telluride! Come experience it and our community. From Tesla (who experimented with electricity in Telluride) to tourism, from our accelerator to co-working spaces to nationwide summits hosted here, entrepreneurship is built into our box canyon’s bedrock. And we love to share that energy.
Are you familiar with other accelerators you would suggest we spotlight ? If so, we would like to hear from you. Tell us about them, sharing your comments below!