Welcome to @ccelerator. We know you have a lot of tech incubator and accelerator options and we’re glad you chose us. Let me give you the tour.
Over there is the really cool desk where your company will be housed. It’s actually seven desks, but we glued them all together to create one giant, super desk because one of our VC mentors worked at WebVan in 1999 and his whole team worked at one desk and it was a magical working environment until the company ran out of money because they bought too many boxes of cereal.
To our left is our pitch perfect room (don’t tell Anna Kendrick), where you’ll practice and polish your pitch that you’ll make to a bunch of guys who knew the guy who roomed with Mark Zuckerberg’s frat brother at Intel science camp in high school and were able to buy 12 shares of Facebook during its seed round. We have a TV hooked up to a server housing every TED Talk ever given, and the audio of the talks can also be pushed to your iPhone for listening during your commute.
Remember, no one will listen to you unless you can learn to mimic the exact tonal consistency of these talks. It’s a language you have to speak and if you are just going to get up on stage and talk like a norm, then you might as well hand us back the $88,700 we gave you this morning for 18.87% of your company, because you won’t fit in here.
Speaking of being up on stage, you’re obviously going to need to work on your PowerPoint skills, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered there too. In here is our PowerPoint lab, which has a bunch of Compaq Presarios that Carly Fiorina donated when she pushed through the HP/Compaq merger re-purposed so that they only run PowerPoint. Seriously, that’s all they do. You turn them on and it boots right into PowerPoint. That way, they are able to create fantastically-quick animations and slide transitions. But don’t use those during your actual pitch because VCs hate those.
Turning around the corner here, we have our outdoor hang-out spot that has an amazing view of the Manhattan skyline. Just kidding, it’s actually a huge poster print because we don’t have enough money to rent office space in DUMBO. This neighborhood will have its own acronym soon enough though. We have a natural-gas powered grill that has a separate set of grilling space for veggie and vegan burgers, and a keg with seasonal brews from the brewery down the street. It is imperative that you attend the nightly social hour every single night. 80% of why you are here is to meet other founders and network. That way, when your company kind of does well before running out of runway, you’ll be able to land on your feet at a VC fund or accelerator.
But just because you’re socializing and making sweet decks doesn’t mean you can neglect the fundamentals of your company. The best start-ups are the ones that divvy up the responsibilities effectively. As CEO, you’re the face of the company, so you need to be working on your public speaking, small talk and socializing skills. Your tech guy just needs to be grinding out product day and night so that you can grow, grow, grow. Those stairs over there lead to what we call the Imagination Lab. It’s an unfinished basement where all the tech guys and the one tech gal work in close proximity to each other. They only get to come up to the main @accelerator workspace once a week for the coders-only mixer that is hosted in the unnamed conference room next to the bathrooms.
Growth is not a four-letter word here like it is at every tech incubator. Remember, you’re at an accelerator, not at an incubator. The only way your VC investors are going to become ultra-billionaires is if you cross the unicorn threshold quickly enough so that they can pressure you to sell to the first company who makes you a billion-plus offer. That means we expect you to demonstrate 300% weekly growth rate.
Go out and spend that $88,700 we gave you to get some more users. There are billions of people on this planet and a good portion of them might have a smartphone, so there’s really no excuse to be sitting at 15 million users seven months after release.
What’s that? Your product is only an Apple Watch app and you’ve already gotten every Apple Watch owner to download it? Well, some of those people have two Apple Watches, so make sure you’re hitting that demographic. Or maybe even port over to Android Wear, there are dozens of people who have those watches. Be creative.
Thursday afternoon is unicorn meditation hour. The Kazaam conference room (named after the 90’s classic movie starring Shaquille O’Neal as a genie) has built-in black-out shades and a Steinway Lyngdorf sound system that plays sounds of a unicorn neighing, based on repeated viewings of The Last Unicorn. Everyone sits in a circle in lotus position and chants the word “unicorn” over and over again. This is a great visualization exercise for you and your team.
On a different note, you’ll need to develop good office perks if you want to attract the best talent after the founding team, but don’t worry, we’re here to help you with that as well. During Week 6, we’re bringing in the brand building experts at Coarts % Leigh to discuss how to create a brilliant but simple office space that will have the whole Valley salivating. It’s crazy how blinded people are by conference rooms with cool names, impressive arrays of cereals, and artisan pour-over coffee, but the dirty little secret is that these things are a fraction of what it would cost to give everyone a meaningful raise or bonus. It’s also why we provide them to you here instead of more money in exchange for our 18.87% stake in your company!
That’s the end of the tour. We’ll see you back here bright and early tomorrow morning for the first of our lecture series, featuring a guy who served coffee to Peter Thiel at last year’s Burning Man.
Originally published on Medium.