Since graduating from TVA this last July, Frank.ai is ready to take the US Market by storm. After spending three and a half months in Telluride and traveling around the US they were able to put their original "assumptions" to the test. In a recent article posted in the Arctic Startup Founder, Harry Kanistik, stated "In the US we learned that small businesses have a much bigger pain point than initially anticipated. As it turns out, the vast majority of these small business prospects don’t know how to run an online advertising campaign, and yet, they can’t afford to hire an online advertising specialist. Based on these insights, we have moved from positioning ourselves as an easy to use programmatic media buying platform to an automated online advertising specialist named Frank."
This writer of this article also asked Harry and the Frank team about their experience going through the accelerator. Belo is a snippet from what this interview entailed.
“At first my cofounders and I were really hesitant because Telluride is a tiny ski resort town 3,000 meters up in the mountains with a population of only 2,000 people. We thought for vacation, sure, but what is four months in the middle of the rocky mountains going to teach us how to grow our business?” Harry Kanistik, Founder and Head of Growth, Frank.ai
Kanistik says the answer to this question is “quite a lot, actually.” Here are his 4 reasons why the TVA program proved totally worth it for Frank.ai (and could totally be worth it for your startup, too):
A Rigorous Program to Whip Your Business Into Shape
The program began with a rigorous 2-mile hike up a mountain for an overnight at a back country hut with the teams as a great “getting to know each other” session. But after that began an even more rigorous 3-week “boot camp” in which mentors came in to give talks and run workshops about everything from founder development to managing investors to the politics of board members to brand strategy.
Kanistik: “The important difference is that TVA believes that everyone can be successful, and the success is defined by founders. And raising the most amount of money does not equal success. Generally, I believe that startup accelerator programs are going to change and TVA is years ahead here with their approach.”
Kanistik: “Marc Nager, who is well connected in the US, and helps us with his connections during and after the program. Just to mention few people we managed to get connected with, Meg Whitman, Brad Feld, David Brown, Jerry Colonna, and Howard Schiller.“
World Class Mentors in a Close-Knit Environment
Kanistik: “As our cohort was only 7 startups we had basically unlimited access to mentors. The fact that Telluride is a small town makes the relationships unique and you can run into your mentors in grocery store or pub. Also, many mentors invited us in their homes and it felt more like a big family.”
The Telluride Venture Fund
Telluride also has a Venture Fund that invests into top teams.
Kanistik: “From the funding side, the great thing is that events didn’t stop with our Demo Day. TVA also organized investor meetups after that in Denver, San Francisco, and New York City.
To read more, check out the full article on Arctic Startup here. And, if you would you like to help small businesses grow online with Frank solution, consider investing into Frank on Funderbeam: https://markets.funderbeam.com/syndicate/frank-2.