Not your Conventional Accelerator
Having spent years observing and working with startups and accelerator programs, we pride ourselves on being innovative in our approach. A few key areas that really make us stand out:
- Bootcamp Model: We've taken our highest value content, mentors, and partners and packaged them up to fit companies needs. Startups need access to content when it's relevant to them, not all at once. We plan to change and evolve the offering based on the needs of alumni and companies applying. Applications are on a rolling basis with announcements made 8 weeks before each bootcamp. Housing is included during each bootcamp for two founders. See our list of bootcamps below.
- Continued Access: Once companies apply and are accepted to a TVA Bootcamp, they have access to any future bootcamps. Note: TVA can only provide housing for one bootcamp per company.
- Diversity & Stage: The standard accelerator model biases itself towards younger, single, and extremely early stage ventures. We're proud to have over 50% of applicants with a female founder and an average age of 37. The average company in 2018 had over $300k in established revenue the year prior.
- Flexible Funding: The traditional equity & convertible note structure doesn't work for some companies.
- Equity: Those with high-growth ambitions and potential, and who will likely require additional outside capital. We offer founder-friendly warrants with no maturity dates, just a pre-defined % based on a valuation. Our standard offer for early stage companies raising their first round is $30k for 5% which converts after raising $200k in additional capital. Companies must be established as C-Corps.
- Revenue Based Investments (RBI): Many companies don't fit the profile of traditional venture capital but still require investment. This alternative fills the gap between traditional debt and high-growth equity and is highly aligned with the growth and seasonalities of each business. An example might be $30k in an RBI note, deferred repayment until the company increases revenue by 50%, at which point the company repays the RBI at 5% per month until it hits a 2.5X repayment cap. Great for LLCs or C-Corps.
- Fee Based: Don't want to give up equity or don't need investment at this time? A great option for founders looking for a "mini-MBA" type experience to help them build their companies. Each bootcamp will have a fee between $3k and $5k for two people. Housing is included.
Applications are on a quarterly basis - submit one application for all bootcamps.
2018/2019 Bootcamp Offerings
Growth Bootcamp: 10 Days: our most comprehensive "mini-accelerator" for growth stage companies
- Setting and achieving goals: Implementing OKR’s
- Building a Team: Hiring, onboarding, recruiting, firing.
- Sales: Funnels, tracking, and reporting
- Leadership: Being a Co-Founder, manager, and leader
- Strategy Audit: Understanding and addressing your company's strengths & weaknesses and a long-term plan.
- Digital Marketing: SEO, Facebook, Instagram, Kickstarter, and Amazon
- Dashboard/Metrics: Key KPIs, reporting
- Stakeholder Management: Investors, advisors, and formal boards - building, managing, and reporting
- Hut Trip: We'll make you un-plug and join us for a visit to one of our nearby remote alpine huts!
- Applications for October, 2018 here. Another one planned in March, 2019.
Digital Marketing Bootcamp: 5 days: Performance marketing focused on customer acquisition
- Sales Funnel: Defining segments and sales strategy for each
- Landing Pages: Campaign testing and value prop management
- Facebook: Performance advertising & conversions
- Organic & SEO: Audit and setup
- Amazon: Optimization and tracking
- Unit Metrics: CAC, ROAS, AOV, LTV, churn, retention, ratios & industry standards
- Community: Cultivation, communication, activation, retention.
- Planned July, 2019. Let us know if you're interested here.
Backoffice Bootcamp: 5 days: Getting & Keeping your house in order
- Managing a remote team: tools, culture, and communication
- Financial Audit: GL review, statements, strategy, bookkeeping, and reporting
- Stakeholder Management: Reports, KPIs
- Insurance: proper coverage
- HR: Hiring, firing, onboarding, compensation, reviews, handbooks, policies, etc.
- Tools: Tech platforms & tools for all aspects of the org.
- Planned January, 2019. Let us know if you're interested here.
CEO & Leadership Bootcamp: 5 days: The journey of a lifetime
- Role of a founder & CEO: different types of CEOs and the role of founders as the company grows
- Goal setting: and driving accountability
- Culture: building a high performing team and a great place to work
- Mental Fitness: creating a sustainable work-life integration
- CEO Group: an ongoing peer group of other CEOs with professional, 3rd party facilitation from a founder coach.
- Hut Trip: A trip into the mountains to inspire some radical self inquiry.
- Planned February, 2019. Let us know if you're interested here.
Investment Bootcamp: 10 days: due diligence prep, Negotiations, and Pitching
- Finding Investors & Cultivating Relationships: from cold calling to navigating your 1st degree network
- Due Diligence Checklist: we'll help you identify, create, and organize most things an investor might want to see.
- Terms & Strategies: understanding various structures, what's beneficial for your business, and how to potentially leverage multiple sources of funding.
- Negotiations: Positioning an ask and closing the deal.
- Planned May, 2019. Let us know if you're interested here.
Pre-Accelerator Bootcamp: 10 days: From Idea to Startup Company, Should you quit your day job?*
- *Note: This bootcamp is a lower fee model, and there is NO investment model for this one.
- Customer Discovery: Whose problem are you solving and is it a real problem? How many potential customers do you actually have? How many of them are outside of your immediate network? How many customer interviews have you conducted and are you asking the right questions?
- MVP Testing: Before creating the real thing, how can you test and validate your assumptions? From websites to 3D Printing, we’ll point you towards tools you can use to test and iterate before you spend a lot of time and money.
- Customer Development & the Business Model Canvas: How is your solution 10X better than the alternatives and what is the business model to support it?
- Building a Team: How to find your co-founders or first hires.
- Backoffice 101: The things you must have to run your business efficiently (accounting, taxes, licenses, payroll, forecasts, business models, agreements, etc.)
- Planned August, 2019. Let us know if you're interested here.
WHo we work with
After six years, we've learned that our mentor network and local expertise can provide an incredible amount of value to companies that fit the descriptions below:
Team*: At least two full-time team members are required to be present for each bootcamp. One of the two must be a founder.
Stage*: Either strong initial customer traction and/or established revenue up to $2M/yr. Our core programs are not designed to help founders create MVPs or explore early-stage ideas.
Industry: Because our mentor community has such a diverse background, we work with companies from Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain to Outdoor product companies to Natural Foods and everything in between. We do have a bias towards working with product companies.
Demographics: We've accepted teams from around the world including Pakistan, Estonia, Poland, Canada, across the US, and of course in our own back yard. We have a strong focus on having a diverse cohort as well as diverse teams in all regards (age, gender, ethnicity, etc.). Companies located or looking to relocate to Western Colorado also get extra brownie points.
*Our Pre-Accelerator Bootcamp is perfectly positioned to support early stage companies with some early product and commitment from team members.
We've assembled a world class group of mentors. One of the greatest assets of Telluride is the amazing volume and diversity of incredibly accomplished people who call this place home or spend as much time here as possible. We run a two step process to match you with the mentors that are best for you: first we ensure you meet with the mentors who have the most experience relevant to your needs and second: we establish clear expectations around three possible commitment levels to ensure both parties have a successful relationship. Our goal is to help create relationships that go beyond just this venture and help unlock the amazing power of the global network through this group.
Ask locals around Telluride why they moved here and it's almost unanimously "the community." This is truly a special place full of amazing people. Our remoteness can be challenging but it has created one of the most authentic mountain town communities you'll ever find. Throughout the program, we help integrate you with the local business owners and community leaders. There may not be a better place to have this quality of life AND have ambitious, meaningful, and stimulating work.
One of the greatest values of any accelerator program is the peer group. Being around other passionate and dedicated founders tackling many of the same issues is not only helpful on the hard days, but it can truly accelerate your growth as an entrepreneur. We can almost guarantee that you will forge life long friendships.
This isn't school. You are here to build a company. Each session is either workshop style or 1:1. There will never be a presentation in a one-to-many format that lasts more than 30 minutes! Also, we know that you still have a business to run. Each bootcamp is intense, but we'll make sure you have some planned time to get other work done too.
We believe that accelerators are not all about Demo Days. With our unique format, we host one annual Demo Day in July. It is a pitch to 200+ folks from our network across the state. Our growth bootcamps will have their own mini-pitch day. It's a great stage to help rally the community and potential investors around your business, but many companies may not need or benefit from the pressure of a large-scale perforamnce.