Helping Startups Realize their Vision
When Dan Keith and Doug Yook, founders of SCAPE–a new SaaS collaboration platform for scientific, technical and creative teams product from InSilico–arrived for the first day of the RAIN Eugene Accelerator program, they admit being skeptical of how exactly RAIN was going to help them launch their business.
“We didn’t believe the RAIN Accelerator could deliver what it was promising,” says Keith, “We had all the big questions that early startups have and wondered how RAIN was going to address them in just twelve weeks.”
After completing the first six weeks of the program, Keith and Yook are feeling excited about the direction their company is starting to take and optimistic about how the RAIN Accelerator will help them realize their vision.
“So far RAIN has helped us to identify our individual strengths and refine our company vision into something that we are both really proud of,” said Keith.
Inside the accelerator
The RAIN Eugene Accelerator is part of the larger RAIN Eugene network–a unique partnership between the City of Eugene, the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce and the University of Oregon to develop the area’s startup companies. The accelerator program is helping startups through the critical earlier stages of their development so they can position themselves for success.
During the first phase of the RAIN Eugene Accelerator program, participants developed the skills necessary for finding, talking and listening to customers in their market. With activities such as Pitch Week and Mentor Day pushing founders out and into the community, founders discovered new ways to successfully solicit customer feedback as they refined their listening skills and began refining their product or service.
The next phase will focus discussion on topics such as real value proposition, competitor identification and opportunity recognition. Companies will begin to test their ideas and strategies on real customers to gain crucial feedback. As founders transition to the second phase, they will take time to reflect on what they have learned about themselves, their team and the scope of their company/product.
For Dan Keith and Doug Yook, they hope that the next phase of the program will help them refine strategies to find and secure funding for their company.
Preparing for the next phase
“We know what we still have to learn. Hopefully the next phase of the program will help us learn new strategies for presenting our ideas to potential investors,” said Keith.
As daily interactions with peers and mentors continue to provide opportunities to bounce ideas around and weekly guest lectures continue on subjects such as lean canvas, small business marketing and cash flow, founders will find that the second phase of the accelerator program will help them develop the skills and resources they need to place their product and find funding.
As the clock ticks away at the accelerator, founders find their ideas getting more focused, their goals becoming more clear, and confidence in their product or service finding more ground.