startups

Top tip lessons learnt from multiple accelerators

Having worked in accelerators for the past six years, I've seen a hell of a lot of startups, and I've learnt some top tip lessons from one to another. But even though the startup vertical has varied completely, I've quickly learnt the lessons are very similar. So similar, I thought I'd summarise...

Life at Collider

Collider has just had some huge changes, and with a programme that’s always on so we never have to turn promising startups away, I’m really excited to see what the future holds. Really, it’s the perfect time to join.

We’re also tackling the corporate innovation world in a very different way – rather than a consultancy based, tell-us-your-challenges-and-we’ll-scout-the startups-to-fix-them method — Collider is about relationships and growth.

Having most recently come from a cyber security accelerator where most of the startups tech, due to the nature of that industry, sat across many verticals, the idea that these MadTech companies are disrupting a very specific industry with very specific challenges creates its own unique obstacles.

We’re not just here to offer business support to startups, but to provide meaningful connections to customers who are crying out for innovative solutions. This industry is being disrupted based on the consumers needs, and not just because.

I’ve spent the past few years working out what makes a good startup, and what makes a great one. With applications open for the first cohort of 2018, let’s see what impressive MadTech businesses we can find.

How to become an angel investor

Becoming a successful angel investor should not just be reserved for a few. You'd be awesome at it.

And to prove just that, we gathered together a group of the seasoned and the new to hear from Collider’s multiple-time angel Richard Fearn, and Super Mentor who led Unruly’s exit, Marion Bernard.

And now we’re sharing it with you.

Enter a community, don't go it alone.

As an investor, you need to pick the right companies – obviously, so why risk everything to begin with when there's a whole ecosystem out there looking to help you.

As Richard said, accelerators can solve problems before said problems kill a business. That's for sure a comfort to investors.

Your time is more valuable than your money.

If you're looking to invest, you'll likely have some pretty useful skills – so why not share them? Work out how you can add value to your companies, which actually might not be what you think.

Get good at being patient.

Once you invest, don't expect it to pay for itself within a year or two (or even five). You're playing the long game, so make sure you follow the company through from the start.

It's not just about investing for returns.

Really, there’s so much more than that. Make sure you allow yourself to enjoy the journey as you'll be surrounded by some of the most innovate startups and investors. It's quite infectious, really.

Check your record.

Learn the lessons from your track record; and if you haven’t got one, learn from those that do.

Amplify you.Position yourself in the market as you would with anything else.

Position yourself in the market as you would with anything else. Amplify what you can bring to get on the cap tables you want to be on. Amplify your value.

It really isn't just about your money, and the best startups will know that. They'll be looking at your connections, too.

It’s about your exit too.

Do your best to work out where you might like to follow on, and what would have to happen for you to not. Remember, you’ll likely get most of your money from just one or two exits.

5 ways to make voice technology work for your business

The future of voice and its impact on customer success, experience and engagement is one you need to start working on, and fast.

As part of #ColliderPredicts, our latest series of events exploring the most cutting edge tech and how that can, and should impact your innovation, we started with voice, and what that could mean to you.

Collaborating with Unruly and their incredible Connected Home, we were joined by voices from Amazon, Matchbox Mobile and Barclays to discuss the next steps for corporate innovation where this is concerned.

Here’s our top five moves we think you could start working on now, thanks to one hell of a special panel* and a room full of high flying corporates who are already thinking “what next?”

1. Offer something substantial.

Voice will be successful for your corporate if you offer real value, otherwise you’ll risk diluting its proposition as a meaningful engagement.

Work out where you can find that meaning for your audience.

2. Don’t offer in isolation.

Avoid becoming too obsessive with voice being the next cool but weird thing — look at it as just another platform like Instagram was to Facebook.

Going forwards, your strategy needs to include voice, but not just voice. It’s another channel to tap into.

3. Get your business prepared early.

Don’t wait until you need to include voice within your strategy. Get the backend of your tech ready to integrate, even before you’re ready to use it.

4. Remember the interaction will be different

The user interface and experience with voice is entirely different to the majority of other technologies we currently use on a day-to-day basis. That means you can expect a different kind of interaction.

Think about how that could impact you.

5. Honesty and TRUST matters.

For voice to be truly successful, we need to have trust in the technology — especially as our homes are incredibly sacred spaces.

It’s up to the businesses using voice in innovative ways to make sure these experiences are truly valuable, and not just there for the sake of it.

*With thanks to: Simon Gosling, Futurist, Unruly Matthew Calamatta, CTO, Matchbox Mobile Chris Chabot, Technology Evangelist, Amazon John Cooper, VP of Mobile Payments Innovation, Barclays Andy Tait, Co-Founder and COO, Collider

And a huge thank you to Unruly Media for hosting us in their incredible Connected Home. What a space.

Collider is evolving

Collider exists to drive the future of marketing and sales technology for startups, corporates and investors.

This will not change: we’ll continue to find the very best startups to invest in and scale, bring the right startup solutions at the right time to corporates, and ultimately deliver investor returns.

We’re still about winning customers, it’ll always be about building revenue, and it’ll never be about just finding the next round of funding, which explains why we’re working with more corporates now than ever before (and in Amsterdam too!)

We’re also still focused: focused on marketing and sales tech, and focused on scaling, and the impact of that is phenomenal. We’ve invested in over 40 startups now, which means we’ve built the expertise to make even better investment decisions and add incredible value to our portfolio.

So with over five years of in depth, first-hand experience, one exit and over £13m going into the next generation of marketing and sales startups, we’ve seen a lot.

That’s why now is the perfect time to change and invest more.

https://vimeo.com/232318078

1. Keep the applications rolling

You’ll now be able to apply to Collider UK ANY time of year.

One cohort a year was proving nowhere near enough, especially given the incredible startups we kept having to turn down.

We then dabbled with the classic accelerator model of two a year, but even that didn’t cut it, particularly when taking into consideration the needs of our corporate partners – the key way we give meaning to our accelerator name.

So we settled on four cohorts a year – a minimum of three investments per cohort and a maximum of six. That’s more application opportunities, more cohorts and most importantly, more startups as part of the Collider family, shaping the future of marketing and sales tech.

2. Put meaning back into ‘early stage’

You can now apply even if you’ve raised cash before.

We’ve always been clear on our entry requirements – you must have built an MVP, have a team, be focused in B2B marketing and/or sales tech and have your full SEIS available. But now, could you just rub out point four? That’s Collider Take Two.

Once again, we kept noticing just how many startups would come to us, perfect in every way, other than just how early stage they were – and that in itself is one big, fat contradiction.

So rather than missing opportunities time and time again, we’ll be investing in startups with both SEIS and EIS available. That’s early stage, and early stage. Or in other words, startups with proof of value.

3. Flex the investment model

There’s now options, not just one offer.

If we’re going to recruit startups at different stages, we needed to shake up our investment model too.

Each startup will now have two possible investment options: £50,000 of investment (£15,000 as programme fees) or £100,000 of investment (£30,000 programme fees), rather than one standard offer.

That’ll give us a wider range of companies and different stages in their journey, which is absolutely perfect for our community – the community of potential customers.

Remember – Collider exists to shape the future of marketing and sales technology for startups, corporates and investors. If that’s you, we will officially launch on the 4th September, and we want to hear from you.

Are you a startup?

We’re looking for ground breaking, world changing, mind blowing B2B marketing and advertising technology startups. If you want to supercharge your growth and collide with the most incredible corporate innovators, apply here.

Are you an investor?

Our investor community is a little bit different, but no one wants the same old, do they? Made up of marketing and advertising experts, our angels also hold superpowers in finance, fundraising and tech – all an incredible benefit to our startups. If you want to help accelerate our startups alongside our other investors, get in touch.

Collider and Unruly Launch New MadTech Mentoring Scheme

What do you get when you cross the very best MadTech startups with some of the most incredible names in video AdTech?

Not a funny punch line, but a pretty impressive mentor network reserved only for Collider startups.

We're super excited to announce the launch of our brand new MadTech Mentoring Scheme, in collaboration with our good friends at Unruly.

The scheme is all about giving the opportunity for our startups to learn from the UK's bigger AdTech star, with some of their most senior and successful team members across five disciplines stepping up to offer help and support.

Paired especially based on the incredible skills of the Unruly team and the challenges of our startups, today marked the first of four mentoring sessions running across the year.

Unruly Co-Founder, Matt Cooke, opened the event.

Brilliant little speech from @unruly.co's Matt Cooke 💪🏼👌🏼

A post shared by Collider (@collidergb) on Jul 20, 2017 at 6:03am PDT

Set in the Home – their zingy, innovative, state-of-the-art house packed with iOT and connected home tech, built smack in the middle of Unruly HQ, the location couldn't have been more perfect.

Joining us from Unruly included: Gel Goldsby – Reporting and Data Team Lead, Jule Owen – VP of Product, David Waterhouse – Global Director of PR and Content, Nat Clark – People Team Manager, Laura Thomas – Client Director and Olivia Goodman, Global People Director.

And from the Collider alumni we had Beem, Miappi, LivingLens, RTObjects, CampaignAmp and Release.

With five cohorts now behind us, this is the latest addition to our growing initiatives and partnerships in offering on going support to our alumni.

Unruly Collider MadTech Mentor Scheme
Unruly Collider MadTech Mentor Scheme