The Global Accelerator Network got out of the summer to head down under for the GAN ANZ (Australia New Zealand) accelerator meetup in Adelaide, Australia. For many of us, it was our first time visiting the city. And even with its reputation as being a sleepy town, we found Adelaide to be humming along with entrepreneurial activity.
Our hosts, ANZ Innvoyz Start, and a handful of other accelerators from the region came together on Tuesday. Since accelerators in Australia and New Zealand already have very strong relationships with one another, we spent a lot of our time digging into some of the key aspects of running accelerator programs. Harry Schiff of the ANZ Innovyz Start accelerator shared what he is doing to support the tech community in Adelaide. By using a “give before you get mentality” and being out in the community all the time, Harry and the team at Innovyz have developed great relationships with founders in the community – and founders have been able to get to know Innovyz well.
Just before lunch, there was lively debate where we asked ourselves if founders should focus on the ANZ market or global market first. Not surprisingly, every accelerator had a different answer for how they were accomplishing this. Dan Khan of Lightning Lab presented his thoughts for how best to get into other markets. Some of the ideas that emerged included building relationships with one or two other accelerators where you can “swap” teams as well as host roadshows where you expose founders to other markets.
Many of ANZ Innovyz Start’s mentors joined us right after lunch to dig into what they’re doing to support founders. We wanted to hear their reasons for mentoring, and most of them said that they mentored just because they wanted to give back and watch companies grow.
To end our time together, founders who completed an accelerator shared “where they are now” including some positive and not-so-positive stories on working with investors. We also had accelerators share how their model works and some of their successes. The ANZ market is strong and will continue to develop in very positive ways down the road.