Corporate Accelerator Case Study: CultTech Accelerator
In 2022 Female Founders was a part of launching a brand new Startup Accelerator program for tech companies in the field of Arts and Culture – the CultTech Accelerator. The main initiator of the accelerator and the creator of the brand is Immaterial Future Association, whose mission is to reinforce the potential of culture to become a game changer for humanity.
The main goal for Female founders and Immaterial Future Association was both to run the accelerator and to form the Culttech community around the program and the foundation. In July the very first batch of the program was complete!
Here are some quick facts:
- More than 100 startup application
- Top-8 most promising startups in ArtTech, MusicTech, PerformanceTech and New Media
- Average founder satisfaction score of 8.3
- More than 30 experts and mentors participating in the program
- More than 200 investors and cultural partners participated in Hybrid Demo Day
- More than 460k impressions the program gained on Social Media channels
About the Partnership
Immaterial Future Association has reached out to Female Founders in December 2022 with the idea of boosting the Culttech movement via special acceleration program. There was a separate workshop where the participants defined the goals and the basic timeline for the collaboration.
The Immaterial Future Association team comments: Making Culttech a thriving global movement and engaged community has been one of the Immaterial Future Association’s key goals. We strongly believe that it is culture and technology that will drive future sustainable societies and economies. We have been exploring the CultTech territory for quite a while, organizing Labs, Hackathons and the IF Innovation Award. Culttech Accelerator is the next vehicle to support this vision.
In order to build and deliver the program, we have partnered with Female Founders, whose long-standing reputation and solid experience with international acceleration programs provided the best conditions for success. We are proud that Culttech Accelerator, organized together with Female Founders brings the movement into more spotlight and creates an opportunity for startups, investors, and the community.
Steps we took to create and complete the first CultTech Accelerator:
Step 1: Defining the goals of the program and of the curated content
Step 2: Forming selection criteria (pre-requisite for the selection process)
Step 3: Scouting actively for tech companies in the focus and reaching out to the media/community multipliers
Step 4: Selecting the relevant application within two steps.
- Step one includes all the applications being evaluated both by our internal team and an external Venture Capital Jury. The startups are judged on seven criteria ((team, market, business model, impact, innovation, scalability, traction).
- Step two includes video interviews with the top-30 startups
Step 5: Running founder-focused program with framework based on three main goals:
- to get startups investment-ready (with the help of VC experts and investors)
- to boost the growth of the participants within the arts&culture field (with the help of sector experts and successful Culttech founders)
- to help address founders’ individual challenges (with the help of individually matched mentors)
Step 6: Hosting Hybrid Demo day with both investment pitches and industry showcases of the participants
What the founders who experienced the program had to say about it:
- Valued, “networking with other founders,” the sense of community, support from the Female Founders team, and approach by Immaterial future Association”
- “Great content for the sessions and various formats for various goals” (expert sessions, office hours, founder talks, pitch dry run, etc.)
- “Valuable insights on business model transformation, fundraising, mental health, organization and culture creation within a startup”
Lessons learned after completing Batch 1
After we have completed the program and hosted the Demo day we had a separate feedback session on the results and the successes. What were the main insights from the program and the main lessons learned?
One of the huge unseen benefits of the accelerator program is the community that it forms.
The program could be just a framework and a set of sessions. However, the real transformation and growth magic happens only if there is a community formed by the founders. The synergy created is helping all the participants, the organizing team, and all the beneficiaries.
Founder-focused programs help corporations and foundations to set credible relations with startups.
Innovation is thin ice – and the partner’s credibility matters a lot. Founder-focused programs help to select, to test and to showcase the teams who will be trustworthy in terms of pilot initiatives and experiments.
The DEI values of the accelerator team attract a lot of promising startups that have never taken part in other programs.
Focus on diversity and inclusion stimulates the applications from those teams who have not thought about accelerators, in general. The programs for such teams can be particularly helpful for sustainable growth. This also gives the beneficiaries a unique pipeline within the segment.
Ready to launch your own tech movement? Interested in setting acceleration program for your company? Willing to build a program fully aligned with DEI principles? Feel free to reach us: firstname.lastname@example.org (Irina, Head of Innovate F)