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18 Ways to Promote Your Next Accelerator Program
Accelerator Marketing & Promotion

18 Ways to Promote Your Next Accelerator Program

What’s does every Accelerator need..? Awesome Startup Founders! Founders are what it’s all about and if you don’t have any, it’s gonna be difficult to run your program. 

Brian McCarthy
July 19, 2022

Finding high quality founders isn't always easy but the difference in outcome is worth the effort.

Here are 18 marketing tips you can take right now to promote your Startup Accelerator:

Engage Your Local VC’s & Angels Investors:

Investors are constantly meeting with new and upcoming Startups in search of funding. Make sure that your local investment community know about your upcoming Accelerator so they can refer suitable Startups to you.

Create an Awesome Accelerator Website:

Your website is the shop window through which founders will view your program. 

Build the buzz with emotive imagery and engaging video.Make sure you website includes:

  • A clear program description
  • Program dates & features
  • What’s in it for Founders
  • Inspirational imagery
  • ‘Apply Now’ buttons
  • Founder Testimonials
  • An ‘about’ page
  • An active blog
  • An FAQ section
  • Contact details

Get Branding - Promotional T-shirts Work:

If you’re active in your local Startup community, make sure you’re wearing a t-shirt promoting your upcoming Accelerator. You’d be surprised where Startup Founders might see your t-shirt. Maybe they’ll see it while sitting behind you on the train, perhaps they’ll spot you in a coworking space or maybe they’ll be the person serving you coffee at 3pm. Be the brand and watch your audience grow.

Update your email Signature:

Add the details of your upcoming Accelerator to your email signature and transform every message you send, into a mini-marketing win!

Update Your Zoom / Video Background:

Create a branded video background for video calls. 

Make sure it includes your program name, website & dates and is visible when you’re also in the shot.

Founder Testimonials:

If you have program Alumni, tap into that network and gather testimonials. Nothing is more powerful that a great testimonial and if you can capture it on video it’s even better!

Host ‘Office Hours’ & 1:1 Mentoring Sessions:

Office hours means making your team available for helpful meetings with Founders. Office hours are great as they provide Founders with the opportunity to pitch their Startup and to ask questions that you may be able to answer. It’s also a great way to boost your program profile.

Be Active in Your Local Startup Ecosystem

Get out and be active in your local Startup ecosystem. Attend events and say yes to opportunities to sit on Startup panels, give talks and participate in competition judging.

Create Content That Helps Startup Founders:

Tap into your team’s expertise! By creating a series of helpful articles, videos or podcasts aimed at your local Startup community, you can boost your program profile. Publish and promote your content across multiple mediums including your website, linkedin, social media and email outreach.

Use Social Media:

Promote your program across popular social media including Linkedin, slack channels, Twitter, Facebook groups and any other mediums where your target audience may be active. 

Digital Advertising & Boosting Posts:

You don’t need a huge budget to run a digital advertising campaign with a local focus. Create a simple Facebook or Linkedin marketing campaign specifically targeted at your city. You can also social meadi posts promoting your Accelerator or sharing helpful advice. 

Host a Hackathon:

A hackathon is a 1-2 day event where aspiring Founders are assigned a Startup theme and then divided into teams. Each team has to brainstorm a business idea or a solution to a problem shared with the group. At the end of the hackathon teams pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, before the winning team is picked. This is a fantastic way to engage with early stage Founders.

Launch a Ramp-up / Onboarding program:

Ramp up programs are short courses designed to help founders learn & practice some Startup basics. They are often free, run for 1 - 2 weeks and include activities such as workshops, ideation, pitch practice and networking.

Host a Startup Meetup Group:

Meetups are a great way to bring Founders together in a social setting. Consider setting up a local meetup group by picking a venue, date and meetup theme. Next, set up your meetup account and begin promoting your event to the local community. Meetups are a great way to create brand awareness and provide an awesome platform to promote your upcoming program.

Sponsor an Existing Meetup or Event:

If you don’t want to create a new meetup, you can always sponsor an existing one. There are often multiple Startup meetups in a city, and organisers are grateful for support that can help cover costs.

Get Networking:

When you’re not organising events you can attend them! 

Networking is still one of the best ways to make new connections. Research relevant events that will be taking place in your area, put on your branded t-shirt and get ready to pitch your upcoming program.

Build Your Mailing List:

Building a mailing list takes time but is well worth the effort. Email is an incredible tool for raising awareness and sharing helpful information with your community.

Partner up (corporate or University)

Corporates & Universities have huge captive audiences and are often keen to promote innovative thinking. Connect with local institutions and see if there’s an opportunity to collaborate on your next program. Often there’s great scope for partnership and promotion.

Marketing an Accelerator program takes time. It’s usually best to begin promoting your program at least 3 - 4 months in advance to achieve the ebay results. As always, if there’s anything the Accelerator Software team can do to assist, just shout out and we’ll be happy to help!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brian McCarthy

Brian is the cofounder & CEO of Accelerator Software

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