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How to Run a Virtual Accelerator Program
Virtual Accelerator programs

How to Run a Virtual Accelerator Program

A staggering 96% of Accelerators plan to deliver a Virtual Accelerator program in 2021. So if you’re wondering how to run a Virtual Accelerator program, read on for some helpful tips to get you started.

Accelerator Software
August 25, 2021

A staggering 96% of Accelerators plan to deliver a Virtual Accelerator program in 2021. So if you’re wondering how to run a Virtual Accelerator program, read on for some helpful tips to get you started.

So what are the advantages of running a Virtual Accelerator program?

Virtual accelerator programs are growing in popularity and have several advantages for both Founders and program teams. Virtual programs can also be delivered in hybrid format, blending both online & offline elements together. Virtual Accelerator programs enable you to:

  1. Work with a larger number of Startups from much broader geographic areas
  2. Support your Accelerator community, even during lockdowns
  3. Capture more data from your participants
  4. Leverage your webinar and workshop content to create a reusable  library

Here are 6 quick tips on how to run a virtual accelerator program:

  1. Plan ahead

Layout a clear plan of exactly how your program is going to run and who is going to be responsible for what. Think about questions such as:

  • What will the program duration be?
  • Are you going to be operating across multiple time zones?
  • Will the program have an industry focus / niche?
  • For how long will you be accepting applications & what evaluation criteria will you use?
  • On what date will the program go live?
  • How many Startup teams will you accept?
  • What program elements will you include? (mentoring, workshops, educational content, discussion boards, networking etc)
  • If you are providing mentoring - who are the mentors going to be and what are their skill areas?
  • How will you manage the day-to-day program & track participant progress?
  • Will you have a graduation / demo day?
  • Will you use goal setting with Startups?
  • What metrics will you use to measure your (and your Startps) success?

  1. Pick the right technology

The technology you choose will be key to your virtual Accelerator success. 

When choosing your tech it’s helpful to think about each of your program elements and how each of them will be delivered:

Popular tools include:

  • Zoom - Video calls and workshops / events
  • Accelerator Software - Program management, application management, mentoring, content, surveys & cohort management
  • Slack / Whatsapp - Instant messaging
  • Webflow / WIx - Promotional website builder

  1. Begin the marketing and application process early-on

Allow plenty of time to promote your virtual Accelerator and for participants to apply. It takes time to build a buzz around a new program and to convert interest into application submissions.

  1. Run a Q&A webinar

Think about running an online webinar to promote your program. It's a great opportunity to showcase the Accelerator benefits and to answer questions from prospective participants.

It can also be a good idea to record the webinar so that it be used as part of your content marketing & promotion process.

  1. Record all of your Accelerator workshops

When your program is live consider recording all of your online workshops and webinars. One of the beauties of a virtual program is that you can capture the video from expert sessions and then use those videos to build a rich library for your community.

  1. Remember to communicate early & often

It’s important to put extra effort into your communications during a virtual accelerator program. It’s the program team’s job to cross the digital divide and build engagement.

Be proactive, send reminders, check-in often, ask for feedback, make phone calls to participants and request survey submissions to monitor progress and engagement.

Virtual Accelerator programs are quickly growing in popularity as both Covid and Founder's expectations have evolved. Whether your next program will be a hybrid or fully online, virtual delivery offers a powerful way to scale Startup & Founder support, while also leveraging technology to amplify your reach.

Accelerator Software is the world's most powerful Accelerator management platform, simplifying innovation management & community.
Check out the Accelerator Software platform and it's features here :)

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