UP Global’s Startup Next Program Partners With Global Accelerator Network

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Partnership Helps Startups Gain Entry Into Global Accelerator Network Member Accelerators

UP Global, a nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating entrepreneurship and startup communities around the world, today announced a partnership between its Startup Next program and the Global Accelerator Network (GAN) to better prepare startup teams for GAN member accelerators worldwide. This partnership will allow Startup Next participants to showcase their companies in multiple settings to GAN accelerators and allow them to easily apply to these programs. The first showcase of Startup Next graduates will take place in September at the GAN annual meeting.

“All accelerators are looking for the best quality teams, with traction and ideally revenue,” said Marc Nager, CEO of UP Global. “Our goal is to speed the pace of our teams and help them improve their chances of getting accepted into an accelerator, whether coming from a Startup Weekend or from the community at large. The goal is to get them through Startup Next to get those companies closer to getting funding, launching products and getting those products to market.”

Startup Next - formerly Startup Weekend NEXT, is a five week pre-accelerator program designed to help startups gain entrance into accelerator programs worldwide. It represents a logical extension to current educational programming and shifts the dynamic to helping prepare teams working on startups to get to a fundable position, while being mentored through the process. The program focuses on:

  •     Customer Development and Validation - getting startups out of the building to interview real customer prospects and validate their business model
  •     Market research and competitive analysis
  •     Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and Metrics
  •     Finding Product Market Fit
  •     Fundability
  •     Providing program participants with exposure and connections after the program through early stage demo days, referrals and recommendations or continued mentorship.

The Global Accelerator Network, which is based in Boulder, Colo., is a worldwide network of accelerators that provides its members with access to a large network, best practices resources and mentorship opportunities. Of the list of the top 15 accelerators in the United States put out by Yael Hochberg at MIT, 10 out of the 15 are members of the GAN. The GAN was created in 2010 alongside the White House’s Startup America Initiative with the goal of increasing the success rate amongst entrepreneurs, while providing support and collaboration for business accelerators worldwide.

“Many startups finish a Startup Next program with a strong, viable business and are looking to join an accelerator to propel their company to the next level,” said Patrick Riley, Executive Director of the Global Accelerator Network. “We are excited that we now have multiple opportunities to connect Startup NEXT participants with the top accelerator programs in the world who are part of the Global Accelerator Network. This will give founders additional opportunities for funding and mentorship and allow GAN accelerators to see the best startups emerging from around the world.”

For more information about UP Global and its programs please visit http://www.up.co and for the GAN and its accelerators please visit http://www.gan.co.

About UP Global:
UP Global, the umbrella organization for Startup Weekend, Startup Next, Startup Education, Startup Digest and now Startup Week, currently fosters entrepreneurship in 500 cities across the world, serving over 150,000 innovators. By 2016, the organization will support 1,000 communities through partnerships with local grassroots leaders and partnerships with organizations including Google for Entrepreneurs, the Case Foundation and Kauffman Foundation among others.

Startup Weekend, UP Global’s longest running program, began in 2007 in Boulder, Colorado. In 2009, Marc Nager, Clint Nelson, and Franck Nouyrigat acquired Startup Weekend, transitioning the organization to nonprofit status with the goal of exposing more people to the transformative power of entrepreneurship. Since then, Startup Weekend has become a global presence under the UP Global brand, representing a variety of programs serving hopeful and existing entrepreneurs and their teams.

About the Global Accelerator Network:
The Global Accelerator Network consists of over 50 of these top startup accelerators from around the world including TechStars, Launchpad L.A., StartupBootcamp and Flat6Labs. Collectively GAN accelerators have funded over 1,300 companies, created 5,200 jobs and helped their startups raise $959M in funding. All accelerators in the Network utilize a mentorship-based, short-term model with terms that are extremely favorable to entrepreneurs. The Network was started by Techstars alongside the White House's Startup America initiative, and it continues to provide incredible networking opportunities, training, special perks, and ongoing support for its members and their entrepreneurs.

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Reid Wegley
UP Global
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