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The one day startup accelerator. What did we learn? #XP1

We took a chance and followed our own advice and tested our market with a lean approach. Was the market ready for something different? Could we sell enough tickets to make the idea viable? Is it possible to run a one day accelerator? Yes, yes and yes. Welcome to XP1.

Great day at the @XPinnovates 1 day accelerator – thanks to Diane & Mark for leading a really insightful session! Fantastic to hear from David @SWIGFlasks and Cheryl@Mother_Bee and to learn about their amazing #startup journey!

In just over 8 hours we took our group from idea to validation, to the business model, pitching to investors and funding options. A hell of a lot was achieved in one overcast day at W5, overlooking the Lagan, in what has to be one of the best meeting rooms available in Belfast. The views are incredible – Belfast is in front of you.

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So what did we learn?

  • In just one day you can move a business idea along significantly. If you’re given 1 day instead of a month with the right framework and support to move your business idea forward, then you will focus, learn quickly and progress.
  • The greatest impacts are made with fellow entrepreneurs who take the time to share their story with an honest and open approach.
  • Pitching, and getting up to tell your story, is central to gaining followers, confidence in your business and to gather support.
  • Funding is available for your business, you have to know where to find it and got try and get it. Funding will not come to you.
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  • You can’t run these types of events without the support and help from good friends – with the common goal to help people build viable businesses. We were lucky to have the support of good long term friends who gave their time to help the participants and deliver Belfast’s first 1 day accelerator. High five to the Students’ Union Enterprise team at Queen’s, the USUU Entreprise Centre and to the leading startup accountancy team in Belfast John MacMahon & Co.
  • Like the many accelerators we have run before, we kept focused, BS free, open and positive. There is never a right or wrong answer, opinions are banned and everyone works as a team. And at the end of the day you’re tired and reflective.
  • There is a demand for a leaner more simple approach to accelerate startups. We’ve done one, we’re going to do more.
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  • You don’t have to be working on the next big tech revolution to start a business with high potential and impact. You also don’t have to be founding a company – you may just be looking to advance an idea for a new product or service.

Thanks to our venue W5 (and their staff), our two mentors and judges Norbert Sagnard and John McGinn, and our guest speakers Cheryl from Motherbee and David from Swigflasks (both of whom kindly also provided prizes up for the best two pitches).

And, thanks to the people who showed up, took part, helped each other and finished up their Saturday tired and full of enthusiasm.

If you have a new business idea or want help to validate and progress a new product concept, then get in touch.

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