“You don’t learn to walk by following the rules. You learn by doing.” – Richard Branson
Progress at The Iron Yard continues to grow faster than an Elon Musk Hyperloop!
Going into our third year of accelerators and having recently opened applications for our fourth cohort in our successful Digital Health Accelerator, below is a quick update of how things have gone thus far – and what our plan looks like for continuing to make The Iron Yard a leader for startups who are the right fit for an accelerator.
David Cohen, co-founder and CEO of Techstars, has written at length about the responsibility of top accelerators to be transparent with their results. We are not perfect, no one is, but as business owners and operators ourselves we continue learning. So David…. here is our transparency.
To date we have had 3 cohorts, 29 startups go through our accelerator and made a total of 37 investments in early stage companies. 1 of our accelerator companies has shut down, 1 has been acquired and the rest range from product development to rapid growth. Many have gone on to raise additional funding (several raising over $1MM in follow on funding), creating jobs locally and around the country along the way.
These numbers are current. I know for certain there are other company in each category (both good and bad) that will change those stats by year end.
As we dive into our upcoming 4th cohort, here is what our plan looks like.
By design, everyone on our accelerator team is a business operator. Meaning that we have founded tech businesses and gone through the company life cycle many time over between us. We have successes, failures, bootstrapped companies, venture backed companies, growth companies, lifestyle companies. You name it and our team has more than likely been there.
As founders ourselves, we run The Iron Yard like we have run our companies – always improving – always making sure are doing right by our team and the companies we invest in – always getting better.
So how are we better this year?
1. Team – we have added team in the areas needed it most to support our accelerator companies.
2. Partners – adding partners for our accelerator like Mayo Clinic and Carolina’s Healthcare who dive into our accelerator companies and work directly with several companies in the areas of product development, customer acquisition and funding.
3. Talent – We hear often from founders who are searching for either a technical co-founder when starting or asking how they can hire developers as they scale. There is a reason why we also run the largest intensive code school in the Southeast. To help fill the talent gap of great software engineers.
4. The Iron Yard Family – The roster of TIY Alumni is now over 50 founders, a rapidly growing number of developers who can help build products and an increasing number of vertical specific mentors.
5. Experience – each class of companies in our accelerator has been better than the previous class, and the expectations of the companies continues to rise (I say that as a founder in the first Iron Yard accelerator class).
We have large expectations for this year’s Digital Health accelerator at The Iron Yard.
Like any accelerator The Iron Yard is not for every startup. If you or someone you know is part of a great startup company – we would love to talk more with you.
Applications are now open – what are you waiting for?