Accordium, a sales automation platform that helps salespeople sell more through personalized videos and a digital contract suite, is excited to announce that it has joined the Founders Factory accelerator program in London. The accelerator was started by lastminute.com’s founder and former executives Brent Hoberman and Henry Lane Fox.
This is huge news for us at Accordium as Founders Factory brings a wealth of experience to take our young company to the next level. This collaborative effort will accelerate our revenue growth, expose our brand to an international audience, and help us continue to build global commercial partnerships.
During the six months program, we will release Accordium Engage, a key milestone in our vision of making sales more personal and effective and thus help salespeople to sell more.
Why Accordium joined an Accelerator.
Accelerator programs seem to have been popping up everywhere lately, some adding great value, some just being the bi-product of consultants telling corporations that they need to get their foot into the startup space.
Over the last few months I’ve had dozens of conversations with fellow entrepreneurs discussing the value of such programs and the reasoning for vs against joining one.
With this article, I want to share our reasoning for joining an accelerator and Founders Factory in particular. I want to share our goals for the next 6 months and how Founders Factory will help us achieve them.
I hope this will help fellow founders in their decision-making regarding accelerator programs.
About Founders Factory
Started by Brent Hoberman and Henry Lane Fox, Founders Factory has assembled industry-leading corporates and a team of 60 operators to help founders build great companies.
Founded in 2015, it is backed by L’Oréal, Aviva, easyJet, The Guardian, Holtzbrinck, M&S, and other commercial and financial partners.
Network is a key aspect for Founders Factory, giving startups access to their partner’s data and commercial channels.
For scale-ups, such as Accordium, you will join a 6 months bespoke program and get £30k in cash. Around 35 companies get the chance to join every year.
Why we chose to go with Founders Factory over other programs.
1) Bespoke program just for Accordium
In contrast to most accelerator programs, like Techstars or Y-Combinator, Founders Factory does not push all companies through the same standard program instead creating a tailored schedule, adapted to the specific goals and needs of your startup. Many accelerators have little focus and simply help their startups learn how to effectively pitch to investors and connecting them to such during demo days. These programs usually benefit from a great reputation, having brought up very successful startups like Airbnb or Dropbox and thus giving lifetime access to an incredible network.
Even though we could definitely see the value in this, it wasn’t what we needed to bring Accordium to the next level. (Read about our goals for Founders Factory at the end of this article)
2) A vast network of corporate partners
Founders Factory has a great reputation and strong foothold in the UK, which is a key market for Accordium in the months to come. FF’s team will help us build relationships with corporate partners (like L’Oreal, Aviva, or EasyJet), London-based investors, and future customers. We see this as a way to supercharge our go-to-market, without even having to have a local UK office first.
Besides the commercial network, Founders Factory has built an ecosystem of organizations that help entrepreneurs with access to capital, talent, technology, and even philanthropic activities. These include Founders Forum, Founders Intelligence, Founders Pledge, Founders of the Future, First Minute Capital, and Founders Keepers.
Even though Founders Factory is relatively new, they’ve already accelerated more than 50 companies in just 3 short years.. What’s more impressive is almost all participating start/scale ups were able to raise a significant amount of capital after finishing the program. Shepper, a recent FF graduate, just raised £4.2m in Series A funding. More than 15% of the participants even get funding from corporate partners (L’Oreal, easyJet, Aviva, etc.).
Accordium’s Goals for the program.
1) Work with Corporate Partners
We want to use the next 6 months to develop deep commercial and technological partnerships with Founders Factory’s corporate partners. This will allow us to work closely with large enterprises and develop the future of Accordium together.
2) Further amplify our commercial traction in the UK
Use the Founders Factory network of alumni, corporate partners and beyond to bring our brand to more enterprises in the UK market, resulting in more salespeople benefiting from our solution.
3) Raise a new round of funding
With all those additional ressources and an accelerated growth, we will raise a new round of funding. Ideally we would like to get our first British investors onboard, further helping us to establish the Accordium brand in the local market.
We are excited and happy to be joining Founders Factory and look forward to the next 6 months!
What are your thoughts on accelerators? Have you decided for or against one in the past? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.