With the launch of the Atlanta Ventures Accelerator, one of the questions I’ve received is what did we learn from Shotput Ventures that we’re going to do differently this time. As a quick back story, Shotput Ventures was launched at the beginning of 2009 as a Y Combinator clone in Atlanta. We invested in nine companies, had one great exit, and learned a ton.
Here are a few takeaways from Shotput Ventures:
- Startups with strong technical co-founders made the most progress during the three month program (as expected)
- Non-technical co-founders that were relentlessly resourceful made much stronger contributions to their company (some business co-founders didn’t feel they could contribute since they didn’t code, which is patently false)
- Most teams didn’t launch a minimum viable product soon enough and had little to show come demo day
- Lack of a shared office hurt the camaraderie aspect of the program (most people worked out of their apartments and came in for Wednesday night dinners)
- Mentoring and coaching from the community was great and exceeded expectations
Overall, Shotput Ventures was a good learning experience but didn’t have the desired impact on Atlanta. Now, with the Atlanta Ventures Accelerator, we’re going to use what we learned and make a serious impact on Atlanta.
What else? What were some other observations or lessons learned from Shotput Ventures?