Leading the Montreal StartupFest 2019 “Startup Accelerator Communities” Roundtable Discussion

Leading the Montreal StartupFest 2019 “Startup Accelerator Communities” Roundtable Discussion

At Montreal StartupFest 2019, I led a roundtable discussion on Building Startup Accelerator Communities, accompanied by industry colleague Tariq Haddadin of Techstars. Thanks to the StartupFest team for putting on a solid event!

Discussion Notes: Montreal StartupFest 2019 – Building Startup Accelerator Communities Roundtable Discussion

Led by Jeffrey Donenfeld of Boomtown Accelerators and Tariq Haddadin of Techstars


  • Accelerator model and Accelerators Networks

Round table

  • Local vs global networks
  • Startup partners (AWS, Google for Entrepreneur, etc.)
  • How your accelerator can be a part of the network and a catalyst for corporates
  • You are building a social network for your accelerator but more importantly for your companies and founders and alumni
  • GAN
  • Building a network for your accelerator (pipeline, investors, etc.)
  • How to use corporate relationships with accelerators to apply their network to your accelerator companies + alumni
  • Benefits of creating a global network of partners
  • Community events

Managing founder<>Mentor relationships and setting expectations – do staff manage mentors or do you setup separate person for managing these relationships?

  • Asking questions rather than doing work. (Bob, Innova Corp)
  • Educating mentors on how to mentor effectively (Tariq) and setting up initial Mentor Madness meeting
  • Weekly update emails from Mentors on what they can do
  • (David F)Building mentors network through tiers. Give first and divide of giving vs selling (Jeffrey)
  • Hybrid local/remote mode (Alex Reid ) zoom meetings and quarterly reviews,  planned meetings – tech to engage folks
  • Mentor company vs mentor entrepreneur – mentor the person for longterm (robert)

Connecting accelerators around the world

  • Look for synergies of founders for prioritizing connections (tariq)
  • GAN (Jeffrey)
  • Build local network first
  • Used to enhance dealflow synergies (jeffrey)

Using network to build investor relationships

  • Rise of pre-venture community
  • Seattle angel conference, rockies venture club

Corporate Accelerators

  • Corporate resources that an accelerator can’t necessarily provide (tariq) pushing give first
  • Learning how to deal with corporations (jeffrey)
  • (Vivek (loreal)) – do boomtown/techstars compete on comcast – find unique strengths for each program