NatWest Boost - Week 1 #ignite

So, what happens on a start-up accelerator and why you should think about applying to one if you’re starting the next Fever Tree®  – consider applying to join this one! Big Time! 

We intend to share a straight account of our journey in the London Hub and try to include the highs and lows along with stuff we learn on the way. We’re going to feature some friends on the accelerator to show you the incredible range of start-ups and businesses and perhaps inspire you to start your business or apply to NatWest Boost in the future.

 

Pre-Week 1

It’s quite a lengthy application process starting with a business outline, with interviews and pitch challenges like  ‘Dragons Den’ but, if you get accepted, what really happens next? 

Want more detail on applications? then check out the NatWest information website.


Week 1

Starting 4 Apr we all pitched up at the Hub in Regents House, Angel. Then, in the 100+ seater presentation room we were warmly welcomed by the #PowerUp London Team and introduced to the programme – which will unfold in this blog. 

‘Are you an Eagle or a Duck?’ watch the video and decide if you think entrepreneurs are ducks or eagles! Back in the old RAF days we had a saying for when things ground you down - ‘nibbled to death by ducks!’ - you have to soar like an eagle to avoid them. 

A significant element of the induction was the role of an entrepreneur and the need to be able to assess your business planning. We heard that improved planning, agility and management skills significantly improve on the average outcomes for small businesses – over 400k start each year but average failure rates in the first few years are around 50%! 

While the Boost success rate is over 87% the Team stressed the importance of using a good Business Model Canvas for planning to help you build a successful business or know when to Fail Fast, Fail Cheap and Fail Smart.

 

We got homework! 

We had to prepare an outline 90-day plan for our time in the accelerator and prepare a 60 second pitch – have a look at the NatWest Pitch app which is a great guide to build a sales/business pitch and marshal your thoughts. Type in NatWest Pitch and download the app, no registration, and build your own 60 second video pitch.

 

Final Induction Day

We got tested! 

After a thoroughly embarrassing, for this ‘dad dancer’ at least, group activity doing 'the #PowerUp floss' which is a dance, there was a pitch competition in which all 100 start-ups had a go to convince the judges they had the best pitch. 

The pitch winner, Jack from the Quidditch Premier League.

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Check out the league in this Quidditch video! You may need to login to FaceBook to see the video.

The rest of the week was a bit of an admin struggle with entry passes, reassuringly tight security, but we soon settled down and now we have a permanent desk, phones, printers, ultra-fast wifi and loads of great meeting and work spaces and helpful start-ups all around.

 

What’s not to love!

 

This week’s special thanks go to Jason Mulhall from Karousel Food who was kind enough to act as our first and much appreciated 'door opener', coming down from the 5th floor for us to pass security until our passes come through!


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Thanks NatWest ;-), it is fantastic to be surrounded by so many talented people starting their own businesses. 

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