“‘Funded’ doesn’t neccessarily mean ‘validated'” – Wil Schroter

A few weeks ago, Tinkerdash received an unexpected invitation to apply for JLAB, the “the startup accelerator program from the John Lewis Partnership”.

But, flattered as I was, I was torn.

JLAB was now one of a few start-up accelerator programs on my radar. I’d already taken the time to apply (unsuccessfully) for The TrueStart Productivity Challenge in partnership with Morrison’s supermarket in recent months, which was of a similar ilk to JLAB and other programs.

From this, I gathered that the application process for these types of programs typically involves creating a pitch deck, backed up by best-guess financial estimates, followed by rounds of events and meet-and-greets. A time-consuming and somewhat distracting task.

So, in the end, I decided to let the April 2017 application deadlines pass by without applying for three separate accelerator programs.

Sure, I understood the benefits of working with an accelerator program, for example, getting access to investment and mentorship. However, whilst these things would be nice, I felt that the process of applying would detract from Tinkerdash’s top priority to acquire those first 10-20 paying customers, which was the only thing that would truly validate that the current version of Tinkerdash had legs.

And that’s not to say I won’t apply to JLAB or any other accelerator program in future but if I do, I’ll do so when I feel it makes sense for Tinkerdash and its users.

Time will tell if this was a sensible decision. Here’s to hoping!

Next, certain things are best left to the experts. Read about how and why Tinkerdash is trying to work with diet and nutrition professionals here.

P.S. in case you’re wondering which start-up accelerators I was considering applying for, they were:

  1. JLAB, which I’ve already discussed above.
  2. TrueStart, a start-up accelerator program specialising in retail and consumer businesses.
  3. TechStars London, which had been recommended by a friend working for a market leading online investment platform.

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