Top 10 Take-Aways and Advice From the 10-Week Program

A few years ago, we had the privilege of leading the nationally recognized FIBA Accelerator and Tampa Bay Wave Accelerator programs. So, when we had the opportunity to be on the “other side” of an accelerator program, we were excited to dive in and learn.

During this unique experience, we were blown away by how organized, professional and comprehensive the program was. Below highlighted our top 10 take-aways and advice from the 10-week Salesforce Accelerate Build Program:

Constellation4 Health Salesforce Accelerate Cohort 12
salesforce people zoom call presentation mike kreaden emilie jessula
  1. The leadership of the program is Amazing!  Mike Kreaden and Emilie Jessula are the perfect team.  They are personal, professional and truly care.  In a company of over 56,000 people, it could be easy to feel like a number.  The Salesforce culture of “ohana” (Family) deeply comes through with the leadership of the program.
  1. Woot, Woot…We got to play Kahoot! 3-4 two-hour sessions a week while helping lead a company IS a lot.  They find ways to keep it fun with music playing before kicking things off each day and then Kahoot games to see how you are retaining things.
  1. It will feel at times like drinking from a fire hose. There is easily years’ worth of meaningful content and value packed into 10 weeks, thus the word ACCELERATE.  Thankfully, they had recorded sessions so that we could take it one day and one session at a time.
Health Salesforce Accelerate Cohort 12 Constellation4 Presentation
  1. “Wax on, Wax Off”(Famous saying by Mr. Miyagi in Karate Kid) There are a few meaningful exercises that some at first may not see the value in.  For example, the program has all companies develop a “Business Model Canvas”.  This appears to be “elementary” to some at first if the business is more mature, but the opposite is true.  It forces the company to boil down it’s value props, strategies, etc.  Each session has a meaningful purpose even if you don’t see it at first. 
  1. Where was Slack back in the day?  The Cohort Slack channel is your best friend (Besides Mike and Emilie and your mentors, of course)!  The reality is there are times when life happens or you must drop off a call for a few minutes, but all the recordings, materials, etc. are all in the slack channel.
  1. Maximize your Mentors.  The program assigns you an overall business mentor and Technical Evangelist (TE).  Maximize these relationships, they are worth their weight in gold.  We were so fortunate to have Barbara Tassa and Sue Alipanahi as ours.
salesforce people zoom call presentation saru seshadri rich heruska
  1. The program isn’t just for founders or CEO’s. In addition to our founder & CEO, Saru Seshadri, attending, we had representatives from our technical, product and marketing teams attend.  Treat the program as a company program, not an individual session.  Many accelerators limit attendance to one or two founders; however, Salesforce encouraged a refreshing “all-are-welcome” approach.
  1. The Value is Priceless. What is the value of a new idea – the value of the content and materials – the value of connecting with over 50 speakers, mentors, coaches, etc.? Priceless!
Salesforce Accelerator Cohort Presentation Competition CEO Founder Saru Seshadri Slide Presentation
  1. Be at the “front of the class” versus the back.   Although the program is via Zoom, the spirit of being at the “front of the class” applies.  If you simply just attend the sessions and don’t interact, engage with mentors, etc., you will still receive value but will heavily minimize the value.  For example, our company was one of 5 to volunteer to present our Business Model Canvas.  It helped us stand out while getting more feedback.
  1. Although it’s a 10-Week Program, treat it like a 52-Week Program. Some of the sessions may happen before you are ready for that stage in your Salesforce partnering.  The Marketing Session, for example, may be premature if you’re not listed on the AppExchange yet; however, the lessons learned are valuable at the time.  The great thing is you can then go back to the resources later when your ready for different stages.
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