We are excited to announce that Harold Lavender has joined the ABQid team! Harold will be working to expand what ABQid can do for the community and build awareness of our startup accelerator. As a well known lawyer, businessman, and State Investment Council member, Harold will be a key asset in helping ABQid accomplish its goals. His experience and passion for helping the local entrepreneurial community is vital to the ABQid mission. We are very grateful to have Harold aboard and can’t wait to begin working together!
On Thursday June 2nd, ABQid was excited to announce this year’s cohort during our launch party at the Verge Building. We have selected 5 teams to participate in the accelerator program:
A mobile gaming company with an innovative approach to solving crime.
An asset monitoring software solution for industries surveying large land masses.
Dear Dr. Dora
A startup aimed at making New Mexico the home base for a promising new industry: digital mental health.
A mobile app to allow music artists to get ranked in their city.
Provides “studio infrastructure as a service” for small to mid-sized animation, VFX and CAD/CAM studios and schools.
The teams had their first opportunity to meet and interact with ABQid mentors and professionals in the entrepreneurial community. We can’t wait to now dig-in with the 2016 summer cohort and hone their ideas via the Lean Startup Methodology. Thank you to everyone for coming to our launch party and supporting ABQid, our teams, and local entrepreneurship!
Raghu Kopalle, CEO of innoBright Technologies, spent two-weeks at MuckerLab in Los Angeles as part of the Global Accelerator Network’s (GAN) exchange program to gain new insight into his startup. He went for the express purpose of developing contacts within Hollywood’s film and media industry. He also had the opportunity to have a one-on-one meeting with the founders of MuckerLab, William Hsu and Eric Rannala. Both William and Eric encouraged Raghu to become a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform and to maximize his development calories on a business model that would return revenue in the short-term. Their suggestion was to get to customer adoption, validate the value proposition and market opportunity as soon as possible.
MuckerLab’s other suggestion was for Raghu to focus on VFX commercials produced at large advertising agencies, where rendering projects occur quickly and very short sales cycles are the norm. This model would allow innoBright to generate revenue immediately. Instead of focusing on movie studios, where animation projects take 3 to 4 years to develop, innoBright could work with advertising agencies producing animated commercials in 3 to 4 weeks. Based on this valuable feedback, innoBright’s new target customers are advertising agencies producing VFX animation commercials in the auto, consumer-electronics games and professional sports industries. Along that new target, Raghu had the opportunity to pitch innoBright to Saatchi & Saatchi, one of the largest advertising agencies in the world. They are very interested in participating innoBright’s first beta cycle test.
Raghu described the vicious cycle many startups face when dealing with large companies, like film studios, as potential clients. A large film studio usually contracts with management consulting firms such as McKinsey and Company, Bain or BCG for their strategic investment needs, which means a founder like Raghu has to convince these management consulting firms that a product has validity before anyone inside the studio will even look at it. But to find the right person inside the consulting firm, Raghu has to find a helpful contact in the target studio and then must in turn prove his product’s value to the consulting firm before getting to the ultimate decision maker within the film studio. For this reason, Raghu has decided to shy away from bigger companies in the short-term to focus on smaller customers. He’s finding that they’re willing to give him valuable feedback about his product and actually help him shape how the product is being developed, while he is working on the bigger companies in the back burner.
Raghu pitched to groups within MuckerLab and received some valuable feedback, specifically challenging the validation of his market size and the need to nail down his beta cycle to allow for an objective measure of innoBright. Specifically, an objective measure of the product would mean anyone could test the beta product to see the results for themselves. Raghu learned that a company’s internal tests and product validation is just the beginning, but you really have to back it up with numbers from real-life product testing. For instance, a user might say that they want to use your software in a certain way but in reality they use it in a very different way within a different context. During the beta cycle startups should want to see and validate the actual usage of many users.
Startup Weekend returns to Albuquerque – and it’s going to be amazing! Join us during Global Entrepreneurship Week in Albuquerque for our third Startup Weekend and participate in the Global Startup Battle as well. But while you can sign up here (go ahead and do it!) you can also visit the Startup Weekend Albuquerque website for more updated information.
Friday, Nov 21
5:30pm Registration Starts
6:00pm Dinner & Networking
7:00pm Welcome & Speakers
7:15pm Pitches Start
8:30pm Attendees vote for the top ideas
9:15pm Teams start forming and discussing ideas
Saturday, Nov 22
9:00am Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
9:30am Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
1:00pm Call for needs & skills
2:00pm Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
7:30pm Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
11:59pm Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow
Sunday, Nov 23
9:00am Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
10:00am Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
12:30pm Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
3:00pm Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
5:00pm FINAL PRESENTATIONS
6:00pm Judging & awards
8:00pm Go home!