The TechLaunch LaunchPad 3 class is about to graduate.
The Clifton-based tech accelerator will hold its Demo Day — at which investors and the New Jersey tech community will be officially introduced to the seven startups that entered the accelerator with an idea and left with a real company — July14, 2014.
NJTechWeekly.com asked the founder of each startup in the LaunchPad 3 class to provide a piece of advice about entering an accelerator. Most of them, with a few caveats, said founders considering an accelerator should go ahead and take the chance. Here are their detailed responses:
- Inspirity offers a cloud-based application that quickly and easily converts small businesses’ websites to a mobile version. Founder Atiq Hashmi said he encourages other entrepreneurs to “take the accelerator route, as it does accelerate the time needed to achieve key initial goals. It does require commitment and almost full-time involvement, so the founders need to be prepared for it.”
- MobileArq is an integrated app that combines a school directory for parents with a fundraising and group communications platform for PTAs. Nirupama Mallavarupu, founder and CEO, tells her fellow startup founders, “If you want funding for your business and the available market for your business exceeds $1 billion, then the accelerator route will be your best investment." The accelerator will provide you with the network of coaches, mentors and investors to help you refine your business pitch to raise angel funds for your startup. However, it is up to the entrepreneur to make the most from this opportunity to help make their business successful.”
- Animal Social Club is a social loyalty platform that helps consumers find and engage with the brands that they love most. Founder and CEO Stuart Hinds tells companies to “Know your product and know your goals. Those will always be your best guide going into the abyss.”
- SHIELD Tech Innovations has a wireless panic device paired with a smartphone that lets students quickly and discreetly alert campus police of an emergency by pushing a button. Christopher Coppola, founder, had the following advice for fellow entrepreneurs: “The startup life is a roller coaster. One day you’re on top of the world with every opportunity knocking on your door, and the next day you hit a roadblock and you feel like you want to close up shop. Stay positive! Don’t fold! Buckle up and enjoy the bumpy ride. At the end of the day, you’re trying to make a difference in the world. Giving up means that the world will be deprived of your vision.”
- FUSAR makes a helmet that uses heads-up display technology to enhance motorcycle safety. Ryan Shearman, founder and CEO, tells other startup entrepreneurs, “Do it! Without our acceptance and participation in the TechLaunch accelerator, my cofounders and I would not have been able to quit our full-time jobs and devote all of our efforts towards getting our startup off the ground. Accelerators provide much more than tangible resources, such as seed funding and office space — and it’s oftentimes the intangibles that make the biggest difference between failure and success.”
- Retail Shopping Systems (RSS) makes a shopping cart-mounted tablet for a dynamic shopping experience. CEO Ed Berde says, “Do it if you can! Especially for young people, now is the time to take the plunge. Go for it! We’re happy to talk individually with any startups to offer our experiences and advice. We strongly recommend considering an accelerator such as TechLaunch, since they bring so much knowledge and exposure that startups really need.”
- Outdoor Exchange (OX) is building a community marketplace for buying and selling quality outdoor sports gear. Founder Dariusz Jamiolkowski also tells startups, “Do it! The environment contains all the ingredients to make your startup a success. But remember that no one is going to do the work for you. You have to show up every day and give your 100 percent.”