The Why and How of Our Accelerator Program

At Endeavor Miami we have discussed multiple times and in various ways the importance of scaleups to the growth, establishment and strengthening of entrepreneurial ecosystems; that is to say, companies at least three years old with a minimum of 20% CAGR generate 80% of jobs in Miami once they hit moderate scale or greater.

However, Endeavor Insight research has shown that 99% of startups in Miami die before reaching 5 years of operation. To us, this meant that there was a gap in the market for structured support to startups who were on track to hit the aforementioned rapid growth curve. We felt a responsibility to step in and bridge the gap using our methodology and leveraging our expertise in scaleups, precisely the next stage of growth that these startups were striving to achieve. 

Last year’s ScaleUp Program pilot validated our belief that there was a need in the market for a program focused on the transition between startup to scaleup stage. As we neared the launch of this year’s Cohort Two, the world was presented with an unexpected challenge: COVID-19. With people moving to work from home, companies adapting their services to exist remotely, businesses shutting their doors indefinitely and events and programs being cancelled left and right, we at Endeavor Miami wondered what would become of the ScaleUp Program, an initiative that relies heavily on human interaction. 

As a global organization, we looked inwards, and luckily, we found the answer. We realized that the ScaleUp Program was necessary now more than ever, and that it had to take place in whatever shape or form in order to make it happen. Since that turning point, we have adapted the ScaleUp Program in many ways. 

  • We immediately extended the application deadline and offered payment plans for companies adapting to the new economic reality. 
  • For the Launch Event, we had an exciting morning using a platform called Hopin. The event included the program’s orientation, fun icebreakers and opening of special care packages sent to each participant. 

  • We have leveraged Slack to connect the entrepreneurs remotely and get them excited for what is to come.

Looking forward, the nine participating startups have five weeks of intense program preparation. They will go through a diagnostics, conducted by Juan Damia, Founding Partner of Ninety.US, to identify the key challenges to their growth; then, they will all take part in a virtual cohort retreat to build trust and transparency between the participants; finally, they will get to choose their mentors in a virtual speed dating event! 

Later in the summer, the entrepreneurs will attend ten, half-day group modules, in which Endeavor Mentors and Endeavor Entrepreneurs will present and discuss different topics in the journey that is organized scale. In parallel, each company will meet with their ‘godfather mentors’ to execute an Action Plan created by them, and also, will take part in Corporate Open Innovation Afternoons with our sponsors, Dell Technologies, EY and Facebook. For the time being, the program will take a hybrid format, with participants being welcome to attend the group modules in person or join in via a live video stream. Finally, and to wrap up an exciting sixteen weeks, the companies will go through intense pitch prep sessions to then take part in a Demo Day at the end of September. Stay tuned for details on this one!

We feel very optimistic with the outlook of this year’s ScaleUp Program. We have an amazing group of entrepreneurs who are committed to making the most out of the program and supporting each other through the experience. Everyone has embraced the unknown that is our new reality and have been welcoming to the need to adapt the program as we go. ScaleUp Program Cohort Two is a testament of not just the talent, but the perseverance of our community, and we look forward to sharing more stories of our entrepreneurs in the months to come.

Rebecca Negro Rocha is an Associate in the Entrepreneur Selection and Growth team. She also leads our accelerator programs. If you’re interested in learning more about our programs, you can reach her at rebecca.rocha@endeavor.org.

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