Kristin Leuthsen is stepping down as CEO of the Virtual Villain marketing company, after ten years. Nearly a decade ago, she walked into a VVC community event and met original team members who have become her close advisers. She wrote in a recent letter to the ValleyVenture community saying she looks forward to continuing to help entrepreneurs achieve their goals. She plans to focus on strategic management and leadership consulting for start-ups and acquisitions.
“There are a lot of changes happening in our world, but accelerating things with speed is something that I’ve always liked,” she said. As she got started planning her strategy for the next year and beyond, she realized it will take more than just her leadership skills. ” acceleration is one of the core strengths in being a marketer. We must be faster than the market, we must be more innovative than the competition and we must do all these things more efficiently and effectively than before.” So what will she do to improve things with speed? She’s going to expand her leadership and marketing strategies, and she’ll be holding events held in major cities around the country, along with shortstops in Asia and Europe.
Valley Venture Mentors
” accelerations will get our company moving in a new direction,” she said, “but we need more training and leadership to keep up with it. It is a combination of our accelerations, our innovations, and our communications that will get our company moving in the right direction.” In other words, if you want to accelerate your business growth, you need to pay attention to your mentors and your accelerators. Tracking and communicating each of them through regular core training events is the best way to build a successful team.
As part of accelerations, startups are given access to resources, tools, advice, and a means to measure progress over time. The goal of this resource is two-fold: It helps determine the success or failure of a particular accelerator, and it helps the startup determine the value of its core training programs and support from existing mentors. In short, the accelerator should be able to tell whether the long weekend retreat was worth it or not. Unfortunately, for startups without this kind of knowledge, this weekend retreat can be the first step toward disaster.
Most accelerators today understand that they have a responsibility to teach and train their mentees. In addition to attending events like the ones mentioned above, they should also provide feedback on how well a student is developing and utilizing their new skills. If an accelerator does not have a system for tracking progress in this area, it is probably because they are focusing on too many accelerators and too many companies at once.
A Much Ado
By attending an accelerator conference, startups can get the kind of personalized attention that they need to learn from the expertise of Valley venture mentors. This kind of personalization is absolutely essential if an accelerator wants to see success in the long run. Not only do they need to see how other companies are leveraging their resources, but they also need to know which companies are actually succeeding and which are languishing in the market place. By putting their money on startups with strong leadership, accelerators gain a great deal of control and influence over their future partners.
In addition to providing mentorship, accelerators should also provide a supportive environment where their clients can get their core training in, as well as technical support. Most companies take great pride in their product or service and are therefore willing to spend a significant amount of money teaching potential customers how to use them properly. Unfortunately, this cost can often be avoided by investing in weekend retreats instead of long weekends. A week of learning what is important to your customer, as well as technical support when needed is usually all that is needed for most entrepreneurs. For some companies, a weekend retreat may even be all that is necessary to get them up to speed on what is happening in the market place.
Accelerators are increasingly recognizing the value of weekend getaways, and they are willing to provide seed capital for programs that will put entrepreneurs back in the best positions to succeed. They understand that it is more expensive to hire employees, while it is less expensive to provide a wonderful environment where they can learn. By providing opportunities for entrepreneurs to grow at their own pace, accelerators are helping to level the playing field between small businesses and large investment firms. While growing a small business can be a challenge, the right mentoring program can help you get started and then help you grow your business to the next level. Weekend retreats are just one part of what makes weekend getaways so attractive to new and established investors.