One day in the life of a startup accelerator: how does this affect project productivity?

    When we submitted to participate in the acceleration program, we were tormented by the question, how do startups coexist with each other in coworking and incubators? We are used to working in a small office or even from home, talking on Skype. Of course, part of the team before that worked in open space, but still, when one company sits in the office, or even one department (only salespeople, for example), everything is much more clear and simple. And how does this happen if there are so many companies? Is the productivity of each project falling?

    After almost two months of acceleration, we, Anna Chashchina and Aida Legrand, co-founders of Witget, decided to talk about how projects live here. The office of the accelerator has sunk into our souls so much that getting out of work is often quite difficult, although we do not spend the night here, like some projects.

    Many, many photos of accelerator everyday life - under the cut.

    IIDF office - what is it?

    Our project has been accelerating in the IIDF for almost two months, the acceleration equator has been passed. We decided to show the world the place where many young startups spend 24 hours a day, and often - in the literal sense of the word.

    The accelerator is located on the 7th floor of the SilverCity business center, and you can enter it only after passing through the #Tceh coworking space, with which we have in common not only the view from the window, but also part of the infrastructure - a bathroom, shower, lecture hall. The door in the FRII is indicated as follows:

    You can get into the accelerator only by a pass, if you do not know a tricky workaround.

    Behind the door there is a corridor with conversations on the right. There are 4 of them, they are snapped up, so you need to book in advance. And we "rally" in one of them.

    Accelerator morning begins in the kitchen. This Valentine and Lesha (projects " Antikvarus " and Petsferma ) pour morning coffee.

    A view from the corner of the kitchen, opposite there are vending machines, one with hot chocolate, cappuccino, mocaccino and other types of coffee, and the other with snacks: granola bars, soda, sandwiches, cottage cheese casseroles. In the coffee machine, all drinks are poured without a meal, that is, for nothing.

    At vending with food, projects sometimes take out negative energy - when snacks get stuck, shake them with all the brute startup power, sometimes with the support and even under the guidance of their trackers. Those are so accustomed to the role of mentors that here they can not leave the process without their active participation.

    This is our beloved coffee machine, in which almost every startup gets its magic power:

    From the first set there were FRIISH circles, which now all other projects use. The trackers and accelerator mentors have their own personal circles, they say you will drink a double espresso from the tracker circles and you will gain his secret knowledge, or maybe you will even find out your thoughts.

    IIDF buys us cheese, yogurt and ice cream, which are stored in the refrigerator, and in this box we put money for them. Initially, this was one of the IIDF experiments, and it paid off: placers of coins and bills are always in abundance. The real "business on trust."

    When the classrooms were undergoing repairs, acceleration trainings were also held in the kitchen. Here is the diagram on the board below - the consequences of how Ilya Krasinsky worked on the business processes of the projects, and you won’t immediately say so.

    In the kitchen there is a screen where a countdown is conducted until the end of the acceleration, such a peculiar way to customize projects.

    The following messages with tips in IT style are stuck around the accelerator:

    Well, you never know, someone will not be able to distinguish the printer from the scanner:

    On this board constantly hangs the contacts of all projects, IIDF employees and the schedule of trainings and master classes, as well as a reminder of the demo day that completes the acceleration process. On this day, each team will get a chance to tell potential investors about their project.

    We counted in open space a total of 87 jobs! True, not all of them are busy during the whole working day. Each project chooses the schedule that is convenient for its team. In the third set of the accelerator, 23 projects are currently being trained, plus several projects from past sets that have already received seed investments from the IIDF are sitting next to them.

    Openspace looks like this:

    Before the start of acceleration, we wondered: what is it like to sit in a vast space with many other projects? Small business is small business, but all people are different. Even taking into account the fact that only IT start-ups are accelerated in the IIDF, each of them has its own specific features. Someone constantly needs to call, and someone needs to sit in silence.

    All projects are mixed up, but our fears about the general noise level did not materialize: in IIDF there are five comfortable meeting rooms in which you can retire as a team.

    Each meeting room has its own name, according to which the walls inside it are painted. This is the Crossroads:

    There are restrictions for negotiation reservations - no more than 2 hours a day for one project, but not everyone is following them yet. You need to book conversations in advance, on a piece of paper on a glass wall or in Meetings, meetings with customers, cold calls take place in the meeting rooms, and in the evenings it is a workplace for those who are tired of the noisy spacespace.

    Negotiation "Station":

    And this is our favorite - "Airport". It’s especially nice to call the team for the rally: “Meet at the airport!”, “I - at the airport”.

    For creative people, there is a “Flight of Fantasy” meeting room - there are no windows in it, but you can draw endlessly on the walls.

    Someone does not need a meeting room to isolate themselves from others.

    Startups really live at work, and in the IIDF there are all the conditions for this. In addition to the shower in common with coworking, the accelerator has a separate room for sleeping.

    But for everyone, it is not enough, and entrepreneurs can sleep in the kitchen on the sofa, on soft poufs or in these transparent single cabins that are designed for skype calls. There, on the right, you see a sleeping startup.

    There are two common audiences with coworking, where various lectures and master classes are held every day, below the photo of an empty lecture hall and the same in the course of the master class.

    The schedule of lectures, master classes and traction rallies, as well as the Wi-Fi password in the accelerator can be found on virtually every post.

    Projects can be easily recognized by the clouds above their heads, a SaaS metaphor. And the best projects following the results of the week receive a crown that goes from cloud to cloud.

    The workflow is in full swing: Andrew from FlowWow receives calls from customers.

    The windows in the accelerator are all over the wall, and so that bright sunlight does not interfere, the windows have a nice alternative to blinds.

    One of the IIDF “goodies” is a scooter, which you can take and ride around the office at any time, or close to it.

    Most of all this opportunity is abused by Lesha from Unim Histology .

    And this is the workplace of our project, we sometimes decorate it with flowers.

    Our talismans are a soft pillow and a gesture of whipping, a carrot and a stick, so to speak.

    And this is a real living business angel, he sits in the accelerator along with his project. You can even touch it!

    Another iconic personality is Dmitry Kalayev, director of the accelerated and educational programs of the IIDF.

    IIDF employees sit in a separate “aquarium” called Headquarters:

    Our Neighbors, GoandStudy, at work.

    Projects try to motivate themselves to receive seed investments in various ways, for example:

    And this is the universal soft mascot of the accelerator - the Startup cat, and its main protector is Natasha.

    And there is someone to protect Startup from: some projects test their hypotheses on it. For example, they check at night whether cats reproduce by photocopying.

    (The author of the idea assured us that the cat was not injured during photocopying, but, nevertheless, received a reprimand from IIDF employees and condemnation of other projects).

    In general, the cat in the accelerator is very fond of, though.

    Since only IT projects can enter the IIDF, male gender prevails in the accelerator. Girls in IIDF constitute 30 percent of the total population, and the founders of Witget are fortunate enough to be among them.

    How to get into IIDF?

    To qualify for participation in the acceleration program, the project must meet the following requirements:

    • Target market of at least $ 10 million per year;
    • A team of at least two people who are ready to work on the Accelerator site;
    • The presence of a legal entity;
    • MVP - Public version of the product with a working set of functions.

    The presentation, which must be loaded into the questionnaire when applying, should include:

    • The idea of ​​the project;
    • Product Description;
    • Business model (monetization model, calculation of return on payback and profit);
    • Description of the market, its volume;
    • development plans;
    • Monetary needs of the project (describe in detail what exactly you are going to spend them on).

    The accelerator provides investments in the amount of 1.4 million rubles, of which 600 thousand are used to pay for the acceleration itself, and 800 thousand are transferred to the project account in two tranches. Once a week, traction rallies are held in the accelerator, where teams report on the results of the week and identify “bottlenecks” that the project needs to work on.

    I would like to end this post on a nostalgic note: on the day of photography it rained so rarely this summer, and here is a blurred view of the embankment from the windows of the accelerator.

    After working here for a couple of months, we realized that despite everyday lectures and master classes, we manage to do even more than before acceleration. And in part, we owe this to a comfortable office and the right atmosphere in FRII. It is possible that in a month we will miraculously get a permanent place here, but if not, we will obviously miss it, and not only in the office. About communication between startups, and how projects in the accelerator help each other, you can read in the article " Mutual assistance in the accelerator: the collective mind of twenty-three projects ." Follow our blog posts!

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