As programme managers, on behalf of Enterprise Ireland, for their internet and games startup programme iGAP, we are always delighted to hear stories from past participants about how iGAP changed their business. This blog post comes courtesy of iGAP past participant, Rory O'Connor www.scurri.com, who shares how the iGAP experience impacted his business:
My first iGAP workshop set the bar extremely high and to be honest it was a pivotal moment for me. We had Eric Reis who talked about the lean startup, I had never heard of Eric or the lean startup. I knew about lean in manufacturing and I knew about agile but after a few minutes of Eric talking the whole concept seemed so logical. After the presentation Eric came around individually to each of the companies and discussed where we were at. At the time I was about 2 weeks from launching a prototype site and we had a payment engine to sort out. Eric convinced me to launch as he bet that I would not have anyone through the site to payment before we had the payment process sorted. To cut a long story short I launched there and then and Eric was right. We had a lot of sorting to do before I got my first paying customer through the site.
The guys in EI and the Internet growth alliance pulled out all the stops and the contributors just got better and better, Paul O’Dea, Sean Ellis, Justin Knecht, Scott Reafer, Oren Micheals and Brian Caulfield. Each of the contributors were world class and they really are cutting edge.
I noticed that iGAP4 has been launched and I thought that I could share with potential iGAP participants 10 reasons why iGAP can increase your chance of startup success:
- Contacts and Connections - Enterprise Ireland, the Internet Growth Alliance Members, Paul O’Dea, the contributors, your peers, the past participants and the mentors provide you with access to a pretty awesome bunch of contacts that will help your networking and connecting in the Irish Web and tech scene and beyond.
- Learning - You will be exposed to the latest cutting edge practices and strategic thinking in the industry. The contributors to the programme have done it, know what they are talking about and are probably doing it again. This is not academic learning, this is real practical stuff that you can implement in your business today.
- Your fellow iGAPers - You will be in with the brightest of the Irish internet, games and tech scene. There are fantastic opportunities to build up lasting relationships with teams at the same, earlier and later stages than you are at. Knowledge is freely shared and the collaboration is fantastic amongst your peers.
- Time to Think - You are so caught up in developing your business and more than likely you do not feel you have the time to spend thinking about your business. The workshops give you the time, structure and support to do this.
- The Contributors - To get access to the likes of Eric Reis and Sean Ellis alone these days is almost impossible even if you are in San Fran. And as a bonus you get access to a whole bunch of other contributors that may not be as famous but are equally as knowledgable in their own fields.
- The Mentors - You get a great group of fellow participants together in a cohort and you get a mentor who will help you get the most out of the programme. The mentors are amongst the most experienced industry experts.
- The Kudos - iGAP is certainly seen as one of the premier accelerators in Ireland and with just cause. It certainly opens doors with VC’s and investors when you mention you have been on the iGAP programme.
- Investor Ready - Of course the idea of iGAP is to ensure that at the end of the programme you should understand the key elements of a startup business and you will have all the elements necessary to build a killer deck. What's more you will also have the chance to pitch and practice that pitch.
- Enterprise Ireland - If you are raising investment in Ireland you will probably be talking to EI. iGAP gets you onto the EI radar and you will have developed a relationship with the agency that is going to help you realise your vision.
- Increased Ambitions - Simply hanging around with the right people and getting exposure to the opportunities that are out there will increase your ambitions and make you see the possibilities when you have access to a global market.