The Geeks In The Woods Accelerator is focused on propelling the software ideas of Alaskan entrepreneurs into scalable web-based businesses.
Invest and Accelerate
Our accelerator is here to help your team shape your business. Believe in yourself, your team and believe in your idea. Alan Kay says it best, "In order to predict the future, you have to invent it." As an accelerator, we invest our resources to help you create a successful startup that creates the future.
- Focus on investing in and building Software as a Service (SaaS) businesses.
- Approach allows each business the opportunity to grow or fail independently.
- Bootstrapped approach enables entrepreneurs to bring their SaaS businesses from 0 (idea) to 1 (product/market fit).
- Lead by example, harnessing the Founder’s mentality.
We work with passionate startup founders, not wantrepeneurs. Startup founding teams are inherently self-motivated and risk-seeing. They inherently take a bootstrap approach, trying to understand the product market fit with the resources they have. We accelerate this self-motivated effort. If you and your co-founder(s) are sticking with your cushy day job and waiting for somebody else to give you permission to start a company, then you are not startup founders, you are dreamers.
We invest our time, passion and resources - our Founder's mentality - to help you accelerate your idea into a company that soon becomes the scaling insurgent of your industry.
"They have attained relatively little scale, but are propelled by a big idea and the internal strengths of the founder’s mentality: namely, a missionary zeal for changing the standards in their industry, obsession with the people and the work done at the front line of business; and the owner’s mindset, a sense of deep personal responsibility for results that leads to a bias for speed and against bureaucracy." The Founder's Mentality by Chris Zook and James Allen
Unique Bootstrapped Approach
Our goal as an accelerator is to help you achieve product-market fit as soon as possible. We leverage a software framework that we have developed specifically for Software as a Service (SaaS) businesses to bootstrap software ideas into businesses. We leverage our software framework to provide capacity to efficiently build technology with teams internally.
This bootstrap approach recognizes the value of building the technology and an engineering team into strategic long-term assets. The most valuable companies have both strong technology capabilities and amazing teams capable of continuing to drive innovation.
Software framework to bootstrap SaaS web applications
- Already implemented in two SaaS businesses.
- Continuous development of framework - will be implemented on in each business.
- Integrated with key business components for SaaS companies.
Mentoring to build Tech internally
- Provide strategic leadership (CTO, Engineering, Product).
- Invest internally in growing tech talent.
- Increased value when People and Tech are together.
Typical accelerators provide seed funding to an entrepreneur in order for them to hire talent and turn their idea into a scalable business. Since resources are constrained in Alaska, our accelerator partners with the founding team to help build out the opportunity from an idea into a product that hopefully achieves product/market fit. Our accelerator team consists of three startup professionals with vast experience in both software engineering and entrepreneurship.
Lucas and Lee, founders and partners of Geeks in the Woods, are identitial twin brothers. They have been working together since middle school as entrepreneurs. They grew their last big company together over ten years and have a valable perspective on teams. They believe your co-founders are the most important resource you will ever have.
Understand as early as possible what each founder brings to the table and why you are the right team to solve the problem. Accordingly, our accelerator puts a heavy emphasis on the team for an idea. Smart people that can work well together can build anything they want. After that is solved, and if you can build your product and test it on some users, your team will be ready for us to help you accelerate from idea to scalable business.
If you are single co-founder and want to keep all the equity for yourself, please do not apply! We will not accept solo founders. Doing a startup by yourself is stressful. There will be many days where you want to quit. Co-founders do not simply run a company together, they pick each other up when things get rough. 2+ co-founders build the strongest companies.
Tech in Alaska
Living and working in Alaska allows us the opportunity to examine the impact and connection of places long considered "remote". Places thought of as 'on the edge of the Earth' - like Alaska and the broader Arctic region - become less distant through understanding the complexity of the landscape and its inhabitants from multiple perspectives.
As a gateway to the Arctic, Alaska is part of a global North that is pivotal to today's world. From many perspectives, the Arctic prophecizes new truths about the planet and global communities. Alaska's living cultures, the connections between people, land, animals, technology, and a shifting climate are at the core of how we can better understand the North's many possible futures.
Over the next decade, we believe tech workers will further explore the connection and boundaries between the traditional world and the modern world. Alongside the changing perspectives on the natural world and virtual ones, come more experimentations with work and life, focusing on the quality of one's life. Our accelerator embraces this openness to a changing future. We hope that the co-founders of the companies we invest in will leverage this exciting opportunity to create the future.
Read more about our belief of Tech in Alaska.
Who You Are
If you and your co-founders are real entrepreneurs, you will figure out how to bootstrap turning your idea into a product. It is best to join our program once you have a crude prototype of your product or a simple demonstration of the technology. It can be as simple as some custom code that helps to prove out your idea. Do not apply with only an idea. We accelerator do-ers, not dreamers. Our accelerator will help your team build your minimum viable product into a scalable software a service business by the end of the program.
- be a team of two or more co-founders
- have at least a minimal viable product
- believe in themselves, their team, and their idea
- be committed to learning, building, and iterating
- live in Alaska or possess strong passion to relocate to Alaska in near future
- be willing to talk openly about ideas without NDAs (we believe companies are built by building and executing. doers, not dreamers!)
- possess flexible work/life schedule
- be working full time on idea, or be transitioning out of full-time job to pursue their idea
- understand the failure is okay, and be willing to fail fast
- be positive, and believe in creating the future!
Keep most of your focus on building your company. Applying to accelerators like ours can take a lot of time. Build a solid foundation and we will take notice.
How to Apply?
Application process for next cohort will open in Q2 2019. The following cohort will begin in Q3 of 2019. Check back for more details in March.
The focus of the application will be on your ability articulate why you think your team is going to be successful. You do not need to write and apply with a lengthy business plan.
Until the application process opens, be bootstrapped entrepreneurs and continue to build, learn, and iterate upon your idea. Your goal is to demonstrate forward momentum and that you can accomplish a great deal in a short amount of time. If you have any questions, connect with us.
Below is a suggested approach to refining your pitch before you bring it to us:
- Build a pitch deck - a 10-12 page slide deck that focuses on the core areas of your business.
- Based on your ideas articulated in the pitch deck, write down your business model in one page or less. This will help you notice flaws in the pitch deck. Update accordingly.
- Tell your most pessimistic friend about your idea using your refined pitch deck or one page summary.
- Use their feedback! Leverage it to learn and iterate upon both your pitch deck and one page summary.
Slideshare about Accelerator
Geeks in the Woods Accelerator on SlideShare
Long Term Goals for Accelerator
Within three years, we plan to:
- launch 6+ SaaS businesses.
- have a profitable exit of at least 1 business.
- achieve profitability with at least 3 businesses.
- kill at least 1 business that is not proving to be successful.
Within five years, we plan to:
- inspire more tech companies to start in AK.
- develop 1+ into a business with scaling metrics, revenue of $10-$100M, and a business that Alaskans are proud of.
- have successfully sold investments in 2+ businesses.