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How has the accelerator changed the startup life? - Firsthand experience from DVAb0 and anticipated challenges.

DIGITAL VENTURES August 10, 2017 9:37 AM

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Digital Ventures Accelerator has recently announced applications for startup teams for its batch 1 or DVAb1. It is currently in the interviewing process wherein 10 teams will be selected as the finalist for the project. Today, we share stories from the previous batch or DVAb0 who has completed the
6-months program. What has changed? Let’s hear it from them.

What have you achieved after joining the accelerator program?

“A startup business mindset is an important factor”, says Earth - Soranun Choochat, CEO of ETRAN,
1 of the 10 startups in the DVAb0. ETRAN is a startup that designs and builds eco-friendly electric motorbikes for public use. He shares his DVAb0 experience at the Startup Thailand 2017 event. He mentions that joining DVA totally changed the perspective of both himself and the team. Previously, ETRAN worked discreetly on their projects with fear of someone stealing the idea. However, DVA changed this mindset.

Over the 6 months with the program, they found that the key to development is not solely the idea but it is the actual process of implementation. Moreover, another mindset-changer for ETRAN that helped them succeed is the move out of the comfort zone. They used to be afraid to even try because they were limited to the word “impossible”. However, this project showed possibilities and made them ready to make the ideas tangible.

“After DVA, what really changed was that we start with the future. We used to begin from the past and think that something is impossible, but now, we believe that we can do it in the future. We create a plan, we learn, and we prepare, so there is only room for possibilities.” - Soranun Choochat, CEO of ETRAN.

Connections mean opportunities for startups, Anawach Kimhasawad, founder of One Stock Home, a gold award winner from the DVAb0 Demo Day, shares in an interview with The Standard.

In the 6 months with DVA, we gained more connections than we ever did in 7 years.”

This is a rare opportunity if it had not been for the DVA program. The team met with successful local and international entrepreneurs which provided new connections that helped boost business growth.

Another benefit from the accelerator program is the knowledge and specific advice from the dedicated mentors. Nintita Loetruangsuphakun, CEO & Co-founder of Refinn, shares with Krungthep Thurakij newspaper that the mentors at DVA have been carefully selected to fit Refinn’s business model. They provided one-on-one consultation and worked closely with the team. Therefore, when problems arise, the team is able to precisely and professionally solve them.

“Specialists with international business experience who worked closely with us helped solve problems in a professional manner. Every question is answered and I think that this kind of assistance is hard to find.” - Nintita Loetruangsuphakun, CEO & Co-founder of Refinn.

Startups’ anticipated challenges after the accelerator program.

In the future, the startups will face numerous challenges in the actual business environment. Aside from focusing on product development, startups need to focus on other skills in order to enhance sustainable development. Some of the skills include:      

  • Team management skills, human resources management, and hiring specialists that fit the different tasks at an appropriate budget.

  • Seek ways to create sustainable income so if confronted with fundraising difficulties, there are fewer consequences.

  • Embrace skills in finding partners that will offer opportunities to expand the market. Collaborating with large enterprises from the project who have large customer database is highly beneficial.

Moreover, startups need to consider the survival of their business such as in capital allocation for hiring employees, product development, and other expenses. Startups may need time to generate their own income, this phase is called the “Death Valley” in a startup terminology. Startups need to sort out the capital issue to prevent the income from being lower than the expenses while awaiting the next fundraising opportunity or when the startup is not yet able to generate income to meet to breakeven point.

Here, you can see experiences that startups from the accelerator program have encountered and the challenges that entrepreneurs need to overcome. Those who are interested in startups and the accelerator program, find updates about the Digital Ventures Accelerator Batch 1 which is in its selection process at the Digital Ventures Blog and our Facebook page.