The Conveners team co-hosted their first Accelerating the Accelerators session at SOCAP14.  We were thrilled at the level of energy and engagement during the event and are very excited about the next steps for the community.

It was incredible to work with a community that as one member put it “showed strong social cohesion”.  We were able to identify the signals of success including:

  • Increased program collaboration
  • A clear path for entrepreneur referrals
  • Understanding the process of maturation from cohort participants into mentors
  • Scaling our programs geographically and better understanding the criteria for successful organic expansion
  • How to best curate rich local ecosystems of mentorship and entrepreneurial support

Our shared motivation for serving entrepreneurs led to the desire for “One Voice for Advocation” as we see the accelerator sector maturing and our one-off attempts at collaboration failing to address the scale of the challenges we face.

It is time for “Good Enough!” as members of the community step up to take responsibility for Collective Impact Projects to achieve what no organization can do on its own.

1. Put Faces to Names

Conveners.org through the Accelerating the Accelerators program has offered to host another Accelerating the Accelerators workshop roughly 6 months after our meeting at SOCAP, please stay tuned for more information.  The agenda for this meeting will be dictated by the progress of each working group on their Collective Impact Project, and the responses of the community to a survey of what would be the

2. Resource Library – Calling all resources!

  • Do you have a best practice sheet for investment readiness that would knock the socks off your fellow accelerator leaders?
  • What about an incredible study on the entrepreneur landscape in E. Africa?
  • Say, I bet you have a new research report coming out that you want the community to read.

If you have any resources that you would like to share with the community, please email them to Arjita@conveners.org.  We will be promoting resources in our Cross Promotion Bulletins each month.  We already have some great resources that were volunteered during the AtA Session.

3. Collective Impact Projects (Follow up conference calls)

There were a couple of working groups that emerged from the session.  Avary will be working with the leaders of those groups in September to set up the calls for clear action and follow through using the Collective Impact Project program resource from Conveners.org.  We will plan on having 2 calls over the next 4 months for each CIP.

The current participants include:

Effective Cross Promotion – CIP

How do we cross promote effectively?

Leader:
Loic – NESsT

Participants: 
Sean – Unreasonable
Megan – Points of Light
Ian – Mentor Capital Network
Ana – New Ventures Mexico
Florence – Vital Voices
Cassandra – GSBI

Breaking Systemic Barriers – CIP

How do we address the systemic barriers that hold back our entrepreneurs and ourselves from reaching true sustainability?

Leader:
Seema Patel – USAID

Participants:
Loic – NESsT
Sean – Unreasonable
Janine – NCIIA
Mentor Capital Network representative
Points of Light Representative

Clearing the Path for the Entrepreneur – CIP

Creating a flow chart to better understand what a healthy path through the accelerator ecosystem looks like vs. an unhealthy path.

Leader: 
Ian – Mentor Capital Network

Participants: 
Andy – GSBI
Avary – Conveners.org