Summer 2019 at StartFast
During summer 2019, two MS in TEAM students and one MSBA student interned for StartFast. StartFast is a mentorship-driven startup accelerator located in Syracuse, NY. Akshay Rajput, one of the MS TEAM students, shared an overview of the program.
Summer 2019 at StartFast
StartFast is a mentorship-driven startup accelerator. Each year they invest in 5-7 software, mobile, or IoT companies & host a 3-month program. StartFast’s program is a highly selective, accepting just 0.25% of applicants; smaller cohorts allow them to tailor the program to the needs of each individual team. They invest $25,000 upfront, with up-to $100,000 in follow-up funding. Teams are plugged into a network of world-class entrepreneurs, investors, corporate executives, and subject matter experts to help take their company to the next level.
StartFast’s leadership team has founded multiple companies, raised more than $350 MM in capital, had $250 MM exits, & $1 B IPO. StartFast uses their network of over 100+ world-class mentors to help entrepreneurs get in front of the right people to accelerate the growth of the company.
This summer, StartFast mentored and invested in the following early stage companies:
Frogshop is a Software-as-a-Service platform dedicated to helping privately-owned boutique fitness studios build brand awareness, retarget their members, and sell products all by way of online, thereby improving their overall sales process.
GenesisAI is a Machine Learning protocol. On top of this protocol, they are building a marketplace for AI products and services. The marketplace connects companies in need of AI services, data, and models with companies interested to monetize their AI tech.
N-GEMS help business executives to locate high value tools, parts and machinery in a fraction of the time and cost compared to traditional methods.
Siyea creates realistic payment options tailored to customers' current financial picture which increases revenue, reduces bad debt, increases cash flow and cash flow visibility, and decreases operational costs. As a bonus, more people avoid write-offs and preserve their credit.
SnapSuite is an all-in-one business management software solution for skilled trade and distribution companies, that allows business owners to manage leads, track projects, create documents and easily generate complex quotes in a snap. They help small business owners move away from outdated software and towards better business management.
As a StartFast summer associate, I had the opportunity to help develop a promising group of startup companies that moved to Syracuse for the summer from across North America. I not only assisted with the daily operations of the StartFast program but also aided the companies in areas of need. I used my specialized skills in marketing and strategy, expanded my knowledge to help the startups design and develop applications, perform market research, prepare due diligence materials, understand markets, channels and competition, formulate strategy/financial pro-formas and other tasks from time to time. In assisting with the program’s daily operations, I prepared for and organized events, assisted with marketing, and provided content for social media.
For multiple companies at StartFast, I strategized and led the execution of lifecycle-based email marketing programs and lead-generation campaigns. Additionally, I led the development and implementation of multi-touch, multi-channel marketing programs inclusive of inbound and outbound tactics, utilized HubSpot to create, deploy and track campaigns, and update key metrics report to stakeholders.
This summer I was able to substantially grow my personal and professional network by connecting with a wide variety of experienced mentors, entrepreneurs and investors. From participating in mentor meetings to attending many community-wide social events, as a StartFast summer associate, I gained a unique perspective on the entrepreneurial ecosystem and beyond.
I believe that this experience at StartFast complements the formal education provided through the Technical Entrepreneurship and Management (TEAM) program and is a must-have exposure for budding entrepreneurs. I am grateful and appreciate all the efforts taken by the staff at the Ain Center for Entrepreneurship in providing me with this unique internship opportunity.
Akshay Rajput ’19 (MS) has been working with multinational companies since his graduation. He holds expertise in field of business development, marketing, and resource management. Akshay’s latest experience stems from being a digital media & business development manager for a branding firm. He is currently a Masters candidate in the Technical Entrepreneurship and Management program, with a concentration in Energy & the Environment.