The Farm accelerator, sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal, once again enticed the Atlanta startup ecosystem with an impressive display of innovative startups coming out of its program. Demo Day at the Coca-Cola Roxy featured nine companies taking the big stage to present their additions to the industries of mixed reality, computing power, music tech, and much more.
The selected enterprises were OurErrands, Fanaticus, Drofika, FlexSpace, Kilter Rewards, Rap Plug, SkyMul, CultureBase, and Soundcollide. Two of the startups, Kilter Rewards and OurErrands, landed pilot partnerships with Comcast NBCUniversal. Kilter is a physical fitness-tracking app that allows employers to donate to charities based on completed daily health goals. OurErrands is a platform that helps relocated employees get situated in their new city. UrbanGeekz talked to OurErrands about the pivot that landed them the deal.
“We came in and we ended up pivoting our original model,” said Dr. DeShawn Stevenson, CEO and Co-founder of OurErrands. “We were doing personal assistance for business owners. Then they really wanted us to focus on customer discovery and figure out what the customer really wanted. What their pain points are and how big of a pain it was. That was something we never thought about. So the bulk of the program was customer discovery. But they said, you may have a hundred ideas, but you’ll only end up with one. And that’s the one we ended up with. And I think it’s been a blessing. It’s been a huge opportunity and I will definitely recommend it for anybody to go through.”
The program, which is a 12-week curriculum tailored to the needs of individual startups, gives the founders $20,000 in seed capital and additional perks that total to an estimated $1.7 million. The Farm receives 6 percent equity in common stock.
But the program gives founders the resources and push they need to generate revenue and operate at the most optimal level. The cohort features a diverse group of individuals that are both multicultural and multigenerational. And it also has a pulse on global inclusion and expansion. Just last year, it announced a partnership with LeAD, a Berlin-based global sports entrepreneurship and investment platform for early-stage sports startups.
Lekan Basua, CEO of FlexSpace, who is a native of Nigeria explained why traversing across borderlines, is important in this day and age.
“At this point, I don’t think business is local anymore,” Basua said. “Every business is a global business at this point. So for us, we can’t really separate. In our business, we bring our culture into it every single day. Whether it’s from a design standpoint or just how we treat our team and employees.”
Highlights from inaugural The Farm Accelerator Spring Demo Day 2018 Filmed and Edited by UrbanGeekz’s Kennedy Crenshaw
With the conclusion of this month’s Demo Day, The Farm, which is powered by Boomtown Accelerators out of Boulder, CO, has opened applications for the next Spring 2019 cohort. Previous companies have successfully gone on to secure more funding, strategic partnerships, and a strong consumer base. Companies looking to take their business to the next level may want to consider applying. Stevenson of OurErrands explains what sets The Farm apart from other accelerators.
“One of the things that’s unique about this program is that they put the founders first,” said Stevenson. “A lot of startup accelerators are focused more on the idea and not the founders. But The Farm put the founders first. They knew that we were able to think freely enough to walk into whatever we needed to walk in with their guidance. And because of that, we definitely got the most out of it by being receptive to change.”Follow Carlyn Pounders on Twitter@CarlynTechTalk