Now, here comes another one, but with a few twists. EO Seattle is opening a new accelerator program in July, targeting a wide variety of companies that have revenues between $250,000 and $1 million, or that have raised $250,000 or more. The accelerator won’t take an equity stake, and there’s no physical office space where entrepreneurs congregate.
The EO Seattle Accelerator program also is different in that it will accept companies from outside the high-tech realm, a big differentiator in the eyes of EO Seattle board member Peter Chee.
“True innovation comes from being surrounded by others in different industries,” said Chee, an EO member for the past six years and founder of the co-working space Thinkspace. “This is what makes it really special. When you are with peers who see things through a different lens you start to see problems and answers in a different way.”
The EO Seattle Accelerator program will last 12 months, with monthly and quarterly meetings at Thinkspace. Companies will pay $2,000 in annual dues to participate, receiving mentorship from leading entrepreneurs and service providers.
Those involved in the program include Bob Thordarson of BlueCapp; David Martin of TrackStar; Matt Heinz of Heinz Marketing; Jeremy Allen of System Six; David Niu of TinyHR and Amy Balliet of Killer Infographics.
EO Seattle is a leading entrepreneurial organization, part of the larger global entrepreneurial network. To join, entrepreneurs must run companies with gross revenues of more than $1 million or have raised more than $2 million in private funds. There are 126 members in Seattle, and more than 10,000 worldwide.
Having access to that network is one of the big advantages of the program, says Chee.
“Mentorship is a huge part of success which is why our accelerator participants will get access to experienced EO entrepreneurs in the both the Seattle chapter as well as worldwide chapters,” he said.
The program also could become a feeder system to EO, since the goal is to get companies to $1 million in revenue in 12 months. Companies can extend for another two years, if they don’t hit that revenue milestone.
Chee said the selection process will be stringent. “We want people that want to learn from others, who are driving themselves and their businesses to new heights,” he said.
There are 24 EO Accelerators around the world, including programs in San Francisco, Dallas, Colorado, Boston, and New York. Other accelerators and incubators in the Seattle area include TechStars, SURF Incubator and 9Mile Labs, which is hosting its annual demo day this Friday.