9 Batches 9 Learnings

9 Batches 9 Learnings

Over the past four years, we've had the pleasure of working with over 70 incredible startups across nine batches. Dennis, one of our Principals has been part of xdeck since the beginning and has seen firsthand the ups and downs that founders experience. We’re happy to share some of the key learnings he has gathered along the way:

What founders learned during their xdeck journeys:

1. Explore Diverse Financing Options

While venture capital is a common financing route for many startups, it's essential to consider other non-dilutive financing opportunities. Grants, loans, and revenue-based financing can provide the necessary capital without giving up equity.

2. Prepare Thoroughly for Venture Capital

If you decide to pursue venture capital, preparation is crucial. Understand the business model of VC funds and familiarize yourself with critical term sheet clauses. Allocate at least six months for the entire fundraising process, from start to cash-in-bank.

3. Master B2B Sales

B2B sales can be challenging with long sales cycles. To overcome this, deliver tangible and measurable value to your customers. Support your customer-internal champions by proactively addressing their concerns and internalizing onboarding efforts.

4. Seek Advice from Experienced Founders

Founding a startup is a rollercoaster, much like founding an accelerator. There is immense value in getting feedback from fellow founders who have been in your shoes. Be cautious of advisors who lack entrepreneurial experience.

What xdeck learned over the course of 9 batches:

5. Engage in Digital Programs

You can effectively deliver value through digital acceleration programs. However, engagement in online sessions can fluctuate, so incorporate icebreakers to maintain participant interest and interaction.

6. Foster Offline Community Connections

A true community feeling only emerges from in-person interactions. This is why we organize our pitch days and kick-off events on-site in Cologne. These gatherings help build strong relationships and a sense of belonging.

What founders and xdeck learned together:

7. Focus on Relevant Sessions

With so much entrepreneurship information available online, we've found that individual and founder-to-founder sessions are the most valuable parts of our acceleration offering. These tailored interactions provide the most significant insights and support.

8. Prioritize High-Quality Introductions

A handful of high-quality introductions are more beneficial to founders than numerous generic workshops. These connections can open doors to new opportunities and provide invaluable support.

9. Cultivate a Give-Back Culture

One of the strongest assets of our xdeck founder community is the long-term give-back mentality. Our alumni are always willing to support younger cohorts, creating a true flywheel effect that propels everyone forward.

We are proud of how each founder story has developed and we are looking forward to our upcoming milestone: Our 10th batch!