The year was 2016. I was at a crossroads. I had to choose between a promotion to continue at Bain in New York, and working at an emerging upskilling startup in India. Confused, I looked towards Greg, my trustworthy sounding board and informal mentor. Greg was a Partner at Bain. Having spent significant time as an operator, he brought a degree of empathy towards clients I rarely saw and deeply admired.
“Don't think about what the usual path is - take the path that leads to learning something you won’t otherwise. Have you ever heard anyone regret getting on-ground experience?"
If not for his nudge, I wouldn't have joined Edubridge, a small startup that focused on upskilling semi-urban and rural youth in India. Looking back, it was one of the best decisions of my life. It cemented my love for startups and gave me a deeper understanding of the Indian customer. Greg was my Obi-Wan in the process.
I couldn't think of my career without amazing mentors like Greg. They have always stood by me. They never gave me the answers, but they asked me the right questions that helped me make the right decision. I cannot underscore enough the importance of mentors and the value they could bring into one's career.
That's one of the reasons I am really excited about bringing to you the core of Accel Atoms – a mentorship program that is personalized for you. Our mentors won’t give you all the answers, but better, they will guide you to arrive at them yourself.
Engineering Serendipity for Founders
With Atoms, we aim to select early-stage startups with great potential and pair them up with the best operating mentors and Accel IMs to create magic.
A – Access to non-dilutive capital
T – Trusted founder network and peer community
O – Open-minded discussions to help you brainstorm
M - Mentorship from veteran investment managers and industry operators
S – Support from the Accel family globally
Among all the key pillars, mentorship brings tremendous value to founders. And when we say mentorship, it doesn't mean making founders like you listen to people talk about their experiences.
With Atoms, mentorship involves a personalized focus that helps you move the needle on 3 areas that are most critical to your startup. And best of all, your mentors will be some of the best operators in the Indian Ecosystem today.
Every founder is different. But very rarely is the problem they face completely unique. There are still a few things that remain unchanged. What it takes to build a team, acquire users, listen to your customers, iterate your product, experiment with GTM and so on, never really changes.
These are a few of the many areas our mentors want to help you on. Learn from an expert who's been there and done that. Who offers distilled wisdom from years of experience.
This kind of mentorship can completely change the perspective of founders. And that’s what Atoms aims to provide.
Here's how mentorship works at Accel Atoms:
We consider startups selected via Accel Atoms as part of our portfolio. Just like any other portfolio company, you will have an Accel Investment Manager [IM] by your side.
During the beginning of the program, the IM will sit with the founder(s), try to understand their business, and help them set their OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) they'd want to achieve together.
Based on your OKRs, we will identify 3 ‘Atomic Focus’ areas to double-click on and go deeper into with your personal mentors.
1. Pick the 3 Atomic Focus areas you want to have a personal mentor for.
2. Accel will pair you with the most relevant mentor for that area.
3. No Zoom gyaan. Meet in a 1:1 setup at least once a month x 3 with each mentor.
4. Collectively align upon experiments, decisions to move the needle of your startup.
By the end of just 100 days, we want founders to have deeper insights into the ‘Atomic Focus’ areas and make progress on your OKRs in those areas.
Learn more about how the mentorship program works here.
Be a part of the chain reaction
If you're a founder working on an idea, Accel Atoms is a great place to begin your journey. To know more, click here.
With Atoms our goal is to engineer an environment where founders can collide with other founders, operators, investors, and potential customers. We are excited to have you as part of this chain reaction! Again, the link to apply is here.