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Meet the Accelerator —9Mile Labs partners presenting, judging and hosting this month

It’s October. Wow, already? But it’s a busy month with Cohort III at the midway point and serious work ahead! It’s also one of our favorite months at 9Mile Labs because of the bustle of B2B tech activity in the Northwest, much of which we look forward to participating in. Here’s a snapshot of where to find our team this month…

B2B Startup Meetup
October 8, 6:00-7:30 pm, 9Mile Labs Offices, 999 3rd Ave., Suite 700, Seattle

The Northwest’s first B2B tech startup Meetup kicks off October 8 in our offices. Sponsored by Altus Alliance, Summit Law Group and 9Mile Labs, the Meetup will launch important discussions about the most fundamental, yet essential tool every B2B company needs to know and understand: a winning B2B sales process. Effectively designed and executed, the sales funnel will determine your marketing needs, headcount, forecast, product roadmap, bottlenecks to close, how you compare to others in your industry, and a lot more. RSVP here.

DreamForce

October 15, 5:30-6:45 pm, The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square

9Mile Labs Partner Sanjay Puri will present on the panel “Meet the Catalysts – Advice from the Hottest Enterprise Accelerators.” Come to hear from the directors of some of the hottest enterprise Accelerators around, and find out if an Accelerator program is right for your business startup.

Startup Next

October 14 through November 12, Startup Hall, 1100 NE Campus Parkway University of Washington

9Mile Labs Partners Kevin Croy and Sanjay Puri are judging and advising young entrepreneurs at this awesome month-long event. Startup Next is the #1 startup pre-accelerator in the world, helping graduates get accepted into 9Mile Labs, Techstars, 500 Startups and many other top accelerators.

DubHacks

October 17-18, The Hub, University of Washington

DubHacks hosts the top college hackers in the northwest, and Kevin Croy will help judge the next generation of innovative software and hardware tech. This is a killer event for seeing the latest innovations coming out of UW, and every demo, app and idea reveal seems more impressive than the next.

 

And looking ahead to November, you’ll want to save the date for:

B2B Startup Weekend

November 7-9

After sponsoring the world’s first B2B Startup Weekend, the 9Mile Labs team is excited to sponsor another edition of this event. Sanjay and Kevin will judge and mentor another hot new pool of entrepreneurial talent at this year’s Startup Weekend. Don’t miss the event that is the drumroll to one of our biggest events of the year: Milestone9!

Milestone9

November 20, 2:00-6:00 pm, Washington State Convention Center

Our bi-annual event features the graduating companies from the current 4-month 9Mile program. We’re planning incredible speakers, content, technology demonstrations and an opportunity for startups and entrepreneurs — whether out of college or out of Microsoft and Amazon — to meet the investors, mentors and advisors that can help build their companies into hot market performers! Email us if you’d like an invite to this event.

Seattle B2B Entrepreneur Meetup Group

While Meetup groups are a super effective way to connect with fellow startups, entrepreneurs and technologists in any community, Seattle is craving one that is focused on the needs of the B2B entrepreneur. Why you ask? The answer is simple, B2B startups have a different set of challenges and opportunities to consider than their B2C counterparts, which we outlined in a blog post earlier this year.

One of the biggest factors impacting B2B startup success rests on the effectiveness of the early marketing and sales strategy. It’s just not the same selling to an enterprise or retailer as it is selling to mom or her kids. In an effort to address that need, the first Seattle B2B Tech Entrepreneur Meetup will focus on the B2B funnel — arguably the most important sales tool for any B2B entrepreneur.

Join the partners, mentors and companies from the 9Mile Labs accelerator program, along with masters of the sales funnel at Altus Alliance for a discussion on how to master your own B2B sales process. You’ll learn about the most fundamental, yet essential tool that every B2B company needs to know and understand — a winning B2B sales process. Management needs it to grow the business and manage sales. Sales needs it to manage the pipeline and sales engine. Investors demand it to value the company and determine investment worthiness. So, effectively designed and executed, the sales funnel will determine your marketing needs, headcount, forecast, product roadmap, bottlenecks to close, how you compare to others in your industry, and a lot more. Whew, that’s important stuff!

We’re looking forward to the short session from Altus Alliance and then informal networking with other like-minded entrepreneurs over drinks to talk about the business trends and opportuntiies that matter to B2B’ers like us. We’ll see you there!

Enrique Godreau III to join UP Global

I am pleased to share some exciting news. Enrique Godreau III will join UP Global as a Senior Vice President.

Eighteen months ago, after spending sixteen years as a venture capitalist, Enrique left the VC world to join the accelerator world. By co-founding 9Mile Labs, Enrique shifted his focus upstream in the company-building process to help entrepreneurs during a more formative stage than he typically did as a VC. His new role enables him to shift that focus even earlier and influence entrepreneurship on a global scale.

Enrique’s thoughtful approach to entrepreneurship and his out-of-the-box thinking will be well placed in this senior role at UP Global. The rest of the team and I could not be happier for him. Good luck, Enrique!

M9 logo-Sanjay2

Cohort II Graduation | Cohort III Applications Open!

Last Friday, May 16th at Milestone9 we had the honor of graduating nine companies from our second cohort. This capstone event is a conclusion to an intensive four month-long program focused on mentorship, advising and coaching startup companies. Descriptions of companies at the close of this post.

We’re also announcing that applications are now open for our next round, Cohort III. All information on our application process can be found at apply.9milelabs.com. Here are the key dates:

- Monday, 6/2: Early Bird Application Deadline (midnight)
- Monday, 6/16: Final Application Deadline (midnight)

Want to connect with us face-to-face, learn about 9ML and applying to our cohort? Here are a handful of opportunities.

Open Coffee: One-on-one conversation with a 9ML partner

- Every Tuesday (5/20 – 6/10), 1PM – 4PM, Tully’s in Bellevue (10812 Main Street; Bellevue, WA 98004)
- Every Thursday (5/22 – 6/12), 1PM – 4PM, Tully’s in Seattle (2nd & Marion; Exchange Building, 821 – 2nd Avenue; Seattle, WA 98104)

Entrepreneur Town Halls: Learn more about 9Mile Labs and the application process

- Thursday, 5/29, 4PM – 6PM, Dice Cabana (Exchange Building, 821, 2nd Avenue, 4th Floor, Seattle)
- Tuesday, 6/10, 4PM – 6PM, Eastside venue TBD

Questions about applying to 9Mile Labs? Check out our Q&A page at 9MileLabs.com as well as earlier blog posts:

Are you ready for an accelerator?
Is my startup too late / too early for an accelerator?
How is a B2B startup different from a B2C startup (Part I)?

 Meet our graduated cohort!

- 3D Product Imaging (3dproductimaging.com):3D Product Imaging allows online brands and retailers to create photo-realistic, high-fidelity 3-dimensional images of products thereby helping to improve sales conversion rates and reduce returns.
- Angles Media (anglesmedia.co): Angles Media helps businesses close more sales by delivering the right content to the buyer with the highest likelihood of influencing the sale. Learn exactly how your landing pages, white papers, videos, and emails influence prospects during the sales cycle.
- Cloudadmin (cloudadmin.mx): Cloudadmin is a cloud-based inventory management and order management system specially designed for SMBs in Latin America.
- Connect Consignment (connectedconsignment.com): Cloud e-commerce software, enabling resale and consignment businesses to; Sell anything, to anyone, anywhere.
- Engineroom360 (engineroom360.com): Engineroom360 helps small and mid-size online retailers, utilizing hosted platforms, to create online promotions and improve discoverability of products on their websites.
- Ghostruck (ghostruck.com): Ghostruck is a ridesharing solution for moving trucks that connects moving trucks with consumers who need a truck for moving bulky items.
- GreenKrate (greenkrate.com): GreenKrate delivers grocery items to consumers and small businesses thereby saving them time.
- Pawzii (pawzii.com): Pawzii delivers automated software solutions for animal shelters to free up human capital, generate new types of revenue, and bring focus back to what’s most important: saving animal lives.
- Theme Dragon (themedragon.com): Theme Dragon helps marketers in SMB’s make smarter video marketing decisions through actionable recommendations and intelligent data. It supports them from planning and production to measuring results.

Keep up on 9Mile Labs news by signing up to our mailing list – Visit 9MileLabs.com to add your name to our mailing list.

Why Did We Partner With PARC…And What Is The Big Deal?

Earlier today (Wed, Apr 2), we shared an announcement about an exciting partnership with PARC. Press releases offer limited room for elaboration, so we thought we’d share our perspective in a blog post. So here goes.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you know the odds are stacked against you…1:10 by most anecdotal accounts. If you are working on an idea, chances are, someone else in some other part of the world is working on the same or an adjacent idea. And if you were to assume that the other team is at least as smart and as driven as you are, they’re likely to pivot and iterate until both of you arrive at similar product/market concepts.

Having established the above, your challenge is to execute flawlessly and incredibly fast. How exactly do you do that? We believe that’s where startup accelerators are amazingly efficient. Surrounding entrepreneurs with seasoned mentors, an intense focus on customer development, the ability of the partners themselves to support the companies, providing stage-appropriate resources, and creating urgency with a fixed-length program help startups minimize mistakes and operate efficiently.

Back to PARC

Before we go too far, for the uninitiated, here’s a subset of the pioneering technologies PARC has invented since its founding in 1970 – mouse, Ethernet, laser printing, graphical user interface, object-oriented programming, WYSIYG text editor etc. etc. This short YouTube video contains an interview with Steve Jobs and his reaction at seeing the mouse on his visit to PARC in 1979. The short of it is, PARC is focused on “out there” research in many areas, including ubiquitous computing, big data, content-centric networking, contextual intelligence, design and digital manufacturing and many others. Convinced about the coolness quotient yet?

PARC is now very focused on bringing its groundbreaking innovations to the startup community. After a long and intense due diligence process with startup-focused organizations across the world, PARC made a decision that 9Mile Labs would be one of the organizations they would partner with. The PARC team liked the 9Mile Labs focus on B2B companies, they enjoyed the continuity of deep mentor engagement during the program and they liked how the 9Mile Labs team is committed to a community-focused approach to supporting entrepreneurs. Finally, the PARC team felt that the structured curriculum and engagement built upon a strong foundation of the 9Mile Success Framework (more on that in another blog post) offered a great mechanism for programmatic engagement with the startups.

In fact, the interaction between PARC and 9Mile Labs was so positive early on that despite no formal agreement, PARC visited 9Mile Labs during the first program in 2013, spoke to a subset of the companies here and decided to support Comr.se, one of the very promising Cohort I companies. Over the past few months, PARC has dramatically accelerated development of Comr.se’s data analytics infrastructure with PARC’s outsourced data foundry services.  The engagement compresses Comr.se’s development and go-to-market timeframes by 12-18 months at a fraction of the traditional cost, thereby providing them with an amazing competitive advantage.

And This Is Why It’s a Big Deal!

The collaboration between PARC and 9Mile Labs creates unique combinations of disruptive technologies and startups that has not occurred at scale previously. PARC serves to accelerate startups in 3 distinct ways. First, PARC can efficiently offer the broad and deep base of technical expertise with PARC researchers and technologists to help startups in the form of technical mentoring. Second, PARC can draw upon its vast stable of existing technologies and IP that can provide startups a great head-start, as in the case of Comr.se. Third, PARC provides a world-class infrastructure for rapid prototyping – specifically their foundry services for software and cloud technology startups – that obviates the need for startups to expend their scarce time and resources building this infrastructure.

Now let’s combine all of the above with the fact that the focus of PARC’s research and client interactions is innately and historically enterprise and B2B. Hopefully, it begins to become apparent why the collaboration between PARC and 9Mile Labs ought to be great news for budding B2B entrepreneurs.

To be sure, not all startups will be either ready, able or suitable to engage with PARC. But for many startups, this support could spell the difference between success and failure. And that, quite simply, is what we’re trying to do at 9Mile Labs. We want to systematically reduce risks and improve the odds that startups face as they build their businesses.