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Come meet our 9 Exceptional B2B Technology Startups on Nov 20

What is a startup accelerator and how can it help launch a technology idea into a market-ready business? Who is developing some of the best B2B and cloud-services technologies in the Pacific Northwest? Why is our region one of the best in the country for cloud and B2B startups? Our latest Milestone9 event will answer these questions, and introduce the 9 companies graduating from our program. Join us Thursday, November 20, from 2:00-6:00 p.m. at the Washington State Convention Center by registering at http://m9.9MileLabs.com.

The Pacific Northwest is home to some of the top enterprise and cloud services companies in the world, and should be a beacon to any enterprise startup. Concur is one such remarkable success story, and we’re excited to have its co-founder, COO and Chairman Rajeev Singh keynote the event. He’ll help welcome hundreds of business leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, friends and family for great content, discussions, networking and demonstrations of some of the hottest technologies launching today!

This marks the third successful cohort of companies from the 9Mile Labs program and we can’t wait to help launch them into the community. And if you’re entrepreneurs interested in joining a B2B startup accelerator, our next program kicks off in January 2015 – application deadline December 4. Whether launching a startup out of college, from of an established career, or developing an idea on the side, entrepreneurs can apply to our program at any time here.

Register soon and we’ll see you there!

Top 5 Traits of Great Startup Leaders

The top reason for most investors to commit funding into a startup is the founding team. Clearly, the leaders of a startup set the tone for the entire team. So how does one identify a good leader?

At 9Mile Labs, we’ve attempted to tease out the traits of great startup leaders. We term these traits “Entrepreneurial Aptitude” and constantly look for these among startup teams, especially during our cohort selection process

1. Self-awareness: Successful entrepreneurs know what they don’t know. Successful leaders recognize their gaps and want to surround themselves with people smarter than and different from themselves. This awareness is a critical determinant of hiring, funding and mentoring decisions. Great startup leaders appreciate the importance of listening and learning, can handle the push back, and don’t surround themselves with yes-men.

2. Strong bias towards action: Speed is a critical determinant of success in a startup. It’s better to make three wrong decisions now and learn from them to arrive at the right one than to have endlessly (over-) analyzed in the quest for perfection. Successful leaders have a sense of urgency, are comfortable with risk and trust their instincts.

3. Fluid intelligence: Great leaders have the ability to learn and make new rules as they go along…by first recognizing that the old ones just don’t work any more. While remaining flexible and nimble, good startup leaders are able to maintain the fine balance between coachability and deep conviction about their vision in the face of all odds.

4. Internal motivation: Great startup leaders don’t need to be coaxed out of bed in the morning, they don’t make excuses for failure, and they don’t ask or wait for permission. They take accountability for their decisions and believe that the buck really does stop with them.

5. Ability to motivate and lead others: These leaders are able to infect others with their irrational optimism even while being transparent about the facts. They take responsibility for bad decisions and give credit to team members for the good ones. Great startup leaders are able attract others into working with them for next to nothing because of their sense of mission and caring.

Just to be clear, this list is by no means static and will continue to get refined; it also does not obviate the need to trust intuition and gut instinct. But the attributes listed above continue to rise up to the top in our discussions.

If this sounds like you, then don’t give up! If your idea doesn’t work the first time or doesn’t fit into a market opportunity, you likely have what it takes to evolve it or fail quickly and start working towards your next idea.

Startup accelerators are an exceptional source of support for helping to develop leaders and businesses for market-readiness in months. The 9Mile Labs B2B startup accelerator is accepting applications for its Spring 2015 cohort now, with information and applications online here.

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!