The RealCo Long-Term Accelerator program entered its second year with an ambitious idea. Soon after arriving at RealCo in April managing director Rich Grote began exploring how to create a way for the program’s distributed founders, mentors, and investors to engage deeply with each other in person and connect with the surrounding tech and startup ecosystem.
That idea has now become realized with the launch of RealCo(n).
The first recurring quarterly RealCo(n) mini-summit will be July 9 through July 11 in San Antonio. RealCo(n) will feature multiple closed events such as hands-on workshops, founder-bonding exercises, and mentor-matching activities organized to help founders, investors, and mentors connect and share ideas about startups.
One RealCo(n) event will be open to the public—a panel of female CEOs who will discuss How To Grow Your Startup July 10, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Pinch Boil House. Active Capital COO and partner Cat Dizon will moderate the panel discussion with CEO Alejandra Zertuche of Enflux, CEO and founder Katy Aucoin of Dearduck, and Transect CEO and co-founder Robin Laine.
Free tickets to the RealCo(n) event are available by registering here.
RealCo provides early-stage funding, mentorship, and networking resources for business-to-business technology startup companies, providing a $100,000 investment to companies accepted into their 15-month program. The accelerator started in March 2017 with two companies and now has eight in its cohort.
Grote joined Michael Girdley, the founding RealCo partner and co-founder and managing director for the Geekdom Fund, a venture capital fund investing in early-stage tech startups. Co-founder RealCo partner Chris Saum, who helped start MUD Geochemical Inc., a software startup that sold research and development services to the oil and gas industry, and partner Jenni White, former chief of operations at Codeup, complete RealCo’s managing team.
“We want to be able to accept companies that are not based in San Antonio, yet it’s difficult to have founders spending their time here if they don’t live here,” Grote said. “We want to develop this resource to allow founders to stay where they live and are close to their customers.”
With more employees embracing remote working and cloud computing many startup companies have the flexibility to be more distributed, working from various locations rather than in a centralized physical home office, Grote said.
“Every founder moves fast so it’s important to have a program that fits in with the founder lifestyle,” Grote said. “We want to be able to accommodate companies in the [RealCo] program who are not physically in San Antonio by supporting the weekly cadence of our checking in with each of the companies.”
Developing the online RealCo(n) community will support the distributed model RealCo is adopting. Its latest addition to the program is Tali, a startup located just outside of Portland in Beaverton, Oregon. Founders Matt Volm, Matt Anthes-Washburn, and Matt Hoiland developed a voice-enabled productivity assistant software that functions much like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. A recent RealCo blog post describes the startup’s work creating a voice-activated app that gives lawyers, accountants, freelancers, and other professionals the ability to track their time worked using voice commands.
“RealCo is by default distributed, so it makes sense to create an online platform and community with regularly scheduled RealCo(n) summits,” Grote said. “We’ll be iterating RealCo(n) so it best serves the startup community with meaningful connections that help grow companies.”