FlashStarts operates a startup accelerator.
Mission = Change the world one startup at a time.
Mantra = “
Get Create a job!”
Formula = 10 Teams x ($20k / 6%) + Mentors + ((Customers + Revenue) x Iterate).
You can Apply, Mentor, Sponsor, Invest, or Share.
OneCommunity’s Gigabit connectivity will enable our teams to invent the future of high-speed connectivity here in NE Ohio – Charles Stack, FlashStarts CEO.
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Mr. Stack has spent most of his career in Ohio so I asked him what makes it such a great fit for him. “Thank God for the Internet.” To paraphrase a classic line- “On the Internet nobody knows you are an Ohioan,” he joked. “But seriously Cleveland is a spectacular location: we have not one but four seasons, the greatest amount of fresh water on the planet, high-speed air travel, high-speed Internet, and a huge inventory of low- priced homes built in the 19 teens and 20’s with unmatched quality. Combine that with great people and great schools, why would anybody want to live anywhere else?”
Serial entrepreneurs get an adrenaline rush by starting new projects. “The most fun time in a startup is in the very beginning. It’s like standing in the middle of a giant field surrounded by forest,” said Mr. Stack. “You know there are paths through the forest but you can’t see them from where you stand. Start walking in one direction and eventually an opening will appear. Sometimes the path will end well, sometimes it will end badly, but the excitement is palpable. Many of the early decisions determine the ultimate success or failure of a startup. My thinking with FlashStarts was if one startup was fun 10 would be more fun.”
FlashStarts is attracting rapid entrepreneur interest
More great local press coverage for our accelerator.
FlashStarts differentiates itself by providing feedback to every company that applies to join the accelerator long before they are accepted. The accelerator also is hiring interns to work with the startups, and it accepts individuals interested in being assigned to one of the companies.
We are on a roll. Great coverage today in Fresh Water Cleveland. Check it out:
Stack is against the “cookie-cutter approach” to starting new businesses. Instead, he helps each company with their unique needs. “As soon as you apply, if we like the concept we begin the process of launching the company,” he says. Stack immediately gives the teams individual challenges, like researching the patents or market size.
“The key to making that business successful is getting the team familiar with us and us familiar with them,” Stack says. “It’s really not the same for every business. Different opportunities require different tools.”
Stack is raising $1.1 million to invest in the companies. Teams will receive up to a $20,000 investment — $11,000 plus $3,000 for each team member. FlashStarts in turn gets eight percent equity in the company. Teams can potentially receive up to $200,000 in follow-on funding upon completion of the program.
“Nurturing wildly successful startups requires vision,” said Charles Stack, President and Founder of FlashStarts. “Jennifer has the invaluable ability to visualize and navigate a company from concept to conquest. Applying her world-class skills to our portfolio companies will immensely benefit both our entrepreneurs and our investors.”
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We use the business model canvas as a tool in our accelerator. But because we strongly encourage right-brained entrepreneurs we wanted a slightly different version. Here is the standard left-brain version:
And here is our new right-brain version:
If the second one makes more sense to you please apply to our accelerator right now.
FlashStarts, a for-profit Cleveland software startup accelerator, has teamed up with DecisionDesk to implement an innovative method of accepting and reviewing business plan applications. As a result of the partnership, DecisionDesk’s submission management platform has increased both the efficiency and the effectiveness of FlashStarts’ application process, allowing evaluators to provide higher quality feedback to applicants at a much greater rate than before.
FlashStarts is now offering a new summer apprentice program in addition to its current accelerator and intern programs. The apprenticeship concept is specially designed for solo entrepreneurs, those who want to learn about entrepreneurship, and for those without a complete team or an idea. Charles Stack, CEO of FlashStarts, explains, “We will match you up with a person who has complementary skills and with an idea that we think has legs.” It should be noted that most accelerators do not accept applicants who fall into this category. “I have been a solo entrepreneur in all of my previous startups, so it didn’t seem right that we wouldn’t accept other teams of one.” Stack says he believes that the inclusion of the apprentice concept fulfills the needs of an underserved market and further differentiates FlashStarts from other accelerators.
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FlashStarts will be presenting Tuesday March 19, 2013 at the North Coast Angel Fund Meeting in the Dively Building on the Case campus.
The meeting starts at 5:30 pm and is open to NCAF members and Case students.
Please attend to hear the holistic view of FlashStarts and our Startup Accelerator.
Its not easy being an entrepreneur. Paying back student loans while founding a startup can be one too many things hanging over your head.
Fortunately, there is an answer: The Student Loan Income Based Repayment Plan. (A great acronym: SLIBRP! Pronounced “sly burp”)
For example, if you owe $100,000 in student loans at 6.8% and you can live on $17,000 per year you can effectively defer all student loan payments until your startup takes off. Here is the official US Government site where you can learn more and calculate your numbers. SLIBRP
One way of looking at this if you are a recent graduate, is that $17,000 is probably more than you made in college, so you just got a big raise.
There are also numerous totally legal business expenses that can improve the quality of your lifestyle without increasing your income. Your new company can provide medical care, parking, business lunches, business travel, computers, and many more legitimate business expenses. A quick consult with tax professional or Internet search for “business deductions” can provide you with an extremely comprehensive list.
So don’t let the Damocles Sword of student loan repayment defer your startup launch. Defer your student loans instead.