My AngelPad Experience
Many people have asked about my experience at AngelPad. After exchanging emails with a few people, I determined more people could benefit if I made the knowledge public. Common things you hear about incubators in general are social proof (for raising capital) and the introductions Angelpad can make to angel investors and venture capital. However, the following are the things which I found helpful and I still benefit from today.
A strong network is vital to anyone’s continued success. During our interview, Thomas asked, “Why do you want to be in Angelpad?”
We responded that we wanted to leverage and exploit the Angelpad network to optimize our success.
Once accepted into Angelpad, the value of the network was immediately apparent. Thomas accelerated our connections in the valley. Networks can be valued using Metcalfe’s law — The value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of people in the network. With Angelpad however, the value of the network is more likely cubed.
The AngelPad network is composed of early ex-Google employees who are well connected. It is relatively easy to get a meeting in the valley with anyone you want if you have a compelling reason why you should meet them. A single Angelpad node has many edges.
You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.
Each one gave us general advice, in a group setting, for about an hour. Then, they had one-on-one’s with us for 8 minutes, where we could ask them anything we wanted. The 8-minutes was setup specifically to make us get right to the point of what we wanted to know. A skill every founder should practice and utilize.
Thomas Korte, who runs Angelpad, bends over backwards to make himself available to you. You are required to meet him once a week. But, you can talk with him as much as you would like because he works out of the office every day. This alone makes AngelPad worth it. Having a successful angel investor working closely with you for 10-weeks is an invaluable learning experience.
The advisors also make themselves available after AngelPad. We still regularly reach out to them to ask questions and seek advice.
Being part of AngelPad means you are required to go to the office each day. This is a large differentiator from other incubators. In YC for instance, you only meet once a week. Being in a communal office means we were surrounded by amazing entrepreneurs who constantly gave us great feedback and insight.
You are also creating tight life-long friendships. I still regularly call and email my fellow classmates for advice and they do the same. You learn from each other and help lean on them when you need help. They will help you, just as you are willing to help them.
What You Put In Is What You Get
Angelpad is not for the weak or faint of heart. If you need hand holding, Angelpad is not for you. Angelpad is designed to challenge your assumptions about your business, market, product, and vision. The experience will tear you down and rebuild you stronger. However, this will only happen if you give it everything you have. This requires a huge commitment on your part.
If you are looking for an incubator to help you with a lifestyle business, don’t apply to AngelPad. AngelPad is looking for companies that are attempting to change the world. If you have that type of foresight, vision, or dream: I will see and talk with you soon.
Originally published at bretthard.in.