Gathered around silver trays of food, platters of fruit, and boxes of pizza, the ten selected companies in the Excelerate program mingled among some of the most esteemed mentors and venture capitalist in the Chicagoland area last week. Nerves and anxiety were replaced with smiles and handshakes and the excitement in the room was palpable. Over the course of two days, an estimated total of 100 mentors graced the 2nd floor of the ExcelerateLabs Headquarters, eager to meet and hear initial presentations from our companies.
The meet-n’-greet events were a huge success and each mentor made their rounds, talking at length with each company, sharing stories and chatting about their goals for the summer and how each group could benefit from the knowledge of Excelerate’s distinguished guides. It was clear that the companies were absorbing information after only talking with representatives of major investment firms for a short amount of time. Members of WeGather, Edulender, PVPower, and Noblivity were blown away by the “relatability of the mentors”, the suggestions they received on their product, and the mentors’ “interesting stories that gave [them] tips to success.”
It was an environment unlike any other that I’d been in. I could feel the buzz of excitement all around me, hear the laughter resonate through the expansive space, and watch business cards pass from palm to palm with a pleasant smile and a promise to call if guidance was needed.
We, the Excelerate Team, are beyond excited to see the progress that all of our companies make this summer and are eager to aid them in the development process.