Posted on 03/25/2019 via Stefan Probst

Mentor Madness in the Future Home

Future Home Accelerator: Ten young companies connected with 95 mentors in three weeks...

Wow – that was exhausting but worth it! Ten young companies connected with 95 mentors in just three weeks! This means 779 back-to-back meetings during the first month of February. We call this demanding period Mentor Madness. Think of it as a speed-dating platform: Mentor Madness gives founders access to a wide range of contacts at BSH, Techstars and the startup ecosystem.

The first BSH Future Home Accelerator class started their acceleration program at the beginning of February 2019. Once a year, we select startup teams from all over the world to participate in the BSH Future Home Accelerator powered by Techstars, a program that focuses on the smart kitchen as the center of the “connected home”.

Ten start-ups kicked off this first round. The participants come from the UK, South Korea, Hong Kong, and the US to Munich to develop hard- and software solutions for various challenges in the “Future Home”. We provide them with professional help from our BSH mentors as well as experienced mentors from the global Techstars network, who can coach them on a number of topics, such as design, engineering or marketing.

To find out more, have a look at David Edwards, Techstars Director of Partnerships, talking about this 13-week program. David gives an insight into the three phases of the program (Link).

The first couple of weeks we call “Mentor Madness”
The concept behind Mentor Madness is to meet up with as many experts from different disciplines as possible: other founders, industry specialists or topic specialists, such as social media marketing, AI, investors and so on. The mentors are there to help founders turn their business into a success. Mentors volunteer for this, following the #givefirst principle of the Techstars community.

“The first couple of weeks have been great, absolutely great. Amazing people flying in from all over the world. Then the second week the mentor madness, where it’s just gone crazy. Back-to-back meetings. It is mental but it is great fun.”

Leon Doyle, CEO & Founder at WIFIPLUG (UK)

Founders benefit from an invaluable selection of mentors
Being able to talk to so many people offers the founders a great opportunity to hear different points of view and help think their business outside the box. These meetings give them new ideas, offer them valuable insights and might even make them re-think the core of their business model.

Besides this, mentors introduce them to further contacts, so they build up a network of 100 – 150 people within three weeks. Some of these contacts will be very helpful for the founders during the following months and might even be key players in the future of their company.

The Mentor Madness is intense, so the founders are quite exhausted after these three weeks. Nevertheless, after consolidating the input, they have a very clear view of what they need to change in order to make their business successful. Moreover, the founders select dedicated mentors that will accompany them for the weeks and months to come.

One such mentor is Sven Schnee, Head of Corporate Consumer Journey at BSH. He is a veteran of product marketing and brand communication. He can offer years of experience in marketing in an industry that founders of the Future Home Accelerator are targeting.

“The essence is the emotion about technical ideas. And we can provide founders with a lot of knowledge on how to become an emotional player in the business.”

Sven Schnee, Head of Corporate Consumer Journey at BSH and Mentor of the Future Home Class of 2019

The bottom line is ‒ after Mentor Madness, not much can go wrong. You find your wingmen and –women, who accompany you to make things happen.