The Mapify Team © Solve Together
The Mapify Team © Solve Together

We are back! Having just spent the past four months working full-speed on Solve’s Accelerator programme, we have now officially made it past the finish line! We celebrated the grand finale, which could not have been more deserved, alongside the other 14 brilliant teams we have had the pleasure of working with whilst on the program. At our Showcase day we took it in turns to pitch our projects to a packed-out crowd from various industries, enterprises and councils. Mapify sparked a lot of interest with a wide range of attendants and the requests for meetings and follow up conversations has been flooding in since.

The Accelerator teams watch the pitches © Solve Together
The Accelerator teams watch the pitches © Solve Together

Last week we had our first ‘deep dive’ session with Dom Potter and Daniel Idowu from Solve to catch up and discuss our next steps forward, post Accelerator. We discussed potential markets, actions, priorities and where Mapify could have the greatest impact. It was an invaluable two hours – we left that meeting spinning with ideas and a new burst of energy and enthusiasm.

The Mapify stand at Hub Westminster © Solve Together
The Mapify stand at Hub Westminster © Solve Together

We have taken a little step back over the past couple of weeks, to recharge and reflect. The Accelerator has propelled us (at breakneck speed) through an assault course of development, insight, business training, team building, self discovery, evaluation (to be honest this list could go on and on). We thought we would summarize five of the most valuable lessons we learnt whilst on the Accelerator.

1. Trust your instincts
It is hard to stay tuned into your intuition, it is always the first voice to get hushed down in times of stress and doubt. Finely tuning your instincts does require practice; a regular exercise we plan to build into our calendars at Voist HQ.

2. Team Building
Finding the right team to suit you and your business can also be quite the challenge. The path for any startup can be long and more often than not an uphill climb. A team needs to always be in agreement on their direction or they could be in for a bumpy ride.

3. Information overload – How to filter
During the Accelerator we spoke to so many fantastic people with a wealth of experience. It was a real challenge filtering all the information we received about how to improve our business and product. Writing things down, building a collage of comments that really stand out and discussing things regularly with the team is the best way to filter all the great advice.

4. Static V’s Set in Stone
Most things in life are transient, things are constantly changing at such rapid speed and you have to move with those changes; basically you need to be as flexible as Beth Tweddle in a Bikram Yoga class! However there are somethings that need to stay solid, as set and as still as Stone Henge, these things might be your company’s ethos, what you stand for as a company.

5. Ride the Wave
When you first start out with a new idea the possibilities seem endless, they stretch out before you like a big blue ocean, calm and sparkling in the sun. Naturally as you push your idea forward you go through times of uncertainty. After each challenge that requires you to cling onto your idea for dear life, each big wave you manage to swim through – if you come out the other side still standing, take it as confirmation that you should keep going.

Alex during the Mapify presentation © Solve Together
Alex during the Mapify presentation © Solve Together

If we take anything away with us from the Accelerator experience, these lessons are prizes in their own right. We are also emerging from ‘incubation’ with three new team members! Another grand prize. On the 6th of June the Solve team will be announcing three teams that will win an extra pot of investment – on top of the one that every team received at the beginning of the program.

We have our fingers crossed, we can’t lie it would be great to win some extra funding and of course the recognition. However if it goes to another team (the competition is tough, we don’t envy Solves task of deciding) then we still take away a wealth of information and learning and a fantastic new team. Who could ask for more?