Speaking with the folks at Bizdom today I asked one of the generic questions I always ask at startup accelerators and that is, “Where do startups go once they’ve graduated your accelerator?” The sad answer I usually recieve to this questions can basically be summed up as, “Anywhere but here.” There’s an odd process at most startup accelerators where for 3 months or so the founders are frog marched though long days of getting their product and startup up to speed, and then the day they graduate they are shown the door. They’re told to learn to fly, and asked for their key cards.
It was refreshing to find that Bizdom does not work on this paradigm. When a startup has graduated the accelerator they are able to keep working in the space for free for a significant amount of time, and even when this expires they can still stay if they pay a small rent.
It’s little things like this that show that Bizdom really is about making Cleveland better vs. simply trying to spinout startups as fast as possible. Most accelerators live by the mantra of “fail fast” and this works in some situations, but if you’re trying to help revitalize a local economy sometimes you have to give founders a bit more time. Bizdom is betting that some ideas just take longer to gestate, and they’re willing to foot the rent and utility bills to give founders the breathing room they may need.