Why ERA

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Why ERA

The Program

Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator (ERA) combines seed capital, hands-on help and a great co-working location with an expert team to positively impact the trajectory of early-stage startups. ERA runs two, four-month programs per year.

We are New York City’s largest accelerator program. ERA has NYC’s deepest and strongest mentor network with 300+ expert investors, technologists, product specialists, marketers, customer acquisition strategists, sales execs, and more, across all major industries represented in NYC. ERA companies gain direct access to leading members of the New York City tech community through the ERA mentor network and are also given access to the right investors, sales prospects and partners. We look for companies from anywhere in the world that are able to take full advantage of the NYC opportunity as a starting point to successfully enter the market for their product, service or application.

To date, our alumni companies have raised more than $250 Million in investor capital.

What’s the Deal?

Located in New York City, ERA provides participant companies with an intensive four-month program with the goal of helping early-stage companies progress rapidly into exciting, viable, venture-scalable businesses.

Each accepted company receives an initial $100,000 investment and the potential for follow-on funding from ERA’s Fund. All accepted companies are required to locate in-house for the program’s duration in our midtown offices.

ERA companies also receive the partner and sponsor benefits listed below:

  • $360,000 in webhosting credits from Microsoft Azure
  • $100,000 in webhosting credits from Amazon Web Services
  • $100,000 in webhosting credits from Google Cloud Platform
  • $24,000 in webhosting credits from Softlayer
  • $50,000 in credits from PayPal Startup Blueprint Program
  • $15,000 in credits from Stripe
  • Special legal benefits from Dentons Law Firm
  • Free signup package from TriNet Benefits Provider
  • One year free service from Phone.com
  • Free banking account and perks package from Silicon Valley Bank
  • Free and discounted services from Shutterstock, WithumSmith+Brown, ZipCar, HubSpot, RelateIQ, RJMetrics, InVision, FreshDesk, ZenDesk

A Day in the Life

A typical ERA week looks like this:

  • Founder Speaker Series—NYC’s most successful business builders from entrepreneurs to VCs discuss topics ranging from how they built their companies from idea to exit to details about acquiring customers and investment strategies to trends and what they mean—or don’t mean.
  • Workshop Series—Outside experts and ERA alum cover wide-ranging and diverse specific relevant topic areas. Sample workshops include: Enterprise Sales Tools and Tactics, User Optimization and Testing, Data Science and Decision Making, Digital Marketing Best Practices by Channel, IP and Patent Filing, and more.
  • Fundraising Sessions—ERA partners lead sessions that cover funding categories, cap tables, understanding and preparing to meet your potential investors, tracking and follow-up meetings, investor decks, etc.
  • CTO Roundtable—problem solve with your cohort and other CTOs in the trenches
  • Mentor Meetings—ERA’s 300+ mentors, who have expertise in every imaginable functional area. ERA mentors are generous with their time and resources, available to advise our companies for the duration of our program.
  • Resident Expert Office Hours—consult with technologists and other pros on specific tactical issues you encounter.
  • KPI Review—You and your cohort track and discuss weekly progress together in a lively game show atmosphere that fosters teamwork.
  • Pitch Practice—practice, revise and refine your pitch; get feedback from your cohort, entrepreneurs and investors.
  • Open Door to Partners & Staff—Our partners and staff are always here to help build your business.

Mentorship

Mentorship is the heart of ERA’s program.  ERA has the largest mentor network in New York, with more than 300 active for any one program.  These are expert entrepreneurs, investors, executives, and others who are often the path to our startups’ “firsts,” including: first customer, first outside employee, first outside investment, first marketing program. Apart from these “firsts,” ERA mentors work with our startups on areas like product engineering, building a sales funnel, user testing, hiring, SEO, Google analytics, branding,  and more. Mentors in our program can help startups focus on the right metrics to help get to product market fit.  Through our deep mentor network, we connect you with the partners you need and provide you with critical access to the industries that comprise the New York opportunity.

During the first week of the program, you are matched with a lead mentor, who helps you achieve key milestones, and works with you through the entire program.

Many of our alumni continue to seek counsel from their lead mentor long after the program ends. We also pair our companies with one of our incredibly talented alumni mentors.

Fundraising

It takes real capital to build a real business, so you will need to raise money—and most likely, more money. Fundraising is complicated and frustrating; we provide you with the support and resources to needed to navigate the process—from valuation and timing to presenting your investor message and creating your deck to scheduling and tracking meetings and evaluating the right/appropriate financial partners for your business.

Alumni

We strongly encourage the exchange of ideas with the other startups in your program—and in the ERA alumni network. We formally pair you with an alumni mentor and our 140+ alumni companies have created an active and engaged community of more than 1,000 employees in the ERA family. ERA alumni have been in your shoes; they are inspired and committed to their ERA family. We find that ERA startups learn as much from each other as anyone else—and they thrive on the energy and innovation of working day in and day out with like-minded startups.

Check out our our video wall to hear what our founders have to say about the ERA experience. 

Events

ERA kicks off every class with a launch event, where our companies meet mentors in an intimate setting. We give you the opportunity to bond with your fellow founders and ERA operating partners and staff at happy hours and mid-program investor pitch night. We host pitch events with angel groups and bring together current and alumni founders at our Summer BBQ and our Winter Holiday party.

Demo Day

Our program officially ends with Demo Day— a high-profile coming out party to ERA’s community of 700+ investors from New York and the wider investor ecosystem. Demo Day is an invitation-only event where accredited investors get the opportunity to see and meet with our companies. Each startup presents their businesses in what many of our founders have called the most meaningful and exciting moments of their professional career.

The weeks preceding Demo Day are intense and focused.  Founders are assigned a professional presentation coach to help hone their story. We hold practice sessions where founders are drilled on every aspect of their presentation—until it’s ready for prime time.

After the Program: We Are Your Partners

We are investors for the long-haul and the official program is just the beginning. We stay actively involved with your company as it grows, helping our founders build lasting businesses. Whether it’s a new product rollout, a major partnership or your next round of funding, ERA and its network are there to help you succeed.