Screen Shot 2013-03-18 at 2.40.00 AM

We Killed Our Accelerator

We have big news to share.

We’ve decided to kill our accelerator program.

After two great years of working with 15 startups, lots of tweaks to our model, and 75% of our companies raising follow-on funding, we’re announcing today an entirely new way to partner with our portfolio companies:

Greenstart is now a venture firm with a built-in design studio.

We couldn’t be more excited.

This means we’ve shut the door on our accelerator forever. There will be no more demo days, no more three-month time frames, and no more required sleepovers (well, maybe a few).

This change was 100% motivated by listening to our startups. They told us loud and clear: they want a lifetime partner who will roll up their sleeves and help drive their business forward for years to come. Consistently, our startups told us they wanted more than what a three-month program could offer. So we listened.

At the same time, we heard again and again that they wanted and needed help with design. Not skin-deep, visual design like a logo and website, but a deep, systematic approach to user experience (UX) for their products and services: the kind of design that makes customers rave.

The breakout success of companies like Nest, AirBnb, Uber, and of course Apple, is increasingly being recognized as driven by their design. Most in the startup community today recognize how design creates a competitive advantage for early-stage companies. To win in a crowded marketplace, companies must go beyond customer satisfaction and truly delight customers at every step of the way. The problem for most startups is that great UX design is both expensive and hard to access.

One year ago, we recruited David from frog design to advise our portfolio and lead a small team of designers at Greenstart. Our companies loved this early work asked for more. It was then that we decided to build a truly multi-disciplinary design studio.

Today marks the official launch of that design studio, which is now a 10-person team – and growing. We practice capital ‘D’ design, integrating UX, business model, and brand design. We provide best-in-class solutions for the most critical challenges of a startup: a winning product aimed at the right customers, and a story that captivates them. This means our startups get big advantages during the most formative time of their companies.

As far as we know, we’re the first and only venture firm with a built-in design studio that actually creates and delivers world-class design work. While others teach, we make. Our design is custom-tailored for cleanweb startups, and our studio is exclusively available to our portfolio.

This new model is our way to be the best possible lifetime partner to our companies – the kind of venture firm we would have sought out as entrepreneurs ourselves.