Sometimes the hard way is the right way.
Today, we opened applications for GCT’s third class. This is our signature moment of the year, and always causes us to pause and reflect. When we started Grand Central Tech two years ago, we did so with the goal of bringing together the very best technologists and entrepreneurs under one roof and materially advancing their prospects. Part of that equation is obviously the terms, and on this GCT’s zero-downside value proposition cannot be beat. We offer a full year at GCT’s awesome offices for free – no rent and no equity. But the more meaningful part of the equation has always been to create a competitive advantage for our companies by creating a best-of-breed environment for them to operate in, and delivering the most valuable resources they need to grow in a targeted way.
GCT is sector and stage agnostic – we just want the very best companies working on the biggest opportunities. This has some wonderful advantages (versus, say, a sector specific program, or a stage specific program), namely that there is absolutely no (business level) competition among our teams, allowing everyone to work openly and share their know-how.
But the fact that not everyone fits into the same mold also means that they all have very different needs. This, and the fact that our program operates over the course of a full year, means that we cannot and will not take a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach to how we go about supporting our companies. You might say we run 18 bespoke accelerator programs every year, instead of a single one. Our model is predicated on being responsive to the unique needs of our companies. While this model may not “scale” like a software model… it really doesn’t need to. It needs to deliver real value on behalf of our companies and it needs to get better every day.
We all know that starting a company and growing it successfully is one of the hardest things a person can do; this is true both psychologically and statistically. In addition to a ton of luck, success requires an incredible support network, grit and access to key resources – including talent, dollars from customers, and (often times) dollars from investors. Stats from GCT’s 2016 class show just how successfully these resources have been brought to bear – across the class headcount has grown 74% in the last six months alone, and new funding has topped $30 MM.
GCT’s new Director of Fundraising is Nelson Schubart. Nelson joins us from NYU Stern (he also ran recruiting for our last cycle and runs recruiting for InSITE Fellows) and he is dedicated entirely to working with each of our companies to make sure that they are prepared for their fundraising needs. That includes working on hitting key milestones, preparing decks, strategy and investor outreach. Consider him another full time resource to make sure that a major headache for startups no longer exists.
At risk of turning ourselves into a meme, this is a little bit of a sand mandala — the ornate, beautiful sand murals built by Tibetan Buddhist monks over a long period of time and then dismantled once they’ve been completed… to be done all over again. We’re not doing this the easy way, we’re trying to do it the best way for our companies and for NY Tech. And we wake up every day trying to do things just a bit better.
If you’re interested in having access to these resources and working with us to really take your business to the next level, apply now. We’re so excited to see what the next year brings.