We Need 'Scalerators,' Not More Accelerators

When founders and start-up entrepreneurs grow up, they have few places to turn and are on their own. To fill that gap, we need scalerators, designed to provide the knowledge, skills, attitudes, resources, networks, and mentors entrepreneurs need to build and grow their companies.

Steve Blank describes how companies grow in 3 phase—search, build, and grow. In the first step, the goal of a startup is to search for a repeatable and scalable business model. Building means changing into a company that can scale by growing customers/users/payers at a rate that allows the company to: achieve positive cash flow (make more money than it spends) and/or generate users at a rate that can be monetized. Grown up companies have achieved liquidity (an IPO, or has been bought or merged into a larger company event) and is growing by repeatable processes. The full suite of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) processes and procedures are in place.

Unfortunately, when founders and start-up entrepreneurs grow up, they have few places to turn and are on their own. Most start up accelerators kick them out the nest after 90 days.

To fill that gap, we need scalerators, designed to provide the knowledge, skills, attitudes, resources, networks, and mentors entrepreneurs need to build and grow their companies. Biomedical and health scalerators can be mostly virtual, inviting participants back home from time to time for a home cooked meal gathered around the dinner table.

The business model would also be different from accelerators, since the model has already been validated, requiring innovative investment schemes to provide the right incentives for growth given the more advanced stage of risk and reward potential.

Finally, given the unique requirements for human subjects trial design and execution, the participants in biomedical and health scalerators need to come from expanded domains like public health, biostatistics, epidemiology, and translational research in addition to the business and investment communities.

Millennials have been living in their parent's basements for too long. We need to provide a place for scale-ups to live on their own without cutting the essential parental bonds and guidance they desperately need to be successful.