By: Myka Burley, program coordinator
TechTown Incubator program
In its inaugural cohort, the TechTown Incubator program is looking to change the way that we view programs for startups. This 26-week long program was born to not only help catapult the growth of incredible tech companies, but to also support the mindset and internal perspectives of the founders behind these innovative companies.
More than just tools
Most often when we think about tech incubators and accelerators, we envision competitive, intensive coaching programs that are developed to fuel immense growth for tech startups. While this is absolutely true, many times these tech programs are often very stressful because they force entrepreneurs to disrupt their entire thought processes to adopt new, innovative ways of thinking — frequently without giving them tools to support the mental anguish that comes with this new territory. All too often, the signs of burnout and anxiety are ignored and replaced with the nervous excitement of being the “next big thing” to hit the tech scene. As the TechTown Incubator was being developed, the idea of investing in the founder, their view of self and their mental health was an omnipresent force. The culmination is a program that’s rooted in a mindset shift and dispelling limiting beliefs for the founders while simultaneously supporting the operational foundation and tech innovation of the startups to ultimately aid in the exponential growth and funding readiness of our program participants.
In addition to covering conventional concepts such as growth hacking, investment preparation and tech auditing, our teams are also taking a step back and reflecting introspectively, with the help of Myles Morgan of Mind Blown Life Coaching and the 10X Program. Although Myles has been educated in counseling psychology and formally trained in multiple types of therapy, his background as a tech founder is also a critical component to his understanding of the need to help other tech founders shed the beliefs that hold them back from being their best selves. As an alum of TechTown’s Launch Detroit program (formerly DTX), Myles has a very comprehensive view of tech entrepreneurship programs and what is required of the founders. His belief is that “Mental growth can be really powerful because founders are able to see that their transformations are not isolated to just the way they show up in their companies, but in other areas of life, as well.” Basically, if we want to see successful companies, we have to start with the people that will build them.
For the founders that create these startups, their identities as founders and as people are not isolated, yet who they are and what they do tends to become intertwined holistically. There is no founder without a startup, and no startup without a founder. Because of this, it’s important to understand what is required of tech entrepreneurs and to support the person who is doing the work.
Behind the company
Startups require a lot of the founders behind them — grit, mental fortitude, tenacity and endurance are just a few of the characteristics that lead to the creation and growth of these startups. To get there, founders have to be bold and confident. Oftentimes, when someone is having trouble accomplishing a goal, there is an internal block hindering them; these blocks are frequently rooted in their internal belief systems. We are investing in the founders first, because we know that great companies start with great founders. To best support the growth of a new company, you have to start with the entrepreneur behind that company, and that is exactly what we are doing.