Boost VC: The Accelerator That Brought You BangWithFriends
Five months ago BoostVC started an accelerator to help start-up companies get to the next level. We promised two things to the companies we accepted, we will extend the startups’ network, and we will give them access to “startup knowledge”, which includes mentorship and guidance. We delivered on these two things.
Boost is unique in a few ways. One key way is that we give housing and office space to the companies who we accept for three months. By having all the companies living together and working together, it facilitated a feeling of unity and friendship that we could not have planned for. In this sentiment, BangWithFriends was born.
Six weeks into the program, there was a debate about how dating websites worked or should work, amongst 3 individuals from three different companies. On one side, there was an opinion that individuals would choose to date before they hook up and on the other side those individuals would much rather hook up and then date.
These three individuals in the Boost accelerator program put their heads together for one night and built what is now popularly known as BangWithFriends. BangWithFriends has become a sensation. They have gotten 1m users in 3 months of launching, they have been featured on the Colbert Report (http://bit.ly/ZbVXU0) as well as other great news publications, and 3 companies have already attempted to copy their concept.
We accepted 7 companies into our inaugural program at Boost and none of them were named BangWithFriends, or really had anything to do with the concept. However, the immersive experience of having seven companies live together and work together in downtown San Mateo for an extended period of time creates an atmosphere of cross-pollination. Ideas are shared and critiqued. Teams help the other teams, and grow close to one another. It was a unique value add that was randomly stumbled upon.
So now, as we aim toward the next class at Boost (launching June 24, applications are open www.boost.vc/apply), we are going to focus hard on fostering this same sense of unity and innovation that was created in our first program and improve it. Companies and traction are built out of randomness, and we want to help foster the randomness that creates great ideas and companies.