EYEFOCUS RAN TWO PROGRAMS, IN 2015 AND 2016
EYEFOCUS ACCELERATOR 2015
Residential accelerator in Berlin
The first EyeFocus program accepted 16 companies from 14 countries, and invested in 4 of the companies. Some of these startups spent 3 months in Berlin, at Rainmaking Loft, receiving intensive mentoring, whilst others joined as Associates, attending as suited them, and receiving mentoring online.
EYEFOCUS ACCELERATOR 2016
A virtual, global program
The second EyeFocus program consisted of meet-up and pitch events, and Idea Hacks around the world. The events found startups, scale-ups, and spin outs at events in the US, India, UK, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, collecting them into a cohort of 31 companies which received online and in person mentoring.
Evolving the startup accelerator
EyeFocus was developed to explore how startup accelerators could offer better support to startups. The original idea was that a very focussed accelerator would offer better support to startups within that sector. Over time we learned and adapted, exploring the benefits of a non-residential accelerator, which opened up involvement to a far wider range of companies, and not investing a standard amount, which also put off some participants.
EyeFocus evolved into an Ecosystem Builder, an accelerator program that connects innovators, knowledge (universities, experts, NGOs), routes to market (corporates, hospitals), and investors, to accelerate the progress early stage companies make to getting products to people.
This work is supported by academic research and first hand experience working with accelerators, startups, and thought leaders in both the startup and eye-care sectors.