Question: My goal is to launch an accelerator. How does someone with an unconventional background approach reaching that goal?
Answer: Networking is definitely the route to achieving this goal! And fortunately there are lots of options available to you. Volunteer your unique skills as a mentor for an existing accelerator program (either with the companies participating in the program or with the accelerator itself). Attend the events put on by the various accelerator programs (Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator in New York City, for example, hosts investor conversations and meet-ups regularly). Your networking goal from attending these events is not only to grow the community of contacts you’ll need to pursue your idea, but also to figure out whether yet another accelerator program is needed (and can be supported by the startup community). You may need to build some new skills (in addition to expanding your network) if you don’t have a startup or tech background. Study the bios of the founders and key employees at various accelerators. The backgrounds of these people will provide ideas on the skills, experiences and networks you’ll need (or will need to find in co-founders).