Techstars Smart Mobility Torino Italy 2020
Monday was the first day in Torino for the Techstars accelerator program. We are extremely excited and humbled to have been accepted into the smart mobility cohort of 2020. And what better of a place than Turin, Italy.
My Co-Founder Judah and I applied to Techstars previously for their program in Atlanta GA. But if I am honest, at the time we were not ready for prime time. Our business was still called The Nickel Ride, a free ride share company paid for by advertisement.
As it often happens in the journey of a startup, The Nickel Ride hit a point where we realized that it might be smarter to focus on the tools we built internally to support our business, and cut the fat we had around it.
All our products internally were somehow based on the company name. So also was our analytics platform we built, Nickelytics. We decided to keep it simple, not waste any time on naming and re-branded to become Nickelytics, a vertically integrated Ad-Tech platform.
Shortly after the pivot on July 4th of 2019, we applied again for a Techstars program. This time it was aligned with our industry and mission of improving global mobility. In our case through innovative business models which subsidize transportation. About a week after our final interview with the Techstars leadership team and selection committee in December 2019 we received a call, confirming that we would be accepted into the 2020 Smart Mobility accelerator in Torino Italy, Wooohooo.
With roughly one month between the acceptance and the program start in a different country, while still being early in our newly pivoted company, we had a lot to prepare for.
After telling our significant others and confirming that they were supporting us, we went full steam ahead and dove into prep.
Just some of the many things we needed to figure out:
- Looking for an apartment: AirBnB was the winner on that front.
- Making sure we don't need Visas (for me that was easy, since I have a German Passport). But for my wife, co-founder and his girlfriend needed to make a plan. As an american you are only allowed to legally stay in the Schengen area for 90 days out of a 180 day period.
- Ensuring the rest of the team was on board. For cost savings and reasons we decided that only Judah (my CEO and Co-Founder) and myself would be going to the 3 months program. And the rest of our team will hold down the fort in Tampa FL to try to keep our current customers happy as well as acquire new ones
- etc. etc.
One of our partner companies is located in Germany, paired with the desire to visit some family before joining the program in Italy, gave my wife and myself the chance to fly direct from Fort Myers to Duessedorf.
Of course we also purchased a 1989 VW Vanagon (T3) Camper to travel a few days as well as our means to make our way to Turin a nice trip.
Camping with our dog Nymeria for a few days in Germany, Switzerland and Italy was a lot of fun and we enjoyed going on a few hikes together.
We arrived in Turin on the Saturday before the program started to give us some time to see the city and get settled.
On Monday the program started by meeting the other teams, and the mentors. We had a few informative intro sessions and everyone introduced themselves by doing a PechaKucha (which was a lot of fun). And thanks to Paolo Properzi from OGR, we have a great set of pictures for day one.
And finally I want to end this post by showing you all how dynamic of a cohort we are... :) I am extremely humbled to be able to be a part of this group. And look forward to whats to come.