Let’s face it, each stage of the entrepreneurial journey is unique. Entrepreneurs require different skills and a certain mindset to overcome the challenges they will come up against. Queue the Venture Acceleration Program (VAP). This six-month program is designed to support committed entrepreneurs who are ready to take their business to market. Participating entrepreneurs build life-long relationships with their peers as they work together through the startup process and engage with experienced mentors.
Last October, we welcomed several new companies to join our Venture Acceleration Fall Cohort. We are now excited to celebrate their graduation as they launch into the next stage of their journey.
We sat down with Glohaven Community Hub CEO, Mike Benedek, to find out how the 6-month program has helped to shape his business.
What was Glohaven’s biggest challenge before starting the program?
The biggest challenge I had prior to VAP was not having VAP. I didn’t have a sense of direction and was kind of winging it. When I look back on that, I’m proud of what I’d done and I learned a ton, but it was the wild west. We were just figuring things out on our own—making costly mistakes.
What’s the biggest change you’ve seen since starting the program?
Being open to learning. The knowledge, the training, and networking through VAP gave me the information and process to make better, more informed decisions. It’s equipped me with the skills and the confidence to make those choices. Also being in the OKGN Angel Summit around the same time, my head was just swelling with new learnings.
How did you find working with the mentors?
I appreciated how the mentors didn’t “sugar-coat” things when it came to advice. They provided honest, critical feedback that was designed to help you grow, giving you the best chance for success. It’s not always easy to hear, but it’s always appreciated.
What did you enjoy about VAP’s structure?
I like the cohort model. A lot of the time, as an entrepreneur, you’re working alone. So to be able to come together as a group and communicate, share ideas, and concerns was appreciated. Having that support, feeling like you’re not alone going through this process, felt like we were a real community.
What is your biggest challenge now?
COVID-19 is the biggest challenge, but it’s also the greatest opportunity. Travel and tourism is the most vulnerable industry in the world and the most highly impacted now. It’s why we started creating Glohaven—we wanted a way to support communities through challenging times.
What advice would you share with other entrepreneurs thinking about joining VAP?
Sign up yesterday. Without a doubt, it is the best money you will spend… and it’s not even that much money. Going through VAP has improved Glohaven’s odds of success. There are no guarantees, but it’s improved my odds. For the little amount that you spend, it’s invaluable. So do it.
Looking for more Startup stories?