CleanTech Open (CTO) has a three-step yearly application process for startups, which they administer for each of their regional offices. First, candidates fill out an application, then they pay a fee, and finally they are evaluated in three consecutive rounds of judging by expert community members. During each of the three phases, teams are asked to submit files and additional supporting materials electronically. The judges for each accelerator cohort review their applications and rate the startups on a set of pre-defined criteria, using scorecards.
In order to manage all six regions, CTO was using six distinct platforms with no continuation among them. This was costly, inefficient and time-consuming.
Additionally, CTO needed a way for Mentors to be matched to the Startups based on information collected by both parties. Once matched, the Mentors needed a workspace in order to communicate and collaborate with the teams.
CTO needed to consolidate all their recruitment, application payments, judging and cohort management processes into one, easy-to-use platform that could be customized to their needs. The CTO team chose Skipso’s innovation platform to manage it all, due to its flexibility and scalability.
Some of the notable features of the accelerator’s customized Skipso system include:
- Teams can submit data for other program stakeholders to view, evaluate and collaborate on (business plans, budgets, canvases)
- Teams, individual team members, mentors and evaluators (judges) can all collaborate using various communication tools including a discussion forum and private workspace.
- Flexible privacy levels based on user roles and access
- Robust community management settings
- Recommendation engine to match highly compatible mentors/teams based on information provided by each party
As part of this closed ecosystem, program mentors and coaches can use custom scorecards to review the progress of startups they’re in charge of and provide them with formal feedback. Program administrators can also keep track of teams’ progress in the same workspace and communicate with them directly.
As a result of implementing the Skipso platform, accelerator data and operations have been streamlined, programs are run much more efficiently and overhead cost has been significantly reduced.
The ecosystem’s flexibility allows CleanTech Open to maintain their regional focus through tools and features specific to each region, while still following a unified strategy, mission and vision worldwide.