The Program

First Growth Venture Network runs a yearly program. Over the course of a session, participating entrepreneurs hone their business plans, work with advisors on product market fit, pacing and development milestones, customer acquisition, and recruitment and retention strategies. In addition, our entrepreneurs will discuss business strategy and share lessons with some of the best in the business while really ramping their networks and occasionally tipping back a glass of Chateauneuf, Napa Cabernet or Riesling. We even have a Broadway star work with our entrepreneurs on their presentation skills. Our core emphasis is learning and the expansion of a network of peers, advisors and financiers (but it doesn’t hurt to have some fun too).

The Network

The cornerstone of First Growth is the network of individuals involved. From some of the most accomplished entrepreneurs in the nation to leading venture capitalists, much of the power from First Growth comes from the participants involved. At each session, admitted companies spend time with successful C-level executives and investors to discuss business issues, compare notes and ask advice. We may not have all the answers but we promise to help you find them.


We realize that successful mentoring programs are more than just networking events – they need to be places of learning. The monthly First Growth sessions also include ample “classroom” time. Unlike your undergrad chemistry class, these classroom sessions are highly interactive, practical lessons in business led by industry experts.

The sessions will include substantive teaching from VCs, angels and successful entrepreneurs who’ve obtained funding and exited. Each FirstGrowth company will present their plan to active VCs and successful C-level executives/angels at the beginning of the program before the substantive sessions. Each company will then talk about their company in the final session and, along the way, will have co-led a session on “the biggest problems on my (virtual) desk right now” in between. We will also have a graduation at the end.

Each session will include ample networking time with First Growth advisors, as well as the members of the Executive Committee of First Growth.

A Few Details

The program will accept applicants who are working full time on a tech start-up, featuring a first or second time CEO. The application is free and, if admitted, there’s no charge to enroll. We don’t ask for equity either. At First Growth, we believe that the venture/tech community is vitally important, and we seek to support it. Our remuneration comes from enhancing our own networks, as well as benefiting the local tech scene, as we help accelerate these companies and attract investment dollars, innovation and jobs to the local tech community.

Applicants need not have raised any third party capital for their start-up and should not have raised more than $1 million in outside capital. Applicants should have some sort of executive summary of a business plan, even if only one or two pages, and a PowerPoint deck (even if rough and short) explaining the start-up, the target market, what they plan to do, why they will win, the bios of those involved, the capital raised to date and from whom (we don’t need specific names, but a general description), and provide the bios/resumes of those involved. Click here for the application.

Read more on what separates First Growth Venture Network from other accelerators in The Wall Street Journal