The Tool Foundry accelerator kicks off this week as the teams meet one another and introduce their tools. The cohort will spend the next four months developing their tool prototypes into sustainable businesses to effectively reach, engage, and impact users around the world. In support of this goal, accelerator collaborators will guide the teams through four key areas: laying the foundation for sustainable impact, leveraging data and community to drive utility, commercializing the tool, and setting up for long-term sustainability.
Tool Foundry is proud to be part of an inspiring community expanding access to science. Cohort teams have the opportunity to work with a collaborator network — experts and leaders with a diverse range of experiences in areas such as sustainable business modeling for open source software, venture capital and foundation investment, and supply chain management. These mentors, coaches, and speakers will support and advise the cohort teams through one-on-one feedback sessions and virtual presentations.
“Building a startup is about conducting a series of very rapid experiments to discover a business model that will work. No one knows the answers yet, but they have to get good at figuring out the answers. Things will be chaotic at the start, and that’s fine — but eventually each team has to bring some order to that chaos.”
— Brian Laung Aoaeh, Co-founder of The Worldwide Supply Chain Federation and Tool Foundry mentor
This week, teams are working with Luminary Labs to share their high-priority needs and define their goals for the accelerator. The next few weeks of the accelerator will focus on business fundamentals and user impact in preparation for the upcoming Boot Camp.
“While recognizing the need for strategy, teams should avoid the safety that comes with planning meetings. Figure out how to put yourself out there, how to make yourself vulnerable, and how to make mistakes. The best efforts are stumbles. Jagged lines, not straight ones. And it probably wouldn’t work out the way you plan it anyways.”
— Read Holman, Independent Consultant at Integrated Impact Consulting Group and Tool Foundry mentor
On August 20-21, the cohort teams will convene at the Autodesk Technology Center in San Francisco, for the two-day, in-person Boot Camp in partnership with Autodesk Foundation. This intensive event gives teams the opportunity to collaborate directly with each other and the mentors through educational sessions and interactive exercises.
“I hope teams come into Boot Camp with clear goals of what they would like to accomplish, given their current stage. They should take advantage of the mentorship opportunities available in the accelerator, but also focus on getting to know the other companies in the cohort — they will often be a rich resource of tactical advice as they move through similar stages of company building.”
— Kelly Gardner, Director of Marketing at Bio-Techne and Tool Foundry mentor
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be spotlighting each team and their tool prototypes. Subscribe to the Tool Foundry Journal to learn more and follow their progress.