5 Minutes with Matt Penneycard Head of Downing Ventures

This is a guest contribution from Matt Penneycard, Head of Downing Ventures.

These days it seems that a new incubator or accelerator springs up every day, each with its own promise of a silver bullet that will transform your start-up. Some live up to that promise, or at least get pretty close. Others seem to be more of a cynical money-grab at the impoverished start-up. 

At Downing Ventures (www.downingventures.com), we are a seed-stage technology investor, which means that we invest at a rapid rate and have a large portfolio. We believe that we work for our portfolio companies and so want to do anything we can to help them with their crazy journeys. Therefore the quality accelerators should be a very important part of our network.

MS Accelerate came along at just the right time for our portfolio companies, Glisser (www.glisser.com). Mike Piddock, former head of marketing at Octopus Investments (where I also used to work), had an MVP for MS Powerpoint based technology, and was starting to generate some early usage and revenues. He had completed a pre-seed round and was contemplating a larger seed round. He probably had a team of three people at that time. So, a ton of work to do on product, team and biz dev.

MS Accelerate gave Mike a great base from which to move successfully through this next crucial (is there any other?) stage in his business. Through the program, Glisser was given genuinely superb business advice, deep access to MS technologies and individuals, and valuable introductions to potential clients. This was on top of the usual accelerator goodie bag of cloud storage, office space and the like. In my opinion, MS Accelerator did exactly what it said it would do – it accelerated Glisser.