Most entrepreneurs looking to break into the technology community choose to start their own companies. A select few, however, accelerate. This is what Anthony Eigier and Cesar Mufarej, the team behind Tree Labs, have set out to do.
Tree Labs is a new accelerator based in São Paulo, Brazil. The organization’s first six-month acceleration round is currently in progress, with a class of five startups: Agendor, Assiname, ClickArq, Logovia and Recruto.
Throughout the process, entrepreneurial teams will receive support, training and mentoring from Tree Labs and other figures from the local startup ecosystem. Each startup will receive a Microsoft BizSpark package and space in servers in the cloud. They will be trained on communications, design and capturing clients through social media and other means.
Each startup has received an investment of just under US$5,500 (R$11,000) to initiate activities. Tree Labs’ first Demo Day will be held this November.
Eigier and Mufarej gave us a few more details about the accelerator as well as their experience as founders and directors at just 24 years old.
Emily Stewart: There are numerous accelerators popping up in Brazil right now. What makes Tree Labs stand apart?
Eigier and Mufarej: The main difference is the Tree Labs mentors, who attend to all of the companies and are involved in the development of all the startups in the program. In addition, Tree Labs has a team of mentors who have experience in the market and developing new companies. Among them are Luis Novo, former NetMovies CTO with Silicon Valley experience who currently acts as an investor and consultant, Guilherme Wroclawski, founder and CEO of SaveMe and Partner at Moda it, both of which are now with Buscapé , and Luis Felipe Baptista Luz, attorney specializing in contracts, mergers and acquisitions, who has structured and advised some of the leading internet companies in the country.
ES: You’ve just kicked off your first acceleration process of a class of five startups: Agendor, Assiname, ClickArq, Logovia and Recruto. What were your criteria for selection? What about this group has attracted you?
E&M: We chose great teams that we trusted could execute their projects with agility and quality. An excellent crew along with scalable concepts and high expected growth rates were our main criteria. All founders in this group are young and motivated, and they breathe their startups. They have all been open to suggestions and willing to adapt in order to evolve.
ES: As directors of the program, you are both quite young. How do you think this will affect how Tree Labs is perceived? Has it had an influence?
E&M: We are very proud of the fact that we are young. Tree Labs offers a Generation Y to Generation Y acceleration experience. At the end of the day, Tree Labs is also a startup, and the accelerator and founders are learning every day. We are living the same experience as the startups in the program, allowing for an honest and agile feedback loop. In the modern startup world, disrupt is the name of the game, and we believe that Tree Labs’ young model can shift the traditional perception and prove that we are the right people for the job.
ES: What are your goals for the Tree Labs startups? What will you consider success?
E&M: There are many ways to measure the success of a startup, and in numerous cases it is not financial. Traction and validation metrics are probably most important, since the ultimate goal is to be ready and able to scale. Since scaling can be done with or without investments, raising capital is not the most valuable metric.
As with any new startup or accelerator, the Tree Labs team will certainly face a bit of a learning curve with their first class of enterprises. However, their youth and openness to new ideas may prove their biggest asset.