At the end of April 2011, the Rackspace Startup Program was invited to the 3 Day Startup event held at our Rackspace headquarters here in San Antonio, TX. Five teams participated in the caffeine-fueled program including helloworld.im, a concept developed by Alex Manelis and designed by Alex Baldwin, which provides a simple profile for developers to be discovered by recruiters. In just three weeks following 3DS, the “Alexes” were invited along with 20 other companies to participate in the 500 Startups Accelerator, part of the early-stage incubator and internet startup seed fund founded by Dave McClure in Mountain View, CA.
“We’ve been at 500 Startups for about three weeks now and the experience is nothing less than stellar, the office and people are seriously incredible. The accelerator program lasts from May until mid-August (12 weeks) when we have Demo Day, a pitching spectacular. Throughout the accelerator you go through three design reviews, weekly mentor talks, class dinners, field trips and building the startup of your dreams, “says Alex Baldwin.
Alex goes on to say, “The first two weeks were spent in personalized design review. Going in we thought this meant getting hazed on what flaws were in our initial design. We couldn’t have been more wrong. The design mentors helped guide us through a process that elicited our own values and helped us project and carry them throughout our product. Things move at a lightning pace because there is no “getting stuck”. For example, last week we were discussing layout changes to our site and within moments, a few design and marketing mentors stepped in to drop some knowledge that vastly improved our iteration. This stuff happens all the time. Getting expert advice from people you look up to is just a matter of turning around from your desk.”
“It’s just the beginning, but so far it’s been the experience of a lifetime. This is exactly what building a company should be like. Thanks again for everything! The Rackspace Startup Program is world-class,” says Baldwin in his closing statement of our interview. No, in fact Alex, it’s startups like helloworld.im that are world-class, giving the Rackspace Startup Program the fuel to push on and help more like you. Congratulations to the “Alex’s”…from 3 Day Startup to 500 Startups in just 3 short weeks!