So … we joined an accelerator
We somehow joined an accelerator program 😁
Let me backup just a bit.
About 2.5 years ago, myself and Anuj – long time friend and business partner – found ourselves overworked, at the edge of burn out and exhausted in some fifties-era hotel room while visiting a client, thinking to ourselves how did we manage to be in this situation, again.
Anyway, Anuj and I were contemplating our professional life choices for the last 18+ years. And, even though we have tried at being entrepreneurs multiple times, we never really gave it 110%. And, we knew that a product, an application of some kind would be the best entry point, given our experience and skill sets.
You see, Anuj and I are pretty savvy, I would even say could write-a-book-on-system-integrations savvy. We’ve done it for years, and we know how to do it well. As in really well. Most of our projects in the past decade have involved some of the most complex and downright elaborate system integrations within the Enterprise space.
Another thing we also knew about working as consultants within the Enterprise is that contracting is a chore. Meaning, even the people in charge of contracts (what they’re hired for) feel it’s a hassle. Why? Well, mainly because they have to get many departments and people involved to get a contract prepared from start to completion, and they manage all of this workload through email, CRMs, ERPs, File Share, the whole gamut of Enterprise applications that typically don’t talk to each other. And, most of the time, we’re hired to do just that, to make those same applications integrate, to play nice.
With that, came the birth of DocQ. But, we only had an idea, no capital to actually develop the product. At first, we pitched this idea to our employer. He said no. We thought about crowd-funding it, but we didn’t feel an Enterprise application is one to be crowdfunded. And, from our previous, yet very limited experience in fundraising, we felt it would’ve been too much of a task for us to handle.
So, we did what (almost) every startup founder did before us, we quit our jobs. But, we still needed to fund our DocQ idea. So, we again did what (almost) every other startup did before us, we started a consulting company, and we named it NDM Global. Fortunately, through our contacts and word-of-mouth, we had customers, paying customers, subscribed to our expertise as system integration experts.
And, after a year of being in business as consultants, we finally had enough revenue and developers/team to develop DocQ. It didn’t take us long to build out an MVP of DocQ, which roughly took us 4-5 months. In fact, we believed in it so much that we went to WebSummit in November of 2019 to introduce DocQ on a somewhat global stage.
Lo and behold, we met Jose and Tara from Boomtown. They were impressed with our idea and team so much so that they recommended we participate in The Farm, an accelerator for startups, operating out of Atlanta Georgia.
We went through the interview process, and honestly, every single time we finished an interview, the first 10-15 minutes I felt super confident we would be accepted into their program, but after that, a surge of doubts and uncertainty would make me anxious until the next interview.
Fortunately, after several interviews and email conversations later, which I believe took 3-4 weeks, we finally got the word that we were in!! We celebrated, the best we knew how as a virtual company know how, through zoom, beers in our hands and toasted each other.
And, that’s the story of how we got into The Farm.