5th July 2019

Plotting the pathway to start-up success


“Read your application out loud to different people of different ages and backgrounds who have no connection to your project to see if they can understand it,” advises Valentina Podda, Geovation Accelerator Programme Manager, when asked what entrepreneurs should do when applying to join the Programme.

It’s good advice. You may have the best business idea in the world, but what is it worth if you don’t explain it properly?

So, practice reading out loud your application to others and use that as an opportunity to refine and perfect your proposition before you submit it.

“A good application,” says Valentina, “should be clear, concise and easily understood.”

Valentina joined Geovation last year from the Open Data Institute where she held a similar position. She also has experience and understanding of life on the other side as entrepreneur after creating an agri-start-up in Italy.

Communication at all stages, not just the application process, is very important to Valentina as one of the keys to start-up success.

“I spend a lot of my time speaking with the entrepreneurs who are on our Programme. That could be supporting them with their different business needs, such as prepping them for investment talks, connecting them to HM Land Registry, Ordnance Survey or other companies, setting up developer help and all the other things we offer here, but it is also about checking that everything is going well in their life outside of their venture.

“We are founder friendly. In fact, we LOVE our founders and want to do everything we can to set them up for success, and that all starts with strong two-way communication.”

One of Valentina’s initiatives at Geovation has been the creation of a regular catch up session between the Programme participants. She explains: “It’s vital that they come together as a group to help, support and motivate each other – both professionally and in other aspects of their lives. What we have are likeminded people sharing similar experiences, so we try to empower them to build relationships with them whenever we can.”

“Geovation”, says Valentina, “is geared to help. We provide prime-location office space, meeting facilities, equipment, access to data, on-site business and technical expertise and funding. We’re focused on removing the barriers to growth that start-ups face every day.

“If anyone reading this thinks they could benefit from the support we offer, I’d recommend first speaking with myself or any other member of the Geovation team to learn more. We are always happy to speak and answer questions where possible. I’d also suggest speaking with any of the start-ups that have passed through our Programme – ask them about their experiences of Geovation.” 


Applications to the Geovation Accelerator Programme open 15 July 2019. For more information visit Geovation Accelerator Programme or email us to arrange a chat.


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