How NextFab's accelerator helped get this startup off the ground - Technical.ly Philly

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Jan. 3, 2018 7:29 am

How NextFab’s accelerator helped get this startup off the ground

GuestOf landed its first paid pilot a month after graduating from the program, which is now looking for a new slate of startups.
GuestOf cofounder Matt Nicosia.

GuestOf cofounder Matt Nicosia.

(Courtesy photo)

GuestOf founder Matt Nicosia looks back fondly on his startup’s first product at the time it was entering NextFab’s RAPID accelerator.

“We were very much pen and paper,” Nicosia said. “It was a really initial prototype. It was working, but very much the definition of a Minimum Viable Product.”

The early stage startup, now based out of University City’s IC@3401, spent the 12-week program working on its product — an access control software/hardware combo for buildings and facilities.

“We had the team help us with what it needed to look like,” Nicosia said. “We graduated from RAPID in January 2017, and we installed the first pilot at a building in February, which later became our first paying customer.”

By fall 2017, the company had made a splash at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco, pitched its product at the 1776 Challenge Cup and partnered with QR code creator Denso Wave. Not too shabby.

“We’ve been doing and a lot, and a lot of that is credited to the base we got in the accelerator,” Nicosia said of the RAPID program, which stands for “Revenue through Advanced manufacturing, Product development, Innovation, and Design.”

By Jan. 18, 2018, startups can apply to join the program’s Spring cohort, which now offers seed funding alongside training, mentorship and office space.

Apply by Jan. 18

“Our previous cohort greatly expanded our reach, because we managed to attract startups coming all the way from Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C.,” said Todor Raykov, who runs the program. “For our next cohort, we will keep the geographical scope the same, but we are going to double our efforts to bring even more value to the selected entrepreneurs. Connecting them to our network of local manufacturers, investors, advisors, successful entrepreneurs, and the great talent pool available in Philly is what we think will keep these startups in our region.”

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