Project Entrepreneur Accelerator: Komae’s Journey

#PEaccelerator, #PEIntensive16, entrepreneur, inspiration

Komae is one of three companies participating in Project Entrepreneur’s five-week accelerator program at Rent the Runway’s headquarters in New York. Komae was selected as one of the winners from PE’s pitch competition in April . Over the course of the accelerator, the founders will visit local tech companies, meet with venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, as well as experts from Rent the Runway and UBS to gain insight and advice on topics critical to building a sustainable business.

Amy Wallace and Audrey Husted, Komae’s Co-Founders, share takeaways from their experience at #PEaccelerator.

First, meet Amy and Audrey:

During PE accelerator, participants focused on learning about marketing and communications, and took a trip to Bloomberg HQ:

PE accelerator participants also met with venture capitalists at Union Square Ventures and Tusk Ventures – here are some of the takeaways:

We sat down with Amy and Audrey and asked them a few more questions on their PE Accelerator experience:

What was your biggest takeaway from the week?

Our biggest takeaway this week at Project Entrepreneur was “product, product, product!”  All of the experts we met with emphasized that companies need to create an excellent product FIRST, then follow through with marketing later.  Ideally, you will end up creating a product that sells itself so you can spend your marketing dollars in the most efficient way.

What excites you the most from the week that will help you grow your business?

Being moms from the midwest, we wanted to use some of our time in New York to learn about the big city mom, so we put together a focus group of parents at Rent the Runway. We left the focus group excited to learn that while parents in the midwest may use babysitting differently than parents in a big city, we’re all looking for the best way to do right by our kids while finding a way to maintain a work, social and family life.

What’s one piece of advice you’d like to share with entrepreneurs after this week?The biggest piece of advice we’d like to share with entrepreneurs this week is to listen to the experts around you.  When you hear a theme repeated over and over again, chances are, it’s good advice!  When you hear different advice from different experts, then do your best to take it all in and use it to make the wisest decision for YOUR company.

Has your outlook or strategic plan for your startup changed this week? If so, how?

At the beginning of the week, we had a long list of things we wanted to accomplish in the next six months.  A lengthy list can feel intimidating and sometimes paralyze any progress you should be making with your company.  But by the end of the week, we were able to better prioritize our list; putting items that affect the excellence of our product first, and pushing marketing items back.  

What has the lightbulb that went off in your head to drive this change?

The lightbulb that went off in our head that drove this change in our strategy was hearing the same advice from multiple experts. Consistency like that is when you know it’s advice that needs to be taken.