In five “sessions” held every eight weeks, the startups introduced their company to 35 mentors who are seasoned entrepreneurs, active business angels and venture capitalists, and seasoned company owners, Schmidt said.
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But there is a catch. Mentors, with only four hours at their disposal for any of the startups in eight weeks, had to raise their hand during a company presentation if they liked what the firm had to offer.
If mentors did not raise their hand during a startup presentation, that company was excluded from the program.
Schmidt said 20 risk startups were selected out of 70 applicants for the Creative Destruction Lab sessions last year. Only eight people got out.
“The (sessions) are unlike anything I’ve ever seen before … a room full of people dedicating their time … a set of quick and dense conversations,” mentor Reed said himself, adding that the sessions in Wisconsin while virtual in the midst of a pandemic.
A list of companies specializing in risk management in sectors such as insurance, loss prevention, or even cybersecurity. Health and wellness startups are getting their turn from 25 industry mentors this year, Schmidt said.
Although not yet represented in Madison, the Creative Destruction Lab works with companies from other sectors of the industry called “flows,” including space, artificial intelligence, climate, energy, commerce, and others.