It's been several months since Demo Day, where Noteworth graduated with six other companies from the second cohort of the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator, powered by Techstars. We sat down with Justin Williams (CEO) to talk about Noteworth's experience during the intensive (though rewarding) three months spent growing the company and product out in Los Angeles.
What was the most significant takeaway from your time in the accelerator?
JW: The most valuable part of participating in the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator was getting unprecedented facetime with Cedars-Sinai clinicians—the true subject matter experts in medicine. The Noteworth team was able to challenge them, ask questions, and be challenged right back without having to deal with a lot of the red tape that's too often the case in healthcare. Those frank interactions with experts generously willing to share their time and input was fundamental to our product development, growth and success.
What advice would you give companies considering applying for the next cohort?
JW: To truly succeed in the accelerator, you need to do your prep work first. My entire team sat down and defined success metrics, mentor asks, and potential red flags or issues that could crop up by our participating. For us, taking part meant splitting the team up and working bi-coastally in NJ and CA for the program duration. How would the day-to-day demands of the program compete for our time and resources while we were still running a company, driving sales, refining our product and servicing existing clients? How could we effectively work as a remote team, maintaining open communication and culture across different time zones, while ensuring that everyone (on both coasts) reaped the benefits of the mentors, learnings and more from the program?
We asked ourselves the hard questions before deciding to take the plunge, and as much as possible, created plans, contingencies and solutions beforehand. That way, we'd be able to take things in stride and maximize what we could bring to and get out of the program, rather than be purely reactive.
What was your favorite part?
JW: My favorite part of the program was being able to dig into the guts of Noteworth and the other companies in the cohort. Getting feedback on Noteworth while lending advice or giving another perspective to the other founders on their businesses helped me gain clarity into and confirmation of our business model, product-market fit, and more. Being in the trenches together and knowing that you have the support of the rest of the cohort, as well as the larger Techstars and Cedars-Sinai network was one of the biggest plusses throughout the process, and even now, months later, we're still actively working with the mentors and industry experts we met through the program.