One of the key objectives of Surge is to foster a community of founders who can support each other through the peaks and troughs of a startup’s journey.
When we decided to move Surge 03 online in March, we knew that creating this sense of community would be one of the biggest challenges we’d face. Founders from our first two cohorts became really close on the trips to China, India, Singapore and San Francisco; the shared experiences and time together helped create some strong bonds.
We knew we had to work extra hard on this. We made creative use of Zoom, our Surge app and other digital tools to make it easier for Surge 03 founders to interact with each other. Luckily for us, this enthusiastic group of founders took to these platforms seamlessly from Day One. It was wonderful to see them extending offers of help on the app, sharing jokes in the Zoom chat and asking each other questions in real-time while speakers were hosting Surge sessions. We also made sure folks met often in smaller virtual group sessions, where they could share notes on their progress in more detail. We even held group workouts and threw a party over Zoom!
Conducting Surge sessions online grew our community in ways we had not imagined. Founders from previous cohorts were able to share their insights with the 03 crew, while reaching out and getting to know them over the Surge app. This helped the latest batch connect with and learn from counterparts who are two or three steps ahead of them.
The Surge program was founded with the principle of helping founders accelerate the process of building their companies. It is in our DNA to help founders do everything they can to achieve success. As a team, we are obsessed with feedback from our founders, and like any startup, we recognize we need to constantly iterate and improve our product so that we can give founders the best experience.
In the 14 weeks we have spent with the founders of Surge 03, we have constantly asked for, and received feedback that has helped us get better. We’re humbled by their comments and the high NPS they’ve given the program, and we’re thrilled by how close this community has become.
Atlan’s cofounder, Varun Banka, noted that while “founders will evolve and make their own mistakes”, they now have “a community to support them along the way”. Last9 cofounder, Nishant Modak, made a similar observation, noting that it was “founders and companies first, in all forums of discussion”, and that it is the place to “find mentors for life”. By the end of the 14 weeks online, we were delighted when founders asked us to share our calendar of upcoming events “just to reduce separation anxiety”.
With permission from our founders, we’re sharing some of that feedback in this video, so that future applicants can get a sense of what’s in store for them.
To all Surge founders, thank you for giving us a chance to be a part of your journey.
And to all future Surge founders, we’re already psyched about Surge 04, which kicks off in November. If you have a great startup idea, click here, and #GetReadyToSurge!