People and Culture Accelerator

An essential accelerator for founders struggling with the transition between pre-Series A and Series B, and looking to build systems to strengthen people & culture systems. 

People and Culture Accelerator

An essential accelerator for founders struggling with the transition between pre-Series A and Series B, and looking to build systems to strengthen people & culture systems. 

About the Program

Startups at pre-series A/series A are most vulnerable to people-related stresses. These are always costly, and very often fatal. In these stages, the startup has moved on from being a 'group of friends' but hasn't yet become a large, well-resourced machine with clear processes and SOPs. Founders in these stages particularly find themselves overstretched between pushing behind growth and managing operations. The startup faces a tension between 'hustle' and 'SOPs', with no clear path to formalisation. The People & Culture Accelerator by IIMA Ventures at IIM Ahmedabad is designed for pre-Series A/ series A startups struggling with challenges related to talent and people related processes. It includes designed and tested interventions across the spectrum of challenges faced by founders such as hiring, performance management, building culture, being a leader etc.

Program Objectives

Being a founder is hard. In pursuit of steep startup scale up Founders This structure is difficult to build, especially when confronted with friction resulting from a startup’s growth (usually timed with funds raised) on all aspects of people management. All focus stays put on achieving the next growth ‘milestone’. Meanwhile, people related misses cost the startup money and momentum in the short and long term.

This accelerator is designed to equip founders and leaders with the foundational knowledge, tools, frameworks, and approaches required when formalising a growing startup. The goal is to ensure that things do not “break” as the startup scales from a team of 15 to 30 and beyond, and that essential systems be designed and put in place before there are any big misses.

A thorough design thinking process rooted in support calls for over 50 growing startups across different tech-core and tech-enabled sectors, we have identified risk areas and good practices to mitigate the same by providing knowledge and structures for key people and culture related facets in startups like hiring, compensation & benefits, performance management, building and maintaining culture, learning and development, retention and more.

WHAT WE OFFER

Intensive 3 day residential bootcamp at IIM Ahmedabad campus

Kickoff with a 3-day residential bootcamp at the IIM Ahmedabad campus in Ahmedabad. Includes masterclasses, workshops and networking sessions by IIMA Ventures’ Partners, IIMA Professors and industry leading subject matter experts. This is where we share the foundational knowledge required for all founders in their people management journey.

Bespoke consulting on HR and people issues

Two bespoke clinics to aid diagnosing barriers and enable problem solving for each participating startup. Based on their needs, startups can choose their problem statement or arrive at one in consultation with IIMA Ventures experts.

Weekly check-ins and peer-led problem solving

12 weekly virtual townhalls for the entire cohort - where we leverage the do it together model of ideating the most effective approaches to unique challenges. These discussions will be curated so as to identify unique challenges and suggest solutions pre-emptively, using peer groups' experiences.

Build a community with other founders

Participants of the People & Culture will be part of an exclusive community of like-minded founders and leaders. This community will be available to share first-hand knowledge, as well as to volunteer to solve unique and contextual people & culture challenges for their peer community members.

Toolkits & Checklists

The People & Culture accelerator offers participants toolkits to surface their unique people & culture challenges, as well as exhaustive checklists, and hacks to formalise processes and systems as they grow.

Founder coaching

Growing as a startup requires founders to mature from innovation / tech experts into leaders with their own leadership styles. The People & Culture accelerator provides founders the opportunity to access coaching related to people & culture leadership.

FOCUS AREAS

    Finding the right talent, overcoming hiring biases to your advantage, articulating startups’ advantages over competitors to prospective employees, hiring on a budget, and more.

    Composites of a “fantastic” offer, structuring ESOPs, “total rewards” and much more.

    How to not lose momentum because of attrition, planning better, discerning high value talent, designing seamless exit processes

    Strategy-structure & systems-competency-behaviour, formalisation.

    Building in role clarity, defining HR’s role. Connecting planning, hiring, and proactive identification of resources to strategy.

    Designing processes that work, setting goals and tracking goals, communicating for outcome.

    Role evolution through growth, leadership & culture, building strong teams, managing conflict.
    Leadership skills: Delegation, people skills, managing difficult conversations, crisis management.

    When to look for a co-founder, onboarding and building synergy with co-founders, equity splits

    HR tech, AI, and managing “WFH” behaviour lags

Who Should Apply

Early stage startup founders

  • The People & Culture Accelerator is designed for founders of startups at pre-series A/series-A stages, ideally with a team size of up to 30 employees.
    We invite founders from all sectors.

People & Culture leaders at startups

  • If you are a people & culture leader in the indicated growth stage and the above challenges are pressing pain points for you – we encourage you to apply.

Frequently Asked Questions

The accelerator starts with a 3-day intensive bootcamp on the IIMA Campus. Thereafter, the accelerator offers intensive one-on-one coaching through online sessions.

The People & Culture Accelerator is designed for founders of startups at pre-series A/series-A stages, ideally with a team size of up to 30 employees. We believe a team of up to 30 members would draw most from the accelerator's offerings. However, this is an indicative number; if you are in the indicated growth stage and the above challenges are pressing pain points for you - we encourage you to apply.

The total cost is INR 1,25,000, inclusive of accommodation during the 3-day bootcamp.

Founders, co-founders, CXOs of startups.

Registered companies will undergo a screening process to ensure there is value fitment for startups.

The interested startups will register through the embedded online application form. Post screening, we will circle back with confirmation on whether there is an eligibility-fit, communicated via the email you provide in the application form. Only after receiving this mail should you confirm your participation by paying the accelerator participation fee.