Danny Robinson from Bootup Labs posted an apology for the unfortunate events that recently unfolded. His ‘personal learnings’ are certainly good things for him to come to a realization on. However, Bootup has a long road ahead of itself in its quest for restoration.
The early stage startup community is a small one, and the way that seed accelerators differentiate themselves is by attracting the best founders and then building a clear history of sustainable companies that move on to the next phase. Unfortunately for Bootup, rather than founders learning about the program by hearing of some fabulous startup that emerged from the program, this mud-stained history of founder/investor issues is going to cloud their reputation. As founders have choices and are going to select accelerators that have been able to demonstrate a strong value-add, recruiting the next class is going to be extremely difficult for Bootup, I suspect. Comments at Hacker News show how greatly the program is burned and the first page of Google results is now half filled with this mess. It’ll be interesting to see how the program progresses and what they can salvage from this. Powerful lessons for the other startup accelerators and for how to conduct your operations in general.