Cray Job: The Venture of Creating a Doc on an Accelerator

The “Day Job” documentary airs its world premier tomorrow at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and it will surely be a fantastic Toronto startup community celebration. It is focused on three tech entrepreneurs and explores how they coped being in our old 12 week accelerator program @ExtremeStartups. I hope many people will write about the doc in the upcoming days as I’m sure it will do a great job capturing the real commitment, sacrifices and emotions a funded founder goes through since a lot of mainstream media tends to focus on the highs not the lows.

A story worth telling is the intense adventure Fidelity Format went through to making this documentary and I hope this short snapshot will get others in the community to really appreciate all their efforts and work.

FIDELITY FORMAT INITIATIVE

In 2011 a fever pitch raged about capturing startup life especially with the Reality TV format with shows like Start-Ups: Silicon Valley. Even while I was the COO @TrendHunter we secured at TV development deal with BRAVO USA to do Trend Hunter: The Series covering our hunt for global trends and our award winning startup culture. So it was not lost on me how hard the venture Fidelity Format was embarking on especially given the authentic angle they wanted to take with their art. Extreme Startups gave them office space, access and morale support… they took the risk and delivered the magic.

TIME CAPSULE: COHORT TWO

Extreme Startups had a lot of buzz behind it given the initial market acceptance when Cohort One companies such as ShopLocket and Granify received significant funding. The accelerator market started to heat up as everybody started to concoct the launch of some sort of accelerator or incubator. The CVCA has tracked over 100 entities claiming to be in the space in Canada alone, which is pretty insane. Personally, Cohort Two has a special place in my heart as I was an Extreme Startups mentor and got to know all the companies fairly well. So much so that Picatic asked me to be their lead mentor and I even invested my own money into that venture because of what an outstanding founding team they had. Most importantly, it was that cohort that ignited my passion for wanting to turn disrupting the accelerator model into my next entrepreneurial venture.

CHALLENGES & WICKED PERSEVERANCE

Nobody will ever doubt Fidelity Format’s raw talent, but surviving in the uber competitive documentary space is ridiculous difficult. Their first major obstacle was funding. They ran a crowdfunding campaign and felt really let down by the community as whole as this important project neared bankruptcy. Innovative new platforms like Seed and Spark that my friend @EmilyBest is evangelizing around the globe wasn’t mainstream in that community yet. The Fidelity Format team showed the same courage and perseverance that our funded companies exhibit to never give up regardless of the obstacle and it’s a testament that they earned the right on their own to so-called “graduate” into a real business.

THE FUTURE: FIDELITY FORMAT & EXTREME STARTUPS GROWTH

Please buy a ticket and join us all tomorrow to witness the next phase in Fidelity Format’s growth. The whole @ExtremeStartups community is proud to have played some role in their venture. Last week we launched our evolution and cohort two played a key role in us thinking critically on how to enhance our accelerator model. I hope to see the whole community there to celebrate their authentic art and Toronto’s entrepreneurial spirit.

Cheers,
MD