Thanks to Simon Devonshire of Wayra for some *very* good advice

Brutally honest, actionable advice is imperative if I’m going to improve my pitching, business plan and accelerator applications, which is why I’m incredibly indebted to Director of Wayra Europe, Simon Devonshire for taking half an hour last week to talk to me about my (failed) Wayra accelerator application from a few months back. Although lots has changed since that moment, not least the site launching – we weren’t short of things to discuss. From *really* knowing your competition, the art of story telling and appropriate levels of obnoxiousness, to Jamie Oliver’s Italian, via the joys of networking; every minute was as challenging as it was informative. Thank you Simon.

I’m constantly impressed and surprised with the generosity some of the established players in the London ecosystem exhibit by sharing their insights and wisdom with the ‘little guy’. People like Milo Yiannopoulos of the Kernel and hy! Berlin, Alicia Navarro of Skimlinks, Paul Smith at Ignite100 and Simon have all shared their own time with me, and for that I’m incredibly grateful. After a less-than-great first month on Teen Events, I’m excited to continue growing my business.

If you’re looking for feedback, advice or insights – my tip is, don’t ask, don’t get. And, seek advice from people who challenge your perception of yourself and your work. Let me know how you get on.

I’ve applied to Wayra. So have 3,443 other companies.

UPDATE: And I didn’t get in. In fact I didn’t even pass the first stage, which would have meant a 10 minute chat with someone at Wayra about my idea. Gutted.

Telefónica-backed Wayra is a startup incubator with 13 academies worldwide – from London to Buenos Aires – hosting over 180 companies with ambitions to change the world whilst drinking too much beer.

Like Seedcamp, they provide money-for-equity, mentoring, work space, and access to follow up investment. Everything you need to ‘accelerate’ your business concept in a high-intensity 6 month period. This video will give you some idea. Unlike Seedcamp, they’re known to invest in very early, back-of-an-envelope stage companies.

I know Wayra almost too well, as I’ve been lucky enough to spend 15-hour days consulting for a brilliant company housed here, BuddyBounce. But now, like 3,443 other companies, I’ve applied to have my own chance to call Wayra home.

I’ll let you know how I get on.