How to Choose the Right Accelerator, To Ensure That the Time and Money Spent is Valuable?

The Structural Success Pillars For a Startup to Succeed


Most startups decide on which accelerators to go based on getting investment. However, money is the last reason why people should choose an accelerator. “At Expert Dojo, we believe very strongly in the Pre-Accelerator model where the first focus is on the startup receiving assistance with the structural success pillars for a startup to succeed,” said Brian Mac Mahon, the founder of Expert Dojo.

The first of those pillars is Community. Building the right community around startup to make sure that startup can be successful. This community includes not only other startups, corporations, and mentors but also local government.

The second pillar is a focus on milestone based business growth. This growth can come from not just digital marketing, but also on how a startup can be more visible in the local area.

The third pillar is the Influence Score. This pillar is overlooked by many startups and accelerators. People like Eric Ries and Jason Calacanis, are famous and successful, not just because of the companies they have exited, but more importantly, because of the Influence score, they created through speaking at conferences, being on panels, writing books, acknowledgment on press releases, etc. It’s very important that as a startup, influence score is high to reflect the disruptive solution that you are bringing to the market.

Next area that is extremely important is the “Foundation” of the company.
Investment without structure is wasted money. The foundational focus should not only include product fit, brand, market validation, but also other areas such as team, efficiencies, automation and structure strategy for the future. Mindset is also a key factor in a startups success. Starting a business is one of the most difficult things people will ever do. “You need to be prepared physically and mentally. This is something you can train yourself into as a navy seal rather than a wet fish,” said Brian Mac Mahon.

The final pillar is Investment. A startup should only consider accepting money from an accelerator when they know they can grow in all these areas. Investment from an accelerator should be worth more than just a check for $50K-150K.

For more information, check out the website.

Dove Network

The Dove Network


Douglas Schwartz graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Business Administration in banking and finance. Upon graduating, he gained 5 years of experience in finance, stocks, and bonds as a Trader. With his spare time, Douglas dedicated his time to learning about technology. While working as a trader, Douglas dreamed of making the next “big app”. His inspiration came from a trip to China, where he studied and learned about technology for 3 weeks.


Bitcoin really sparked an interest in Douglas, which triggered him to learning about blockchain. He found it very difficult to learn because not until recently did blockchain and bitcoin become popularized. Years later, Douglas withdrew from the finance industry, to pursue and fully dedicate his time to creating the Dove Network.


While working on the Dove Network, Douglas and his colleagues traveled to exotic destinations, and has seen the “rich of the rich and the poor of the poor”. Some of the locations that inspired him were India, Moscow, Dubai, and the Arctic Circle. He expressed that “if it wasn’t for my experience abroad, seeing that the 5% of the United States is not what the other 95% are, I wouldn’t have seen the opportunity for the Dove Network”.


When Douglas first started the Dove Network, he hired many Indian engineers, but there was a huge communication barrier, which affected work productivity. To combat this issue, he traveled to India to submerge himself in their country, to better understand their language, culture, and work ethic.


While traveling around, Douglas had a realization that many parts of the world are still without internet. With his knowledge in finance, trials in technology, and understandings gained abroad, Douglas determined his life into creating the Dove Network. Dove Network seeks to bring affordable internet access to the world by allowing peers to trade their unused data capacity. “This is all possible with Blockchain technology and mesh networks. Dove’s blockchain powered application uses a peer-to-peer network to allow people and Wi-Fi enabled devices to seamlessly trade unused data capacity anonymously and automatically”.


Recently, Expert Dojo ( held an Investor Festival, where the Dove Network interacted with many investors. Within the interview we conducted, Douglas stated that with the help of the Investor Festival, he has had a few follow up meetings, as well as some possible leads for investors. Also, Douglas aspires to find investors that will help his venture grow while providing many guidelines on succeeding.


For more information visit

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Gary Vaynerchuk at Expert Dojo


Gary Vaynerchuk is one of the most known entrepreneurs in the world, he is also an author, speaker and an internet personality. First known for being a wine critic who grew his family’s wine business from $3 million to $60 million. Today, Vaynerchuk is best known for his work in digital marketing and social media, leading New York-based companies VaynerMedia and VaynerX. He can to Expert Dojo to discusses his childhood, early career, angel investing, hiring & firing, owning & playing for the Jets, immortality, and much more. Gary also takes questions from the audience.



The sold out crowd at Expert Dojo were so excited to listen to Gary Vaynerchuk’s talk!



Watch his full appearance at Expert Dojo on the Youtube link below!


To get more info about our upcoming events, go to:

Invest in one of Expert Dojo’s Startups; Ampere Motor

Bringing Stylish, Innovative Electric Vehicles

to the Modern Consumer


Ampere Motor, one of Expert Dojo’s favorite startup members! 

The Ampere vehicles are as stylish as they are affordable. The three-wheel roadster is just under $10,000, making the vehicle accessible to everyone, not just the wealthy. People love that our roadsters are classy, sleek, and fun to drive.



The founder, Tony Chan has been a car fanatic all his life. He started waxing his neighbors’ cars for pocket money when he was seven and repaired classic cars to pay for his tuition and expenses when he studied at UCLA. He then worked as a software engineer at Microsoft and built race cars on the side. Tony then left Microsoft to start his venture in product design and manufacturing; he successfully supplied various product lines to large national retailers such as Sears and Lowe’s.



Tony and his partners started the Ampere project more than four years ago to design and build green, affordable, and exciting vehicles for everyone to enjoy. Currently, Ampere is working with world-class designers and engineers from the same institutions from which the designers of Audi, Mercedes, and Ferrari designers come.

The body of the Ampere Roadster combines vintage race car elements as well as futuristic curves and lines. Even the Sharks on Shark Tank said it looked amazing and everyone who sees it will most likely want to get behind the wheel.



Now, you have the opportunity to invest in this vehicle! With your investment, Ampere can fulfill their current orders and begin the work of taking Ampere Motor to even grander heights. This is a first in the industry, and Ampere’s goal is to deliver up to 100,000 vehicles within the next four years.  Invest in Ampere Motor today at, and help them spark the next electric-vehicle revolution in the automotive industry.


Raising Money through Crowdfunding

King of Crowdfunding Howard Marks on Raising Money for Startups

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Howard Marks, pioneer in crowdfunding and founder of StartEngine, outlines his path in business and the difficulty in finding money when starting a business. StartEngine has been instrumental in helping raise millions of dollars for several early-stage startups through crowdfunding.


Prior to crowdfunding, only a few people could pass the early stages of starting a business. Friends and family would have been the prime source of financial help. Now, with the passing of the Title II (2012) and Title III (2016) of the JOBS Act, adults of any financial means are legally allowed to invest in startup businesses. Both Titles II and III of the Jumpstart Our Business Startup Act (JOBS Act) were put in place to encourage and enable funding for small businesses. Title II focuses on helping job creators get access to funds while Title III focuses on equity crowdfunding regulations.


Aside from this new investment tool, what is it that you need to focus on to be successful in raising money for your new business? Some key points according to Howard Marks’ experience in business:

–       Resilience and persistence in front of the naysayers. We have heard that in the world of bodybuilders as well as in business, whatever business you are doing (starting a new company or starting a degree) requires perseverance.

–       Understand the market you are going into.

–       Make sure your product will be viable 3 to 5 years from the time you start your business. Have a vision in the future so that you can stay in business.  Predict the future of your market.

–       Have a team where your CEO is great at marketing.  You need to be visible so that people can understand what they are investing in.


From here, the people who will invest in your company are the ones who truly believe in your product. More often than not those folks will be you most loyal supporters.


Up to recently, raising money for a new business was not a democratic affair. Mostly, it was people who already had ties to folks with money who could get money.  In other words, women and minorities were poorly represented in entrepreneurship up to just a few decades ago.  Crowdfunding is the best game-changing tool for all entrepreneurs to raise funds to start their dream businesses. Places like StartEngine are where the traditional “no” has been replaced with “yes, let’s get that money”.


Crowdfunding, also known as Online Public Offering (OPO), has been the best way for investors and entrepreneurs to grow innovative ideas. And as Mr Marks points out, one of the great things is that for an OPO to be successful the company you want to start doesn’t have to have a history. You mainly need to show a few key qualities, as pointed out above, to make sure your investors get to know you and the market you want to get into. After all, getting investors is mainly about creating a relationship of trust.


Other than that, the great news is that small businesses are not crippled by the Innovator’s Dilemma big businesses often go through. Once a business gets stuck in focusing only on what it does best and doesn’t look into how the future is being shaped by trends, failure often follows suit. So, follow your dream idea for a new business, stay nimble, adapt to your market!

For more advice and ideas from Howard Marks, follow his blog, or go on StartEngine.

You also can listen to Brian Mac Mahon (Expert Dojo) interviewing Howard to hear more on the topic of crowdfunding.