Posted by Mellop on 2012-08-19
Our house wasn’t vacant for us to move in until 3 days after the date we were given by the landlord. This meant the team (remember, I arrived about a week and a half later than everyone else) had to live out of random hotels in the area for another few days.
Lesson: Priceline.com is a good go-to for finding temporary places to stay should you need it. Our guys were able to stay at a Days Inn 2 miles from the accelerator offices for $50 a night:
Housing situations vary greatly among teams in the accelerator. Some have already locked down a local house or apartment, some are staying in local college dorms, some are still looking. I know the teams that are still looking because they are talking on the phone in the office during the day trying to secure something, which is a huge waste of your time in the program.
I’m very glad we had housing set up ahead of time. We found it through Craigslist while we were on the East Coast and we were able to get a friend to go to the house and check it out/show the landlord we were real. The one area we failed here was in negotiating the price down based on the current state of the house. It had been abused by the prior tenants to the point where we had the landlord replace the carpets. We also had some spring cleaning to do around the backyard. In our case this meant dragging old children’s toys out of the yard, even a car jack with accompanying large metal rods. The picture below is after all of that work – the bushes were littered with work equipment and cans before we cleaned it up.
Lesson: Try and get everything you can squared away before the accelerator program starts. Programs are generally 12 weeks (ours is 10 plus a pitch day after a 3 week gap), and wasting a week on your living situation means 10% of your accelerator time down the drain. If you’re like us, your accelerator is taking a chunk of your equity at less favorable terms than other sources you’ve raised capital from because you’re paying for the mentorship, environment, office space, connections, and other perks. Thus, you’d actually be wasting your money by not spending a little extra to arrive a week before the program starts. The “figure it out when we get there” approach sounds all rugged and bootstrappy, but it’s inefficient.
Lesson: Craigslist will become your best friend at this stage. We rented a UHaul truck for an afternoon for $60 and picked up 3 mattresses (average cost $40, some free), a coffee table, a lounge chair, an HDMI monitor ($20), and a few other essentials at absurdly low prices. I got a dresser, nightstand, desk, and queen IKEA bed with mattress for $350 all in.
Other stuff will inevitably come up. You might want/need a car, you’ll need to set up water/gas/electric/internet service, unpack, learn your way around the area, find the local-take out spots, and the list goes on. It took me 2 weeks to hunt down 2 of the packages I sent to myself for the move via USPS. Your bedroom will consist of bags, a mattress on the floor, and a single light for at least a week. Friends and family will be interested in hearing about the radical shift you’re making. They have all the best intentions, but will be contacting you while you’re scrambling to try and figure all of this out. Bottom line: get ahead of the game.PRIVATE: Members Only