Reaching Outside the Valley to Help Fuel East Coast Startups

Posted on November 1, 2012

By Angelique Faul

Two years ago, I was fortunate enough to cross paths with Murat Aktihanoglu, co-founder of the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator in New York City. The ERA program is a haven for big ideas. Twice a year, the organization chooses ten early-stage technology startups and gives each company the tools needed to grow their business and prepare for Demo Day, where the companies present to hundreds of angel investors and venture capitalists.

As a successful serial entrepreneur, Murat has a deep understanding of what turns a good idea into a thriving company. So, as he started putting together an accelerator program for NYC startups, he wanted to ensure the companies had the best chance for success. One of the key differentiators of the ERA is its tremendous sponsorship and mentor support. Murat, networker extraordinaire, built a mentor program of more than 200 qualified individuals in their fields including marketing, accounting, legal and executive coaching.

Based on Murat’s reputation and extensive network, I was thrilled when he approached me about becoming an ERA public relations mentor and getting Kulesa Faul involved. Although not local, he believed I could provide much needed tech PR insights to help the organization’s fledgling startups build greater awareness locally and nationally. So far as part of the program, the startups have received a PR workshop, giving participants the PR “know-how” to develop and pitch story ideas, as well as tips and tricks for briefing the press. Ongoing, they benefit from general PR counsel during and after the four-month program.

I thoroughly enjoy being part of such an amazing organization. Seeing these companies secure funding and press and build their businesses gives me great career inspiration. In fact, one participant just inked its first piece of coverage in The Wall Street Journal. As a business owner, I can only take on so many pro-bono clients and still manage a full staff. The ERA program has been a way for me to give back and help pass on my expertise to the future of NYC tech.

Who knows maybe a NYC office is in KF’s future?

Angelique Faul is a principal of Kulesa Faul, based in San Mateo, CA. Kulesa Faul focuses on
public relations, social media and digital marketing for enterprise software and consumer
technology companies.