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Inspired, grateful, exhausted…

· Program,Accelerator,Startup,San Francisco,BNE3

Leaving San Francisco after 10 crazy days these are just a few of the words that come to mind.

That and to continue to practice this 1 to 3 word exercise from our first workshop on how we are feeling. To acknowledge, to yourself and others, your current state of mind on this crazy accelerator journey.

As the RCL Accelerator BNE3 & muru-D MEL1 cohorts made their pilgrimage back to Australia there was plenty of downloading, processing, reflecting , decompressing and digesting of a great week that was.

From the beginning of the program, we had an overwhelming response from our founders and their teams to be part of our international trip. This saw the trip cohort balloon to 35 people!

Our trip was earlier this program than past ones, with our objective to shift our team’s mindsets earlier to start thinking bigger and also about the possibility of going global from day 1. We also set out to form extremely close bonds between our founders earlier than recent years to get team cohesion spot on!

Touching down in San Francisco our trip started by whisking everyone away to Point Bonita YMCA, located over the Golden Gate Bridge and a far cry from the city of SF.

We have found our love of s’mores!

Bunk beds, campfires, shared bathrooms and family style meals… Cards of humanity and sneaky nightcaps in rooms before bed. If that wasn’t enough to start bonding our group the world class facilitators we had commissioned would.

A communications workshop (insert eye rolling from some at the start of the day) saw us finish up with incredible enlightenment and raw emotions and some home truths from the group. A reminder to be open, saying “Yes, and…” and that as humans we’re complex creatures that need support.

And on our way to being thick as thieves we headed back over the bridge to the big smoke of SF. For those that had yet to experience SF it is an interesting place to describe. Fast paced, full of innovation and opportunity, bright lights, bubble-like and unforgiving, mixed with a complex social economic situation of homelessness on almost every corner.

Our week was back to back — Dinners with mentors & industry leaders, mentor roulette’s, subject matter experts sharing their wisdom, airbnb, Facebook, growth experts and muru-D alumni.

We cannot thank those that gave up their time to our founders enough. Always so generous with their time, paying it forward. It’s something that we will bring back and continue in the BNE ecosystem and beyond.

With such a large group we to ran some smaller, imitate sessions with speakers for increased engagement and deeper impact.

The feedback from those sessions was incredible with a huge amount value that was added and we can see the possibility of early signs of biz collaboration between teams. Mid week we met up with Steve Baxter and the Startup Catalyst Group of investors and this was a great opportunity for all to network, download and share insights of each others experiences so far.

We have founders who have found clarity, some more confused that ever, those that are even more hungry to continue there purpose at pace and those considering the US as the next step for their business.

And me — the Program Manger — who prefers less spotlight, driving fearlessly from the back…

At 27 weeks pregnant, I wasn’t going to let that stand in my way of delivery an experience I had sweated over to curative, nor miss those transformational moments with my cohort and share a deeper part of their entrepreneurial journey.

On our last night, as I rallied the troops for one last photo, I overheard someone refer to it being ‘a family photo’ and on that note I know its my cue to leave.

Not only have I had my quoter of lemonade for one night(!), but my mission has been achieved and I feel overwhelmed with a sense of belonging.

P.S. BNE2 — don’t worry you will always be my alumni too!

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