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2023 Accelerator: HGL6 Intensive 3 in SF

In October 2023, HGL touched down in San Francisco for our final week-long intensive program of the 2023 Accelerator. We focused on fundraising, product development, and marketing coaching, culminating in the graduation of the sixth accelerator cohort. Tareq Alani, who co-founded Chorus AI alongside Aaron Myran and Sam Landenwitsch, shared his reflections below. 

Chorus AI’s Experience

By: Tareq Alani

For most of my career, I’ve worked at the intersection of technology and civic engagement. In these spaces, working on technical products can feel quite lonely, as you’re often the only one in your organization or campaign tackling these challenges.

That’s why meeting and building relationships with my fellow HGL6 cohort members has been an incredible experience. It’s also why I feel bittersweet, having just wrapped up our final cohort “intensive” in San Francisco this past week. In the two intensives that I’ve attended (Washington, DC and SF — sadly I missed the first one in Chicago), I’ve had the opportunity to learn from, celebrate with, be inspired by, and sometimes commiserate with my fellow cohort members. While I know we’ll keep in touch, I’m grateful to have had the space to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs passionate about solving problems and making a positive impact on the world.

One of many group photos from the 2023 Accelerator. 

My cohort isn’t the only thing I’ll miss. Over these three intensives, the Higher Ground Labs team has facilitated coaching, deep-dives, connections, and resources that have proven invaluable for our team at Chorus AI.

In this final intensive in San Francisco, we focused on fundraising, product, and go-to-market strategies. We received one-on-one coaching from social impact tech entrepreneurs. They dug in with us, providing feedback on our product roadmaps and helping us hone our go-to-market strategies.

HGL6 founders listening to fundraising advice from several political tech founders from the HGL portfolio.

One specific lesson that I’ll take with me from our product coaching sessions is how critical it is to zero in on the audience that we will serve in our go-to-market strategy. As a small startup we don’t have the resources to be everything to everyone, so we need to hyper focus on our target audience for whom we’ll solve their problems better than any other alternative on the market.

Throughout the week, we also worked with the HGL staff to refine our investor fundraising pitches. This practice culminated in my favorite part of the intensive: a closed-door “Shark Tank” style pitch where we presented and received feedback from a panel of industry veterans.

HGL Managing Partner Betsy Hoover speaking to the room at the Political Tech Summit, part of the evening programming during the SF Intensive.

While I’m sad that this is the final intensive for our HGL cohort, I’m walking away inspired by my fellow cohort members and more prepared and confident from the education provided by HGL’s team and partners. Onward!

About Chorus AI

Chorus AI helps win campaigns through human-centered software that turns every campaign staffer into a 10x digital organizer by increasing content production, keeping campaigns connected to the attention cycle and social graph, and optimizing creative for each member of a campaign audience.

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