Using the Network: Elyes of Crema

The value of SOSV’s food accelerator, FOOD-X, goes beyond the program itself. Founders get access to a network of personal connections that lead to exciting opportunities. The trick to using this network to your advantage — is to use it!

Here’s a story about a founder who proactively used the FOOD-X network to do something cool.

Elyes’ Networking Event

Elyes Weetab, founder of Crema (formerly Fika), knows the value of curated networking events and thought leadership. During a recent startup event on the West Coast, Elyes found out that Startup Weekend was having its Food Edition, and that FOOD-X founder Shen Tong was going to be one of the judges. Elyes mobilized the FOOD-X team and promptly contacted the event organizer. Within 24 hours, he was among the 11 coaches and mentors selected for the event. Crema then reached 30% penetration in their initial market in the city of Montreal within a week, and closed the first coffee shop in their NYC market.

Not only did Elyes proactively utilize the value of FOOD-X’s brand — he also gave the FOOD-X team the idea to facilitate even more quick and curated promotions of their superstar founders. Previously, the FOOD-X team utilized event platforms to promote the companies on an ongoing basis, gaining them mentions and free access to trade shows (including FoodTank Summit, Seeds to Chips in Milan, TEDxAdventure, and more). Elyes’ soft push for visibility in Startup Weekend was a creative way to generate value not just for his company, but for the entire FOOD-X family.

An integral but often understated part of being in an SOSV accelerator means access to an enormous network of investors, founders, and industry leaders. As the team from Crema can tell you, only by being proactive do you fully benefit from this network and from the SOSV accelerator experience.

Originally published at on October 16, 2015.

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