Tartu, Estonia



Founder Psychology De-Accelerator


.Cocoon is a 1-year startup de-acceleration program that focuses on startup founders' personal development instead of the company. In addition to balancing mental health, the founder's personal growth is an unfair advantage that can boost the organisation's growth as well. 

We start from your startup’s business challenge and find the link between the challenge and your approach, attitudes, and behaviors. The mentors of the program guide the participants to see new perspectives based on which founders can find new solutions. 

Why de-accelerator and not accelerator? 

In order to move on, you sometimes need to take time to focus on the problems you are having.  It is like a Formula One car - you need to move fast but in order to stay on the road you also need to use the brakes. This is what .Cocoon is all about - adding counterbalance to get clarity in decisions that could either make or break your startup and your team.

Problems & challenges

Startup founders deal with different problems and challenges on a daily basis – conflicts in the team, finding investors, slow growth in sales etc. Some problems are more difficult to handle than others, some are recurring and some are the reason why a startup might fail. 

Here are some examples of challenges .Cocoon founders and leaders have tackled recently:

  • How to see what is holding us back entering new markets?

  • How are leadership decisions biased because of the cap-table?

  • Why am I stuck in one place and can't scale my startup?

  • Why some of my team leads fail to grow in their responsibility area?

  • What is blocking me to find a missing core team member?

  • Why taking more risk reduces the possibilities for success?

  • How to come out of stress trap and periods of low motivation?

  • etc.

It is important to understand that no human is perfect and most of the problems begin from within. A way forward might be a change of attitude but in order to see this, you need to have a change of perspective.

For who the .Cocoon is the best fit?


Any startup and technology company that is facing a scaling period either from a team (30+) or revenue (50k+ monthly) perspective would be a sweet spot. This is quite an intensive program and hence your company needs to have enough momentum to bring new challenges to the table for every mentoring session. The design of the program is effective up to 200 FTE company after what a changed approach might be needed.

Nevertheless, we have been accepting also quite early stage companies when the CEO is showing interest in entrepreneurship as a way of personal development and growth. In such a case the intensity of growth is shifted from a company perspective even more to personal perspective.

Dates of the program

The full program is for one year and consists of personal mentoring sessions and Mentoring Events.

Mentoring Events take place 3 times a year. All the founders and mentors will gather physically for 2-3 days to conduct group sessions, share knowledge and feedback, and spice it up with some fun activities.

One-on-one mentoring with your personal mentor is on a bi-weekly basis either over a video call or a meeting in person. In addition to your main mentor, you will have the possibility to have different shadow mentors throughout one year. Shadow mentor is someone who silently observes you and your mentor, takes notes (because when you are interacting you cannot do it yourself) and later helps both of you to reflect. Shadow mentor can help you pick up on things you didn’t, which offers you yet another way to look at things. 

May 13-14


Mentoring Event

in Tartu, Estonia

July 26-28


Training Event

in Tartu, Estonia

September 27-28


Mentoring Event

in Tartu, Estonia

January 26-27


Mentoring Event

in Tartu, Estonia

June 4-5


Training Event

in Tartu, Estonia

September 24-25


Mentoring Event

in Tartu, Estonia

The organizers will keep the right to change the dates.


The application process for the 1-year .Cocoon program is the following:

  1. Fill in the application. Each event has an application deadline. Check it from the event page.

  2. We give 8-12 new startup founders the possibility to join the next Mentoring Event for a fee of 600€ (+VAT if applicable). If you bring your co-founders, then discounts apply. The event is part of the full program and therefore you will be joining the founders already in the program.

  3. The event is double-sided matchmaking that enables us to see if this is a fit for you and for you to see if it resonates with you. Only 3-5 startup founders from each batch will get an offer to join the 1-year program. We consider your business potential and also if there is the main mentor match for you.

  4. Financial agreement for the 1-year program will be discussed with you personally. Depending on the stage of your company, we can use the following pricing models:

    1. Advisory share 

    2. Revenue share 

    3. Fundraising share 

    4. Custom

  5. After signing the contract your De-acceleration Program starts! 



Guest Mentors for May 2019 Mentoring Event

Key to mentoring is to provide relevant guidance, and provide examples of real experiences, and follow up with relevant actionable items - no theories.

Jin Han

Well, breathing brings great results. That’s why US Navy Seals do it. Some clients want to experience better performance and concentration at work. Others need tools for relaxation, better sleep quality or stress management.

Arttu Lipsonen