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Focus on the destination


Enjoy the journey

Destination partners with founders of pre-seed/seed startups to accelerate their ventures to the next level.
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We work with founders who are on a mission to have an impact/create meaningful change and who are highly motivated to keep going no matter what obstacles they face on the way towards that destination. We work with a wide range of founders–from solo to two-and-three person founding teams; the founders with whom we work range from first time entrepreneurs – who need a lot of guidance, coaching and support in hiring people, raising money and going to market–to those who are more seasoned and are on their second or third ventures.
All of the founders with whom we work aim to solve important problems within large, addressable markets. This ensures that their company has the potential to become a large, scalable business, as well as gives them a lot of room early on to find an ideal customer sub-segment for best product market fit as they launch their product.
Every founder we work with has already developed an early version of their product and has had some customer validation. They are not always at the revenue-generation stage, but they do have an understanding of what their customer needs are. We help them focus at this is a critical stage, as founders often chase too many disparate customer segments and run out of money before reaching full product market fit; we zero in on the most promising customer sub-segment that can generate maximum traction quickly.


Goal setting and milestones outline

Go-to-market strategy and execution

Fundraising strategy and execution

Investor pitch development and feedback

Hiring, firing and other people-related issues

Outsourced call center selection and collaboration

Outsourced development team creation and management

Outsourced marketing team creation and management

OKR implementation and management

Product development process management

User / problem / solution definition and riskiest assumption

Investment banker selection and relationship management


Destination Accelerator employs a 12-month customized program of 1:1 coaching/mentoring and strategy that keeps entrepreneurs focused and goal-oriented, and helps them make significant progress on their business; this enables them to overcome barriers, focus on critical issues, and chart a course for accelerated growth.
Our program requires two-four hours per week from the founders, however ALL of that time is spent in hands-on sessions focused on their business.

Business Model
We work with founders over multiple focused workshops to fully define their business using the business model canvas framework.
Financial Model
We help develop a financial model over multiple focused workshops to be a tool for managing the business as well as an important asset in the fundraising process.
Branding & Content
We use a trusted creative agency to work with founders over multiple focused workshops to develop their brand and assets needed to support their go-to-market. The program includes 100 hours of agency’s design, content creation and brand strategy work.
We help define a fundraising strategy over multiple focused workshops, including the fundraising communications, support assets, ideal process and diligence room.
We conduct weekly 1:1 coaching sessions with founders to ensure they are focused on the plan towards their destination, and to help resolve the obstacles that come up along the way.
Strategy Reviews
We meet monthly with founders to review and re-assess the company’s go-to-market and fundraising strategy based on most recent customer validation and fundraising results.
We invest in 100% of the full time participants of the program. We invest $10K when the program begins, and $90K into the first close of the company’s funding round on the same terms as the other participants. (The first close typically happens immediately after the start of the program.) We expect that the first close consists of at least half of the round, to ensure that the company has enough funds to make progress during the program.
While also a structured program, Destination Accelerator’s hands-on, high-touch approach is different from other accelerators’ programs because it provides entrepreneurs with invaluable support to solve real-time problems. Moreover, the blends business advisory, coaching and financing to create significant value for participating founders and their investors.
Most Other Accelerators
3 months
Group-based standard program
Cohort-based approach
Focus on demo day
Vertical focus
Funding varies from none to 50K
Destination Accelerator
12 months
Personalized 1:1 program
One new company per month
Focus on company progress
Founder focus


The Destination Accelerator management team has over 40 years of combined startup experience. We provide consistent, hands-on support to entrepreneurs to help them overcome barriers, and to mitigate risk, inherent in growing early stage ventures.

Grigoriy Rublev
Managing Director
Greg is an angel investor and a limited partner in a number of funds, including One Way VC fund I and II, Dipalo Ventures, OPAL Fund and CrowdLending. He is a serial tech entrepreneur with two successful exits in both B2B SaaS (ZoomInfo) and consumer legal tech (CompleteCase). He is now leveraging his startup experience as a coach to startup CEOs by helping them identify and reach their most ambitious goals.
E. Frits Abell
Managing Director
Frits has helped found and build several companies in Boston, Buffalo and New York City over the past 18 years; these include digital media company (GFN Financial), a business consultancy (Northside Advisors), an investment bank (Progress Partners), a green technology company (Viride Parente) and a materials informatics company (materialsIn). As such, Frits has developed deep experience in marketing, corporate development and operations for startups and mid-stage ventures, for which he managed all aspects of new business formation. Frits has a deep contact base that ranges from financial and strategic investors to entrepreneurs of early stage ventures to strategic acquirers, and is also an angel investor.

Our approach

Focus on the destination

We front-end our work to help you clarity the direction in which you are headed, keep focused as you head in that direction, thereby saving you time, energy and money.

High tech focus

Technology has been the foundation of every business we have worked on. Over the years we have developed many methods and tools for building a business online and we use them to work with our partner companies to ensure that they leverage their proprietary technology to embolden their competitive advantage.

Consumer & B2B experience

We draw from our experience building a diverse set of industries–from legatech, corporate wellness, investment banking, marketing technology, advertising technology, green technology, chemical research, social networking and hospitality–for our partner companies’ benefit.

Investor-interaction support

We will immerse you in investor psychology, help you look at your project through their eyes, and explain how to get fundraising off the ground. This knowledge will come in handy in the implementation of your current and future ideas as well as become the foundation for your development as an entrepreneur.

Learn-from-failure mandate

Failure can be a powerful learning tool. We cannot promise you a smooth and error-free path, but we can guarantee that, together, we will turn your mistakes into valuable lessons; this will shape your unique experience and help you become a more multifaceted business leader.

Anti-burnout focus

We know the feeling when something that we sincerely believed before no longer brought us pleasure. This burnout led us to fail in some of our earlier businesses despite all the effort we were making. Working together, we will focus on more than WHERE? (destination) but also WHY? WHAT FOR? (the path itself).

Our values


Your startup is about your principles, visions, and goals. This is what we put at the center of our work, helping you to fully optimize yourself and reach your potential. We do not provide universal solutions and do not simply transfer or transpose our experiences to your business. Your startup is unique, which means it requires unique solutions to which we will come together.


When we started our careers as entrepreneurs, we needed people who would listen and accept our ideas, doubts, and even fears without disparagement or criticism. This is the kind of people we will be for you.


We strongly believe that the more sincere you are with us, with your business partners, colleagues, employees, and with yourself, which is the most important, the more chances you have to be successful and achieve your goals.


We want to help you avoid some mistakes on the way of starting a business and we will share our experiences to inspire new ideas and solutions. But, we will never impose our past decisions on you and your business.


We will measure any assumptions, actions, results, successes, and failures using metrics that make the most sense for you. This approach will make every step to your destination significant, balanced and conscious.


There are no 100% good or bad ideas - that's why it's important to understand what works for your business. To do this, we will test your ideas, analyze their results, and make adjustments if necessary. Some of them will definitely become the basis of your success story.

Doing well and doing good

The Accelerator team is deeply committed to the development of social ventures, and firmly believes that building a successful business and benefiting society go hand in hand.

Read partner company updates here
Crowdfunding Platform
Buffalo, NY
Stage: Pre-Seed
Common Owner is an investment crowdfunding platform specializing in real estate, historic rehabilitation, and community-oriented businesses.
Coaching, Advisory
Software for Public Safety
Chicago, IL
Stage: Seed
Ascent is the unifying dashboard for firefighters, special forces, and SWAT. Ascent SaaS platform improves safety by informing incident commanders where their team is and their condition, all while monitoring and mapping the battle space.
Coaching, Investment
Customer Engagement
Boston, MA
Stage: Pre-Seed
Wishroute helps companies proactively support users with a human “accountability buddy" via text, driving increased engagement and retention.
Coaching, Investment
Digital Technology
Buffalo, NY, Los Angeles, CA & Amsterdam, NL
Stage: Seed
Twisted Rope empowers businesses to reach their goals through digital strategy and transformation delivery.
Coaching, Advisory
Consumer SaaS/Hardware & GreenTech
Chicago, IL
Stage: Pre-Seed
Flora helps you save your plants through an AI-driven plant sensor (called "The Flora Pod") and an app that takes the guesswork out of plant care.
Coaching, Advisory, Investment, Branding
Chicago, IL & Kenya
Stage: Pre-Series A
Neopenda innovates needs-based medical technologies for high-growth emerging markets.
Coaching, Advisory, Investment, Branding
Manufacturing, Robotics/ Industrial Automation
Chicago, IL
Stage: Late Pre-Seed/Early Seed
Hire our robotic pallet movers for a fraction of the labor cost.
Coaching, Investment
Digital Health, AI
Stage: Seed (Techstars '21) provides bio-adaptive and AI-patented engaging employee wellness offers based on award-winning science.
Austin, TX
Stage: Pre-Seed
Human-centered business gifting made easy.
Coaching, Advisory, Investment, Branding
Materials Informatics/AI
Buffalo, New York, NY
Stage: Pre-Seed
materialsIn uses advanced data analytic techniques for the development, design, discovery and handling of materials with a particular emphasis on advancing a sustainable economy.
Coaching, Advisory, Investment, Branding
Food Automation
Chicago, IL
Stage: Seed
Zenblen manages operations while developing recipes and advising on nutrition, food safety, and consumer trends.
Coaching, Investment

What our partners say


“I have found Greg Rublev and Frits Abell to be the most effective professional coaches/advisors that I have worked with during my career. In addition to bringing vast direct company leadership and business start-up experience, they approach coaching/advisory from a point of passion. Destination Accelerator holds CEOs to task and keeps you on point through patience and persistence. You will benefit greatly from everything that the team behind Destination Accelerator brings to the relationship.”

Greg Norton, President & CEO, Twisted Rope, Inc.


“Having Greg as a coach has been an incredible experience and has provided a much-needed mental balance as a founder. Our conversations are more than just updates on wins and struggles - it's founder therapy. I feel like I can be open about my concerns as we brainstorm ways to solve problems. I always look forward to our bi-weekly meetings and highly recommend Greg to any early-stage entrepreneur.”

Paul Couston, CEO ascent integrated technologies


“The incredible coaching has helped me to prioritize and focus on the most important areas of my startup, to refine clear short-and long-term goals. And to always know that I am guided by excellent communication and commitment to help my startup thrive.”

Hannes Bend, Founder & CEO, (2021 TechStars Portland graduate)


Greg has been part of my journey as a startup CEO from the very beginning. Not only was he one of our earliest angel checks, but his mentorship and guidance as a veteran entrepreneur was pivotal for me as a first time Founder. The value of talking to someone who's been in the trenches of fundraising, hiring & firing, entrepreneurial selling, co-founder disagreements, exit planning etc. cannot be overstated. For the past three years, Greg has helped us prioritize what's important and held us accountable to our goals. This undoubtedly maintained the forward trajectory of our company and accelerated my own growth as an executive."

Tom Xinyuan Zhang, Co-Founder & CEO, Zenblen


“Greg is a highly successful entrepreneur, with multiple great companies to his name. But that’s not what ultimately makes Greg a great fit for working with entrepreneurs. What makes him so effective is that he knows how to ask the right questions to help entrepreneurs know their stuff better than they think they do. Greg knows that every entrepreneur is unique. Greg doesn’t stay on the surface like advisors do — just talking tactics. Greg helps you get under your hood to help you work through the internal barriers that are keeping you from hitting your peak pursuits.”

James Lopata, Keynote Speaker on Transformational Coaching Cultures


“Flora was accepted into Destination's accelerator at a critical turning point: We were facing numerous challenges around product-market fit and financial runway, and we leaned on Destination's promise of hands-on coaching to guide us through. After a few months of working together, I can wholeheartedly say that the accelerator exceeded all of my expectations. Greg and Frits provide immense value with their decades of experience in founding and exiting companies, and their willingness to roll up their sleeves and jump into the business has been nothing short of a blessing.  My advice for Founders: The coaching and fundraising connections that Destination provides is invaluable, and it is a program that gives out what you put in. Be clear in your expectations and goals for the program, and I promise you that Greg and Frits will do whatever it takes to help you succeed. I can't recommend them enough!”

Aabesh De, Founder/CEO of Flora


“Destination has exceeded my initial expectation, and our company has grown so much just in the two months of working together. Building a company is a hard and lonely road, and Greg and Frits are very hands-on in helping me and my team in all aspects, including goal setting, re-branding the whole company, go-to-market, and fundraising strategy & introductions. I look forward to my weekly coaching calls with Greg because I always gain a lot of clarity about the challenges that I'm facing. I recommend Destination to founders who want hands-on help and coaching in growing their business!”

Minette Yu, Founder & CEO of Lumi


“Working with Greg has been enjoyable, thought-provoking, and immeasurably beneficial. I always look forward to our calls where we discuss upcoming challenges, where help is needed, and new strategies for personal growth. Working at a start-up is difficult, to say the least, and having a coach like Greg in your corner who’s an experienced entrepreneur is an incredible confidence booster. Helping to bring expert assistance to some of my weaker areas, like long-term goal setting, personnel hiring, and interdisciplinary communication. I trust Greg to not only help with my professional development but also to keep me accountable. He’s been of great help and I can not recommend him enough.”

Connor McDermott, Nutritionist and Operations Manager, Zenblen