From 0 to 100: Should an Accelerator Be Your Business Incubator?

Business.com / Starting a Business / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

When starting a business, time is of the essence. Many startups join accelerators to make the most of that time. Should your business?

For any business to flourish, time is an essential delimiter.

It is never easy to start from scratch and still power the organization into the pinnacles of profitability, at least not overnight.

Every entrepreneur must learn to be patient as resources need to be utilized in a proper manner for getting those desired results.

Moreover, it is all about the momentum when business growth is concerned as profits are usually elusive to begin with.

That said, an idea is what kick-starts any entrepreneurial crusade and not getting instantaneous results can dampen the spirits, initially.

There will always be business owners who are impatient and often on the lookout for quicker results. For all those and even the budding strategists, an accelerator might just be the right move.

However, I include "might" in my sentence for a plethora of reasons. While several accelerator-empowered success stories are enough to motivate us, some failures must also be analyzed before taking the plunge.

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Accelerators in Detail

In simple words, an accelerator is an intensive program with short-term visibility and massive impacts, extremely beneficial toward providing growth resources to the businesses.

Organizational enhancements include networking, mentorship, education and even basic funding. Rather than looking for separate services a startup can just involve an accelerator, making things uncomplicated and necessarily less-expensive.

Most programs offered by the accelerator last for a few months targeting the less developed areas of the firm. To be precise, most accelerators are time bound and invest quick money into the concerned business. Most importantly, they derive profits from the company’s equity shares.

Accelerator and Accelerator-like programs percentage breakdown

Approaching an accelerator program isn’t as straight-forward as it looks. Different standards are laid down by each alongside stricter requirements. Some accelerators are highly selective offering lengthy applications to fill in. Interviews are often conducted for zeroing in on the most eligible participants which can pay off the services, in days to come.

Admittedly, businesses in the modern era can benefit hugely from niche accelerators. This way resource allocation is highly specific and based upon the services offered by the organization. As for startups, it will be easier to bring in industry-specific essentials and get specialized for the given set of programs.

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Advantages Accelerators Offer

Involving an accelerator is largely advocated by budding startups as incubators can often be necessary for growth. These benefits of an accelerator are most impactful to a startup:

Speed

For the impatient entrepreneurs, an accelerator might just be the perfect way out. These entities speed up the process only if your business strategies are viable enough. Most accelerators have a pre-defined approach when it comes to selecting the participants. That said, once the startups are chosen, services are rendered in a twinkling of an eye. It will only be a few months and the newly established organization will scale unbelievable heights.

Access 

Most organizations who are on their own, find it difficult to survive in this competitive market. Accelerators provide them with the required accessibility towards funding, customer base and even technology. Suppose we are planning to establish a tech startup, addressing smartphone issues. Even if funding is organized, an accelerator can still provide insights regarding the prospective customer base.

Similarly, for setting up an eatery, funding is indispensable and this is where an accelerator comes to rescue. Most of the resources are provided by the accelerators, including the motivational ones. Business stalwarts believe accelerators to be entities, offering mentorship directs, housing support and even manpower during the existing program.

Credibility 

Most startups lack credibility as they are new and often come with a clean sheet. Being associated with a reputed accelerator will surely enhance the credibility, pulling in more allies. This in turn helps grow the business network, building an extensive mesh, out of it.

Is the Accelerator in Sync With Your Goals?

Not every firm will need an accelerator to grow as the requirements and provisions are completely specific to the business goals. For example, a tech startup will require more networking provisions than say, a flower shop. While the compared businesses come with drastic variations, enrolling for different accelerator programs might just benefit both.

Accelerated Startup Funding vs. Accelerator Growth chartMoreover, using an accelerator is usually advisable to the companies who have just started their entrepreneurial journey. For the more established ones, focusing on the minimum viable product and other aspects like collateral, market proposition will be a better idea.

According to market experts, companies undergoing moderation for acceleration are often diverted from the original path of rendering services— reason being overemphasizing on the business incubator. Cumulative efforts, main reasons for starting the journey, are often ignored in due course of time.

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However, since the inception of Accelerators, companies are constantly receiving huge benefits. Once we determine our position in the given arena, it is all about connecting to the individuals with similar experiences. This mantra of business growth is best exhibited by an accelerator.

Even if it takes us time to segregate our requirements, services from the accelerator can just leave a lasting impression and effect on our organizational fate. These entities are more like tools which give that initial push to your business— more like an overindulgent parent which believes in you. That said, overindulgence isn’t parenting anymore, it’s enabling.

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