If you’re an entrepreneur looking to grow and develop your start-up, an accelerator might be one of your best routes to achieve these goals.
Startup accelerators are fixed-term business programs that support the growth of early-stage companies through mentorship, education, and funding. They are also known as seed accelerators or acceleration programs, and they usually have highly competitive selection processes.
Accelerators are typically cohort-based, cover a variety of different industries, and end with a final pitch day or demo event. There are both public and private accelerators, with many charging a service fee or taking equity in return for seed funding.
Read on to learn about some of the main benefits of accelerators and how they can help your start-up rapidly scale its growth.
Accelerators will help teach you and your team the skills that are essential for success in the world of business. Depending on your industry, these will include fields such as sales and marketing, finance, management, and even technical areas. These programs don’t just focus on developing the skills of the entrepreneurs and founders of each company, but on the team as a whole.
Access to Investors
One of the main reasons to join is an accelerator is that they connect start-ups to investors that are looking to fund growing companies. Throughout the program, teams are usually given many chances to network with interested investors, and many potential backers are invited to watch the final pitches and demos.
Peer Support and Feedback
As accelerators typically structure their intakes as cohort batches, this means that there is a great deal of learning that comes from fraternizing with other early-stage companies. They often offer a common working area where networking and collaboration can take place, and different teams are scheduled to meet with each other on a regular basis.
Most accelerators provide between $20,000 and $150,000 in exchange for 5–15% of a start-up’s equity. With this starting amount of capital, the teams are able to focus on learning and growing rather than finding investors. Many accelerators also run a venture capital fund, which can lead to further financing later on.
Connections With Mentors
An important quality of acceleration programs is that they connect start-ups with mentors that have experience in a relevant business sector or field. They’re generally well-versed in the sphere of innovation, and they can range from successful founders to industry leaders and major CEOs.