To put it simply, startup accelerators are a startup’s best friend. Startup accelerators help to fuel your business acumen and fight startup challenges by providing mentorship, support, education, and more.
Although startup accelerators are great, they aren’t right for everyone. These programs can be quite competitive and exhaustive.
And it is this aspect that has transformed the young businesses into global, revolutionary companies (think Dropbox and Airbnb).
This guide explains what startup accelerators are and if they are the right choice for your business.
What Are Startup Accelerators?
Startup accelerators are vigorous two to three-month programs for established startups (those with a settled team, well-defined customer profiles, and a minimum viable product) to accelerate the progress of their business.
According to TechTarget:
Startup accelerators often have a selective application process. Startups that are accepted receive mentorship, education, potential funding, and networking opportunities.
It’s usual for startups to enter these accelerator programs in the hope of walking away with some funding.
That happens often when these programs guarantee some funding in exchange for an equity stake.
However, there are programs that give away little funding without asking for anything in return except that you complete the program.
Applying To Startup Accelerators
Startups don’t need any specific funding to qualify for these programs. However, they do need to show a developed product, a strong team, and active customers to qualify.
From nearly no such programs in 2005 to over 200 in 2015 and consecutive years, startup accelerator programs have grown substantially.
This has encouraged more startups to learn, grow, and improve.
These accelerators have invested almost $20 billion in over 5000 startups and that’s just in the U.S. alone.
The best part about this program is that it benefits all the parties involves- investors, customers, companies, and the economy at large.
Is Your Tech Business Ready To Be A Part Of A Startup Accelerator?
It can be a little confusing to know whether your tech startup is ready to be a part of a startup accelerator or not.
If you’re in such a spot, ask yourself these following questions to get a clearer idea:
- Is your business growing? If you’re collecting new customers, hiring employees at an overwhelming speed, then you’re ready for the program.
- Do you have an MVP (Minimum Viable Product)? Startup accelerators are only for those businesses that have defined and sold an MVP.
- Are you open to mentorship? Are you in a place where you can clearly articulate your challenges? If you have a distinct, unanswered question that only experts might be able to answer, then it’s time for an accelerator.
- Do you have an established customer profile and a growing customer base? Accelerators benefit businesses that have loyal customers and are willing to indulge in in-depth research to further expand their customer base.
- Can you afford the price? While startup accelerator programs provide funding, they do not give the benefit of paying your way through the program. Before you sign up, ensure that your team and you can afford to set aside a few months as you focus on your growth.
- Can you relocate? Many startup accelerator programs require physical relocation to get the most out of their resources and offerings. Which is arguably a small price to pay for the larger reward for your business’ future.
How Do Startup Accelerators Work?
Read more here.
Originally published at https://get.tech on September 17, 2019.