Startup accelerators do exactly what their name suggests. They accelerate the growth of promising startups through the provision of mentorship, financing and training.
Startup accelerators can make all the difference to new companies that lack the resources of their large competitors, allowing them to build awareness and brand recognition at a rapid pace.
Read on to learn more about what startup accelerators offer and what to look out for in a startup accelerator program.
What is a Startup Accelerator?
Startup accelerators are specialised programs, designed to help startups grow. Typically mentor-based, these schemes equip teams running startups with invaluable tools and guidance, which allow them to realise the potential of their new company.
Many factors go into the creation of a startup accelerator. Each one provides different benefits to the startup. The programs are usually quite structured and will offer several different resources to emerging startups. These range from training opportunities to much-needed financial help.
Startup accelerators tend to run for a predetermined period of time. The most common timeframe for a startup accelerator is three months, but it can be designed to run for shorter or longer periods, depending on the requirements of the new company.
Companies seeking the help of startup accelerators will often face stiff competition from other brands looking for the same assistance, so brands need to be able to pitch their ideas and convey their passion about the product or service they’re offering in a way that captivates potential accelerators.
Brands will usually be required to create a prototype or an example of their product to be presented to an accelerator program panel before their company is approved.
If it’s all starting to sound a bit too good to be true, bear in mind that the help provided by startup accelerators rarely comes for free. Accelerator programs will usually require startups to give up a certain percentage of their equity in return for the resources provided. Most agreements mean the startup giving up a stake of anywhere from 5% to 10%.
What Do Startup Accelerators Offer?
Startup accelerator programs offer fantastic benefits to new companies. The resources provided by startup accelerators can make a significant difference to the amount of time it’ll take a new brand to grow.
While there are other options open to startups, such as angel investors and venture capitalists, startup accelerators remain one of the most effective ways of rapidly ramping up the power of a brand new company as it launches.
They Provide Connections
It’s difficult to overstate the importance of connections in business. The success of new companies is highly dependent on the strength of their industry connections, and startup accelerators can help brands here.
When a company joins forces with a startup accelerator, it’ll gain immediate access to networks of potential investors and mentors, some of whom might prove integral to the long-term success of the brand.
They Offer Management Mentoring
No matter how experienced a manager is, there’s always something new to learn. Management mentoring is a key focus of many startup accelerator programs, as improving the skills of managers can make a difference in the success of a new company.
Company managers benefit from various mentorship and training opportunities as part of the startup accelerator program. Mentorship can be designed to hone all manner of different skills, so managers can take what they need from the options on offer.
Typical mentorship programs focus on topics like communication, leadership, fundraising and company cohesion.
Gain Access to Physical Spaces
Startup accelerator programs will often bring a number of promising startups together under one roof. This provides those involved with fantastic networking opportunities, and it allows highly skilled, creative teams to share their knowledge and ideas as they build their brands.
Access to a physical space makes a huge difference in terms of motivation and engagement among startup teams. Being based in the same building means that teams can work together more effectively and support one another in the challenges they face.
Physical space also allows brands to build camaraderie amongst teams, to get their workforce excited about the company they’re creating.
What to Look for in a Startup Accelerator Program
If you’re on the hunt for a startup accelerator program, you’ll be glad to hear that there are some incredible opportunities out there. Of course, there’s no one size fits all answer to the question of which is best, however.
The ideal startup accelerator for any company depends on the immediate needs of the startup, and the resources its founders feel it would most benefit from.
Start by deciding what you’re looking for in a startup accelerator, and make sure you’re crystal clear on how you plan to grow your company using an accelerator. You’ll then be in a position to begin researching startup accelerator programs that might fit the bill for your brand.
Look out for respected startups that have a good reputation within your industry. Don’t be put off by how difficult it might seem to be accepted by one of the best regarded accelerators. Aim high, focus on your pitch and get ready to convey your passion for your brand in a way that grabs their attention.
Get Advice on Startup Accelerators
If you’d like to learn more about how startup accelerators work and what they could do for your company, get in touch with our team.
Whether you’re just starting to look into startup accelerators or are interested in learning more about growth opportunities for your new company, our team is on hand to help you scale your startup. Give us a call to find out more.