Suppose you have started a new towing service company and you want to accelerate to achieve the maximum growth within the shortest time possible – in such a case, how do you go about it? We all know that startup life can be lonely, especially if you don’t have a competent team surrounding and supporting you. The good news is that organizations and investors all over the world have put together intensive business programs to combat that loneliness and provide much-needed mentorship, education as well as support. This is what we call a startup accelerator.
Startup accelerators are intensive two or three months’ programs that established startups – those with a fixed team and minimum viable product attend to accelerate the growth of their businesses. Accelerators typically involve a selective application process. Once you have been accepted, startups revive education, networking, mentorship, and potential funding.
It is a common practice for startups to enter accelerators with the hope of walking away with funding and investors. Some programs will guarantee some sort of funding in exchange for equity. Other programs will give away limited amounts of funding for nothings – only working with you to achieve completion of the program.
Startup accelerators work in the following ways;
Choose your accelerator
There are hundreds of startup accelerator programs all over the world.
These programs will vary based on location, expert involvement, industry, and funding opportunities. In the United States, most of these opportunities are in bigger cities such as Boston, San Francisco, and New York. You will also find notable accelerators in almost every developed country. When looking for an accelerator, you need to look for aspects such as social proof, relationships, and networking, the industry as well as location.
Apply for the accelerator
Startup accelerators are notoriously very difficult to admit startups. There are a couple of factors they will look into before accepting a business. First is coachability – you must accept to be coached and mentored. You need to be ready to learn and accept suggestions and listen to expert opinions. Additionally, you must have a minimum viable product and real customers. Without a minimum viable product and customer profile, accelerators will never consider your application.
Focus, Learn, and Grow
Applying for an accelerator is tough but once you have been selected, expect real work to begin. Be ready to travel to the accelerator location, set up your team, and get started. You will be allocated a dedicated co-working space where your team can focus on the accelerator and education opportunities. There will be educational seminars and workshops that cover different topics. There will be group and individual mentorship opportunities from industry experts, founders alike as well as investors. There will also be one-on-one check-ins with accelerator leaderships.
At the end of the learning process, you will need to present your business model and receive funding. This is what sets accelerators apart from other intensive business programs. Founders will participate in a demo day to present their business model and attract funding.