Know Your Accelerators, An Age Old Startup Advice!

Success doesn’t build overnight. Today, we see so many well established companies around us. Be it Google, Apple or Amazon, all of these companies started back in the day, when startup culture was pretty new globally.

Back in those days, the startup success formula was different. It was a simple combination of a strong idea, a business model, funds and good old-fashioned hard work! Today however the startup scenery is much different.  Back then there was no definition of a  startups like there is today, as defined by the government’s Startup India program.

Today’s startups function differently though…Its not just about getting the best idea…but so much more than that!

These days, we have resources available, that entrepreneurs can use to make their startup work. Accelerators have been one of those resources. A facility which gives your startup an edge over the numerous competitors.  Yesteryear’s startups didn’t have the advantage of having associations with accelerators. Today, this concept has become a growing trend amongst startups.

But what is it, exactly? And, what are its benefits?Lets discuss that shall we!

Accelerators Provide Mentorship…

Probably the most important thing for entrepreneurs is the guidance they get in their initial years. Startup founders are usually young and inexperienced, out of their comfort zones constantly fighting for survival…

Who wouldn’t want a good, dependable mentor to look up to when times are tough. Mentorship gives your efforts direction, and higher productivity. Sometimes the angels that invest in you, mentor you. Accelerators give you the facility of mentor access too.

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When looking for a mentor, ask yourself the question;

Would this mentorship help us reduce the learning curve by 6 months?

Accelerators mentor

An idea is only worth anything if it can generate cash. A lot of entrepreneurs these days focus so much on a getting good ideas, that focus on the implementation part is lost. A good mentor can help you improve your business model beforehand, so that your efforts are on tracks from the start.

And that precisely, is the function of a startup mentor, to reduce the time cycle and provide knowledge to those under his/her tutelage.

Huge Network, Makes Market Access Easy…

Second advantage an accelerator gives out is the huge network of entrepreneurs that it has partnered with. As an entrepreneur it is very important to remember the age old business adage

Your net worth is your Network!

An accelerator helps with your “Net worth” !

Your accelerator can help you reach out to business partners, customer bases, media houses, marketing organizations… the list goes on.

This makes it easy for your startup to reach customers and increase the visibility of your concept. If you can engender an amiable relationship with various business men and customers also, it will immensely help your company to leverage any future business opportunity.

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Funds And Ownership…

Accelerators usually  provide funds to your startup, in the form of grants. Now you have to research the accelerator well before approaching them. Because, some of these grants are equity free, which means that the grant doesn’t require you to to give out any shares/equity in the business.

Mark Zuckerberg makes money
Know everything about the funding options before getting into the accelerator program.

But, some accelerators require a share in your business, i.e. aren’t equity free. Both these class of accelerators have their benefits.

Other than equity share, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) also need to be considered. Do make sure of the nature of the support you are getting.

 Moving forward…

It all depends on your requirements, as an entrepreneur. If you are just starting up in your entrepreneurial endeavors, go for an accelerator providing an equity free funding, and regular boot camps. Be crystal clear about the accelerator you are going for. Y Combinator, Techstars, and the Brandery are some of the most well-known accelerators.

Share this article with your friends who are looking for some guidance in their startup endeavors.