With technology success stories like AirBnB and DropBox owing much of their early growth to investment accelerator programmes, there is a huge interest in incubators and accelerators and their ability to assist entrepreneurs to get their business ideas off the ground. Business Optimizer brings you an essential overview.
A business incubator is designed to help entrepreneurs get their business ideas off the ground, while business accelerators support fast-growth businesses manage that rapid expansion. Both have much to offer would-be entrepreneurs keen to fast-track their business.
The main reason for applying for a place on a business incubator or accelerator scheme is to gain valuable mentoring and business support. However, the degree to which you receive this support can vary very much from scheme to scheme, as does the support you continue to receive after graduating from the scheme. This makes it important you don’t lose contact with existing mentors while you are participating in a scheme.
Depending on the scheme, securing a place on an incubator or accelerator programme can bring a significant cash injection into your start-up – something that might otherwise have taken months to secure, especially when the alternative is crowdfunding, for example.
Some incubator schemes lay on extras, such as office space and marketing support, and this can help you to free up time to focus on the big picture.
While there may be many different accelerator and incubator schemes in existence, it must be said that not all incubators and accelerators are created equal. The Virgin blog makes the point, “any start-up founder thinking of joining one needs to do their homework”. Each scheme has its own strengths and weaknesses, whether in the USA or elsewhere. Do your research and check the results of the schemes which are applicable to you.
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