Accelerating your business at full speed

Is an accelerator program right for your startup?
Accelerators & Incubators
August 22 | 4 min

As an entrepreneur, you know how hard it is to start a successful business. However, though the startup culture is known to be cutthroat, not everyone wants to see you fail. In fact, a multitude of programs have been established to help you through your journey as a founder. One of these programs is called an “accelerator.” Accelerators are proof that, though it may seem hard to believe at times, some parts of the business world really do want to see you succeed.

How do accelerators work?
Accelerators teach founders how to win over investors for their businesses. Accelerators are usually the first sources of investment for startup companies. In simplest terms, accelerators are short-term programs that provide businesses with a number of resources to help propel them toward growth and success. These resources include funding, mentorship, and networking.

Therefore, participating in these programs results in all kinds of benefits. Firstly, joining an accelerator could be the key to quickly seeing progress in terms of growing your business. Secondly, an accelerator could give your new business the tools you need for starting out, most of which you would not be able to source on your own. Thirdly, participating in an accelerator program may be your claim to fame; accelerators provide credibility, through rigorous training, that will make your business seem more viable in the eyes of investors.

Accelerator checklist:
Do you think your company should go into an accelerator program ? Here is a five-point checklist to ensure that you are setting yourself up for success:

Is your startup a good fit for an accelerator program?
For most accelerator programs, the main goal is to grow the entrepreneurial climate in the area in which they are based. That being said, you must make sure that the goals you have envisioned for your company correspond with the accelerator’s mission. Furthermore, (as with any other important decision) you need to prepare a clear plan before you make any big moves with for your startup.

Can you dedicate all of your time and effort into the program?
It’s no secret that the more effort you put in, the more success you’re going to see. The companies that exit the program have achieved visible growth and captured the attention of investors. Before joining an accelerator, you must ask yourself, “am I ready for this kind of commitment?” In accelerator programs, you get what you give, so you must be prepared to give it your all!

Are you doing this for something more than just money?
Don’t be greedy! The most common mistake most founders make is going into these programs and expecting money to come easily. Unfortunately, those who expect things to be handed to them on a silver platter will not succeed in the startup world. As previously mentioned, starting a business and working with an accelerator takes time and hard work. While immersed in this program, founders should be willing to receive feedback and criticism among other things, as it is through this feedback that they will improve and market their companies to the people writing the checks.

Are you ready to pitch?
How are your pitching skills? If you don’t have your own version of the infamous “elevator pitch” down, you may need to reconsider joining an accelerator. According to Business News Daily, you can create a good pitch if you avoid getting too technical when it comes to describing your product or service, as that could cause confusion and be a turn-off to investors. Instead, you should make sure that you are able to clearly and concisely differentiate your business from the competition. Never assume that listeners have the same level of understanding as you. Ultimately, a good pitch is one that is straightforward, summarizes the startup’s key points, and demonstrates how passionate you are about your business.

Are you ready for the hustle?
If you don’t make the most out of the short time you are given in the accelerator, you could waste your entire experience. Be sure that you are 100% ready to take advantage of every opportunity given, make meaningful connections, and keep hustling throughout your time in the accelerator.