Funding has always been a bone of contention for the numerous startups out there. The overwhelming number of options open to people seeking to fund their startups makes one feel confused. But the number of options open does not make any of the paths any easier. Accelerators are one of the best avenues open to a founder if there is one in your vicinity.
Accelerators facilitate the process through which founders learn the put in their best pitch to investors and convince them to see their point of view as far as the business plan and idea are concerned. Accelerators help you in a number of ways which include:
1. Forging Connections
Accelerators help founders in forging connections with other investors and entrepreneurs in their respective area. This proves invaluable and founders would do well to spend some time getting involved in activities that give him exposure to the ecosystem. The help extended to a startup by a mentor alone often times makes the accelerator experience worthwhile. But founders can potentially come out of an accelerator with much more like partnerships, investors and also new friends.
2. See the Bigger Picture
The communication of thoughts offers vital new perspectives on a product or service which might elude an entrepreneur all on his own. Accelerators help founders get a view of the bigger picture and free the reins of their imaginations with regards to the limitations of their product or service.
Accelerators help founder determine the answer to crucial questions like:
- The target audience of the service or product.
- Is it worth enough to pay for?
- Is the pricing correct?
- Is our solution suitable or are there better alternatives?
People from the startup ecosystem will prove to be of immense value to a founder when it comes to answering these questions. Make your idea malleable, open to modifications which will go a long way in ensuring success in your venture.
3. Practice Practice Practice
When you are in an accelerator you get the golden chance to have mock pitching experiences which help you in making the perfect pitch where it matters the most, before an interested investor. These people are themselves investors and they help you gain valuable feedback regarding your pitch. You should be intimate with the slide material or what is there in your pitch.
With the help of an accelerator companies are able to:
- Pitch the right way through practice.
- Get crucial feedback and sound advice from investors.
- Gain a better understanding of the entire process of pitching.
- Explore the deficiencies in your pitch and correct them accordingly.
4. Keep your competition close
When you are at an accelerator you get the unique chance to gain a real-world view of what the competition is doing. Irrespective of in-person or remote participation, you get a first-hand experience of watching other startups at work and observe and analyze their pitches and how they handle crucial questions as asked by investors. Many noted startups have revealed that by observing the pitches of other fellow startup founders, they were able to refine their own. Even in cases where the product or service are worlds apart, some lessons remain common. You will also get the chance to learn from the mistakes of other startups. This environment of symbiotic relationships bodes well for all of the startups concerned in the initiative provided you are willing to learn.
5. Incubators and Accelerators
Incubators are primarily focussed on the growth of startups. They provide working space, training and mentoring. There is a marked difference between incubators and accelerators. Incubators tend to let startups have their base in them for longer periods of time. This time period may often extend to even years. In case of incubators, it is also mostly found that they are conducted by an organization which does not aim at a profit like governmental bodies, universities or even civic groups.
The Key Takeaways
An accelerator is really a smart choice for a startup as they breed an environment conducive to training, coaching and mentoring that is often exhaustive. Not to mention the value in terms of refining the pitch for your startup.