Incubators and Accelerators

How to Make the Most Out of Business Accelerator Programs?

Aakriti

23rd Oct'22
How to Make the Most Out of Business Accelerator Programs? | OpenGrowth

 

Business accelerators or startup accelerators have been in use for ten years, and they don't seem to be losing favor anytime soon. Sure, there has been some backlash against the programs and an increase in the number of programs throughout the globe, but for the most part, being accepted into an accelerator program is still seen as a validation of the idea and business strategy.

 

Although every accelerator may not be the best fit for your startup. For instance, the majority of accelerators demand that you start up a shop in their area. Make sure both you and your partners enjoy the atmosphere and can benefit from the venue in addition to the program.

 

Entrepreneurs are faced with a bewildering array of options due to the proliferation of accelerator programs. Even though local conditions differ, evidence suggests a few things that business owners should examine before deciding whether to join an accelerator. If you are wondering how do I get the most out of my accelerator? Here are some tips for making the most out of your business accelerator program there:

 

1. Don't rush into securing funding

 

Avoid rushing to get investors. You were chosen from among thousands of startups; therefore, while your valuation is low, investors will want to offer you rapid cash. Don't accept the first offer you are given, please. A month or two into the program, you'll have significantly more business knowledge, and your network will have expanded. As demo day draws near, use this time to improve your communication and presenting abilities. Reaching out to fresh investors at that time is significantly more advantageous. At that point, you'll probably be able to acquire a lot more money for less equity.

 

2. Network as much as possible

 

4 people talking

 

The network of contacts that can be accessed is one of the best benefits of joining an acceleration program. You can find the initial clients and financial backing you need to launch your firm through accelerators.

 

It's vital that you establish deep personal connections with your mentors, any investors, and any corporate sponsors you meet while in the program. But don't put maximizing consumer traction ahead of generating money. The initial clients you have will be crucial in helping you realize what you must accomplish to get your business investment-ready.

 

You can make connections with former cohort alumni as part of an accelerated program. These will be excellent sources of information because they will have encountered many of the difficulties that your business will encounter. The same is true for other businesses in your class, where you might discover collaborations or training possibilities that are advantageous to both parties.

 

3. Focus on Growth & Revenue

 

The most crucial thing you can do to assist with financing is to identify products that appeal to users and consumers and produce income or development. Acceleration is not intended to speed up your financing because it is not actually possible during the program. Your company grows faster, which causes funding to grow faster as well. Your objective for the program is to grow as much as you can if you already have some initial product market fit. Key performance indicators, sometimes known as metrics, are set up, and you work hard to move them up and to the right. The ideal metric for you is monthly recurring income (MRR). That would increase the appeal of your business to potential investors.

 

If it isn't possible, then a useful alternative statistic is the growth in beta users or customers. Basically, if you aren't expanding during the program, it indicates that there isn't a market for your product, which indicates that there isn't a product market fit (PMF). This tells investors that you don't have evidence that your business will succeed. On the other hand, it is difficult to contest revenue and client growth. Since Techstars companies are known to advance and expand significantly throughout the program, effective funding is frequently achieved around Demo Day.

 

4. Iterate and Pivot

 

two people discussing stats

 

Let's go on to discuss pivots. Failing quickly has, in my opinion, turned into a cliche that some people overuse. The point is that if your business isn't succeeding, you should pivot. However, you must also give it a fair chance. Iterate weekly, attempting to get better each week, is what you should do while going through the program. In the beginning, you are modifying and improving your initial concept. Then you test to see if it works or not. If you believe that you are unable to generate growth week after week, it may be time to change course. When you decide to modify your course, continue to iterate. Go check if the market is there before putting in more hours of work. Conduct consumer discovery, ensure that you test and learn as much as you can, use a variety of scalable techniques, and demonstrate that the new idea will work.

 

5. Identify your value proposition

 

Before you can get the attention of any incubator, you must have a clear value offer. Many early-stage entrepreneurs are aware of the value their business may provide, but they find it difficult to explain it in plain terms. That not only hinders your ability to present the business to potential clients and incubators, but it also hinders your efforts to expand generally. You run the danger of making unnecessary diversions and pursuing useless goods or services in the absence of a defined value offer. A distinct value proposition helps you stay focused on the elements of your startup that are most important while also demonstrating to incubators your seriousness. They'll be more inclined to realize why they should spend their money on you.

 

6. Think Beyond The Program's Financial Resources

 

Is a startup accelerator right for you?

When choosing an accelerator or incubator, do your homework to ensure that they have more than just cash resources at their disposal to assist you. They should also have access to tools and networking opportunities that are pertinent to your particular field. For instance, specialized tools are needed for drone technology and AI. Where you are looking for assistance is also important. Specialized incubators can congregate in certain areas. To access superior technology and skills and expand your business, it can even be wise to consider migrating.

 

7. Establish Clear Goals and Metrics

 

It's important to prioritize your company's goals in a way that is both measurable and achievable. This guarantees that your leadership team and staff are pointed in the same direction and are in alignment with one another.

 

The utilization of OKRs is one of the best ways tech startups may accomplish this. The term "Objectives and Key Results" refers to the process of creating overarching objectives and assigning time-bound metrics to help them be accomplished.


 

8. Be well prepared with your numbers

 

a work table

 

You should not overlook the significance of providing the appropriate numbers when concentrating on a strong pitch. Review your narrative and decide which data will be most prominent in your presentation. This provides your company's presentation in more depth and explains what they can do to hasten your success. If you know your figures, experts can determine what you need to work on and how to fix them.


 

Conclusion 

 

Many more entrepreneurs now have access to knowledge, mentors, and investors because of the increase in accelerators. Particularly in less developed entrepreneurial ecosystems, this support can be extremely important to a venture's success. Although the growth of accelerators is a good thing for economies all over the world, it can be challenging to determine which strategy is ideal given a venture's specific business model and state of maturity. There are still many unanswered questions, including the relative merits of various models that combine direct investment with acceleration and the effect of accelerators on the larger entrepreneurial ecosystem. We hope that scholars keep accumulating data on if, how, and under what circumstances business growth accelerators help businesses expand so that everyone may effectively engage with them.

 

I hope this was helpful and answered your questions, such as how do I get the most out of my accelerator? All the best for your entrepreneurial endeavors!


 

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A student in more ways than one. Trying to feed her curiosity with news, philosophy, and social commentary. 

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