Start‌ ‌up‌ ‌for‌ ‌Beginners,‌ ‌Source‌ ‌of‌ ‌Fund‌ ‌That‌ ‌You‌ ‌Can‌ ‌Get‌

Sometimes inspiration isn’t the problem, it’s determining whether you actually have a good idea or not. It’s important to be critical of your idea and ask for feedback from as many people as possible. Several strategies to help you determine if you have an effective business idea.

Does it solve a problem?
The best business ideas are those that solve a problem in some way.

If there is a problem that affects you, your friends, family, co-workers, etc., then the chances are high that it affects people you don’t know as well.

Will people pay for it?
It’s paying customers who validate an idea and determine which ones have the greatest chance for success.


“An idea is just an idea until you have a paying customer attached to it,” Schroter said. “Anyone can discredit a simple idea, but no one can discredit paying customers.”

– What’s your price point?

Once you have determined that you are solving a legitimate problem in a scalable way, you need to determine not only the value that it delivers to the world but what people would pay for that value. Once you determine the price, then you can assess if your solution is business-worthy or not.

Is there a sizable niche market for it?
Without a large enough market, your idea may never get off the ground. You need to determine if a niche market exists for your idea. You’re better poised for success if your business improves upon what’s already out there – a novel response to a recognized need.

How can you tell if a niche market is, in fact, a market? It’s a mix of “research, gut instinct and personal preference.Are you passionate enough about it?
Your business will likely consume all of your time, so make sure you’re passionate about it to make it successful. It’s important that your idea is something you truly care about, not just something you’ve targeted because it seems like it could be lucrative.


Have you tested your idea?
You won’t know if your business is viable until you test it on strangers.
Test it – not just with friends who will be too polite to tell the truth but with honest people who would make up your ideal target audience, and then listen to the feedback 

Are you open to advice?

If you’re not open to changing or adapting your idea to fit what your customers want, your business idea might not be worth pursuing.

Success happens when you are willing to listen and consider others’ advice.

How will you market your business?

Many entrepreneurs think about the problems their business will solve but not about how they intend to market their business to their target customers. 


Are you being realistic about your goals?

As excited as you may be about a new business idea, it’s important to stay grounded and be realistic about it

Bottom line

Stop talking and start writing. Talking about an idea prior to doing some initial processing on paper tricks our brains into thinking that we are actually doing something about the concept.

Here’s an overview of seven typical sources of financing for start-ups:

1. Personal investment
 

When starting a business, your first investor should be yourself—either with your own cash or with collateral on your assets. This proves to investors and bankers that you have a long-term commitment to your project and that you are ready to take risks.

2. Love money

This is money loaned by a spouse, parents, family or friends. Investors and bankers considers this as “patient capital”, which is money that will be repaid later as your business profits increase.

When borrowing love money, you should be aware that:

Family and friends rarely have much capital
They may want to have equity in your business
A business relationship with family or friends should never be taken lightly

3. Venture capital

The first thing to keep in mind is that venture capital is not necessarily for all entrepreneurs. Right from the start, you should be aware that venture capitalists are looking for technology-driven businesses and companies with high-growth potential in sectors such as information technology, communications and biotechnology.

Venture capitalists take an equity position in the company to help it carry out a promising but higher risk project. This involves giving up some ownership or equity in your business to an external party. Venture capitalists also expect a healthy return on their investment, often generated when the business starts selling shares to the public. Be sure to look for investors who bring relevant experience and knowledge to your business.

BDC has a venture capital team that supports leading-edge companies strategically positioned in a promising market. Like most other venture capital companies, it gets involved in start-ups with high-growth potential, preferring to focus on major interventions when a company needs a large amount of financing to get established in its market.

4. Angels

Angels are generally wealthy individuals or retired company executives who invest directly in small firms owned by others. They are often leaders in their own field who not only contribute their experience and network of contacts but also their technical and/or management knowledge. Angels tend to finance the early stages of the business with investments in the order of $25,000 to $100,000. Institutional venture capitalists prefer larger investments, in the order of $1,000,000.

In exchange for risking their money, they reserve the right to supervise the company’s management practices. In concrete terms, this often involves a seat on the board of directors and an assurance of transparency.

Angels tend to keep a low profile. To meet them, you have to contact specialized associations or search websites on angels. The National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) is an umbrella organization that helps build capacity for Canadian angel investors. You can check out their member’s directory for ideas about who to contact in your region.

5. Business incubators
Business incubators (or “accelerators”) generally focus on the high-tech sector by providing support for new businesses in various stages of development. However, there are also local economic development incubators, which are focused on areas such as job creation, revitalization and hosting and sharing services.

Commonly, incubators will invite future businesses and other fledgling companies to share their premises, as well as their administrative, logistical and technical resources. For example, an incubator might share the use of its laboratories so that a new business can develop and test its products more cheaply before beginning production.
Generally, the incubation phase can last up to two years. Once the product is ready, the business usually leaves the incubator’s premises to enter its industrial production phase and is on its own.

Businesses that receive this kind of support often operate within state-of-the-art sectors such as biotechnology, information technology, multimedia, or industrial technology.

MaRS – an innovation hub in Toronto – has a selective list of business incubators in Canada, plus links to other resources on its website.

6. Government grants and subsidies
Government agencies provide financing such as grants and subsidies that may be available to your business. 

Successful Startup Accelerators

Learn From Successful Startup Accelerators, What Are the Do’s and Don’ts

“Why do startups accelerator fail?” Here we will learn from successful startup accelerators, what are the do’s and don’ts. 

So we identified the top 7 reasons startups fail so you don’t do. Since many startups offered multiple reasons for their failure, you’ll see that the chart highlighting the top reasons doesn’t add up to 100% (it far exceeds it).

Why do startups accelerator fail?


Following the chart is an explanation of each reason and relevant examples from the post-mortems.

There is certainly no survivorship bias here. But many very relevant lessons for anyone in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

It’s worth noting that this type of data-driven analysis would not be possible without a number of founders being courageous enough to share stories of their startup’s demise with the world. So a big thank you to them.

1. Burned out/lacked passion

Work-life balance is not something that startup founders often get, so the risk of burning out is high. Burnout was given as a reason for failure 5% of the time. The ability to cut your losses where necessary and redirect your efforts when you see a dead end — or lack passion for a domain — was deemed important to succeeding and avoiding burnout, as was having a solid, diverse, and driven team so that responsibilities can be shared.

What can make conversations about burnout difficult, especially in Silicon Valley, is the widespread belief that building a successful company will always involve some degree of possibly hazardous overwork. As former Uber board member and CEO of Thrive Global Arianna Huffington puts it:

“The prevalent view of startup founders in Silicon Valley is a delusion that in order to succeed, in order to build a high-growth company, you need to burn out.”

Amid the pandemic, burnout became even more prevalent among tech workers: 68% of tech employees said they felt more burned out working from home, according to a survey by Blind.

Various founders have spoken up about how damaging burnout can be. Former Zenefits CEO Parker Conrad said,

“I think people are unprepared for how hard and awful it is going to be to start a company. I certainly was.”

2. Pivot gone bad

Pivots like Burbn to Instagram or ThePoint to Groupon can go extraordinarily well. Or they can start you down the wrong road.

As The Verge reported on Inboard Technology‘s failed pivot:


“The startup was one of the highest-profile competitors to top electric skateboard company Boosted, and last year announced plans to enter the electric scooter market — a push that seems to have doomed Inboard.

Founder (and now-former CEO) Ryan Evans told The Verge his team had locked down ‘a very large order’ from ‘one of the largest European scooter operators,’ which explains why the company quickly pivoted away from trying to sell its first e-scooter directly to consumers earlier this year. But Evans said the development timeline for Inboard’s e-scooter ‘outstretched’ its financial runway.”

After investors refused to inject more funds, the company was forced to shut down.

3. Disharmony among team/investors

Discord with a co-founder was a fatal issue for startup post-mortem companies. But acrimony isn’t limited to the founding team, and when things go bad with a board or investor, it can get ugly pretty quickly, as evidenced in the case of Hubba.

Douglas Soltys writes for BetaKit:

“Considered for most of the decade one of Toronto’s hottest startups, Hubba hit choppy waves in 2018, as the company lost its chief technology officer and chief marketing officer in an three-month span, in addition to two rounds of layoffs which saw headcount reduced by almost half.

It is unclear to what extent the COVID-19 pandemic had hampered Hubba’s growth and customer base. However, one source BetaKit spoke with claimed a months-long battle between [Hubba CEO and founder Ben] Zifkin and Hubba’s board of directors regarding the ongoing viability of the company.”

At Pellion Technologies, the end came more quietly, as its major backer Khosla Ventures lost faith in the company’s ability to execute:

“According to former employees, all of whom requested anonymity, Khosla Ventures lost confidence that Pellion could make enough money serving a niche market. The lithium-metal technology worked for products like drones, but the big money in the battery world is in the automotive sector. Investors weren’t willing to sink the money needed to develop the battery for electric vehicles.”

In March 2019, Khosla decided the company would be shut down and removed Pellion’s name from its online firm portfolio.

4. Poor product

Sometimes, it all comes down to the product — and a flawed one was enough to sink companies in 8% of cases.


According to a Forbes investigation into finance and accounting platform ScaleFactor

“ScaleFactor used aggressive sales tactics and prioritized chasing capital instead of building software that ultimately fell far short of what it promised, according to interviews with 15 former employees and executives. When customers fled, executives tried to obscure the real damage.”

Bad things also happen when you ignore what users want and need, whether consciously or accidentally.

Here’s what Shoes of Prey wrote about its vision to enable consumers to personalize their own shoes:

“We learnt the hard way that mass market customers don’t want to create, they want to be inspired and shown what to wear. They want to see the latest trends, what celebrities and Instagram influencers are wearing and they want to wear exactly that — both the style and the brand.”

5. Product mistimed

If you release your product too early, users may write it off as not good enough, and getting them back may be difficult if their first impression of you is negative. And if you release your product too late, you may have missed your window of opportunity in the market.

As Stefan Seltz-Axmacher, CEO of autonomous trucking tech startup Starsky Robotics said,

“Timing, more than anything else, is what I think is to blame for our unfortunate fate. Our approach, I still believe, was the right one but the space was too overwhelmed with the unmet promise of AI to focus on a practical solution. As those breakthroughs failed to appear, the downpour of investor interest became a drizzle.”

6. Not the right team

A diverse team with different skill sets was often cited as being critical to the success of a company. Failure post-mortems often lamented that “I wish we had a CTO from the start” or wished that the startup had “a founder that loved the business aspect of things.”

At Fieldbook, which shut down after failing to build a sustainable business model for its database product, co-founder Jason Crawford wrote in his post-mortem blog post that the company’s inability to make key hires was one of the reasons for its downfall:

“I was blindsided by the difficulty of hiring. Hiring was something I’d done successfully for years, including in the early days of Fieldbook and in a previous startup. But at a time when every engineer wanted to work on AI, self-driving cars or cryptocurrencies, a SaaS startup with modest, sporadic growth wasn’t very attractive. I knew that investors would need to see strong, consistent growth before our Series A, but I didn’t expect that engineers would need to see it to even join before Series A.”

Lack of experience, combined with mismanagement, was one of the factors behind the downfall of Katerra, the high-flying construction startup which raised nearly $1.5B in funding. As The Information summarizes,

7. Pricing/cost issues

Pricing is a dark art when it comes to startup success, and startup post-mortems highlight the difficulty in pricing a product high enough to eventually cover costs but low enough to bring in customers.

Hey Tiger struggled to find the right balance in its effort to produce high-quality chocolate and address inequities in the cocoa industry, writing,

“But like any start up, there comes a time when you need to take a hard look at the company’s long term viability. Although we designed a business that customers absolutely love, it proved hard to scale into the profitability it needed to be a sustainable social enterprise. As the scale of our chocolate production grew, so did the tensions between the very things that made Hey Tiger special. Ultimately while succeeding in one goal, we couldn’t make the other.”

The 2019 shutdown of genetic testing and scientific wellness startup Arivale came as a surprise to many partners and customers, but the reason behind the company’s failure was simple: the price of running the company was too high compared to the revenues it brought in.

And learning from the succesfull startup accelerator, those things 11 Tips for Succeeding in a Startup Accelerator

1. Be Open to Mentorship

Angela Ruth You’ll succeed in an accelerator program when you’re open to the advice of the experts running the program. Even if this means pivoting your startup or making significant changes to your business model, it’s important to listen and consider what these experts are telling you. They have the knowledge and experiences that can help ensure your idea becomes a sustainable business. –Angela Ruth, eCash

2. Befriend Others

 Rather than brushing off other companies in the program that you think have bad ideas or won’t be successful, you should befriend those founders. If their companies don’t end up working out, they’ll be looking around for new opportunities, and could be great resources for you and your company once hiring talent becomes your biggest problem (which tends to happen after accelerators). –Mattan Griffel, One Month

3. Focus on Progress
Julien PhamOne great advantage of an accelerator is the opportunity to have intense, focused attention on your company in a short period of time. No more call-backs, reschedules, and meetings months out. But you will also hear contradictory advice–lots of it. Take everything with a grain of salt, focus on building lasting relationships, and don’t forget to make time for actual progress. –Julien Pham, RubiconMD

4. Take Advantage
David CiccarelliKnow that your time at the accelerator will fly by, and you only have a brief period to make the most of the resources available to you. This means attending all the sessions and workshops; meet with your mentors and take them out for lunch to glean even more advice from them. In short, throw yourself into the entire experience. Soak it up while you can, because one day, it will be over. –David Ciccarelli, Voices.com

5. Do the Work

As with any mentorship, it’s important to dedicate yourself fully to the experience. If your program gives you assignments, be prepared to do the work. Attend any meetings fully prepared to ask targeted questions. Take coaching calls seriously by having a goal set for each session. Don’t over-invest yourself in anything else while enrolled in the program; make the time to make it work. –Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

6. Check Your Ego

Zac Johnson It’s easy to think you know a lot about what you do, but this mentality can be a huge disadvantage. When participating in groups or accelerator programs, check your ego at the door and look at everything as a learning experience. As the saying goes, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” Learn from others, participate as often as possible, and take notes! –Zac Johnson, How to Start a Blog


7. Build Your Network Aron Susman Tap into all the networking opportunities. Accelerators bring together the best minds across many different industries, so take advantage of the unique opportunity to connect with as many people as possible. With these new connections, you’ll be able to build relationships that can help your business, or even help you identify problems that have hindered others in the past. –Aron Susman, TheSquareFoot

startup accelerator indonesia

Early Steps of growing Succesful Startup business with Help of a Startup Accelerator

Early Steps the application process is done in stages

Startup Accelerator | Building a startup business not easy in the beginning, that’s why you need help from a Startup up Accelerator. Here are steps on how to grow your startup business with help of a startup accelerator.


1. Application

 An application will ask for specifics on a startup’s idea, market, traction, team, and other aspects vital to success.


2. Assessment

 Promising teams from the pre-screening phase move on to be assessed for investability, revenue potential, and overall strength of the product/service offering.


3. Interview

At this stage the accelerator is very interested, but wants to know about the team, product and evidence of traction. The interview process typically takes 20-30 minutes. 


4. Evaluation 

Interviewees provide documents to prove their statements about revenue, legal standing, or any claims made about the company.


5. Acceptance

Upon completion of the final evaluations, the investment committee will meet to finalize where the funding will go during the 12-16 week program. Roughly 30-60% of the teams that made it to Assessment phase will receive funding.

6. Helpful sources to spark new ideas

Try and Find Inspiration in the World Around you


Sometimes you need a source of inspiration to spur that lightbulb moment. Try and find inspiration in the world around you. Here are four places to look for inspiration:

Study successful entrepreneurs. It’s hard to know where you’re going if you don’t know where the great entrepreneurs before you have been. Read origin stories and study successful business titans. How did they come up with their business idea? What advice do they have to up-and-coming entrepreneurs? Learn all you can before you embark on your own journey.

Use your smartphone. If you know you want to create an app, but you’re not sure exactly what you want to create, search through the app store. Search categories of interest. Do you notice whether anything is missing or how apps in that category could be improved?

Can you find similar products or services using search engines? The internet is incredibly helpful when it comes to finding products and services that you are in the market for. But have you ever searched and searched for something, and not been able to find it? That should be a tipoff of a potential opening in the market that should you act on.

7. Turn to social media. 

People on social media are often quick to identify issues and problems they have with current products, places, processes, etc., but few take the time to come up with a solution. Reading through people’s grievances can give you great insight into problems other people have that you can solve. Online review sites can offer the same.

8. Best practices for startup accelerators

Given the potential—but not the guarantee—of significant benefits from accelerators on local startup ecosystems and wider economic growth, it bears considering what works:  What traits and conditions make accelerators effective?

Recently, Brad Feld sat down to discuss the accelerator concept, and importantly, accelerator best practices.

Feld provides a number of useful perspectives, given his experience with accelerators, and so it’s worth noting a few of Feld’s “dos” and “don’ts” for accelerator design and operation:

Along these lines, Feld suggests strong accelerator organizations:

  • Understand what an effective mentor is and knowing how to effectively engage with them throughout the program’s duration
  • Have a good rhythm for the program that is absorbable by founders—don’t go too fast or too slow
  • Create awareness of the stress and conflict points among and between the various participants (companies, founders, mentors) that will inevitably occur throughout the program, and strategically channeling those into learning opportunities embedded in the program itself
  • Build a culture and network around the accelerator that feeds on itself and perpetuates a lifetime process of learning
  • At the same time, problems arise when accelerators:
  • Fail to have a clear view of the mentor dynamic—not helping mentors understand how they can be effective in working with companies.
  • Fail to set expectations at the outset around what the accelerator can do, and what is sensible given a company’s individual situation.
  • Fail to focus on the people, rather than idea (at TechStars the mantra is people, people, people, idea—the idea is the price of admission, the key thing is the people), because it is the people that matter most and will be lasting, while the idea will morph a lot.
  • Fail to understand how to scale their program (how fast do you want to grow? What is your strategy? To expand geographically? To expand the number of programs?).
  • Fail to have a point of view about what they are trying to accomplish.  Simply emulating what other accelerator programs are doing, for example, fails to understand that there is more than one approach.

Tip: Throughout the application process, write concise answers that leave room for future conversations. Create interest in your proposal but don’t try to answer every possible question.

Make it easy to access critical business information with links to slide decks, LinkedIn profiles, videos, references, and anything else you think would help investors realize the potential of your startup.

Useful for accelerator creators and managers, these watchwords should also be considered by state and local policymakers, university officials, and economic development leaders who are increasingly investing in or otherwise engaging in the establishment of new accelerators in U.S. cities.

The systematic information available about the impact of startup accelerators is as yet thin and fragmentary. Much research needs to be done to better understand the effectiveness of these programs and the broader impact they have on startup communities—particularly as national and regional authorities look to them as tools for economic growth.

However, early evidence points to the potential for substantial benefits. Done well, these programs can be effective at helping some of our most high-potential companies reach goals more quickly and assuredly. Perhaps more importantly, they have been shown to attract more investors and focus energy on the nascent startup communities that have been spreading throughout the United States, which will no doubt be critical for boosting high-impact entrepreneurship and hard-to-come-by growth in the future.

Examples of Most Successful Startup Accelerator in the World

Global accelerators are fueling entrepreneurs and startups with supportive ecosystems and plenty of fresh funding.  These programs provide mentorship and capital in return for equity. This is put in place to help a start-up grow over a three to four month period.

Besides the investment, accelerators typically offer their startups free office space, business and management consulting, feedback on the product, and access to investors in the form of a demo day.

During demo days founders would present their pitch deck to an audience of angel investors as well as representatives from Venture Capital firms. For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel.

Staff from accelerator programs take into consideration many common themes when reviewing applications, such as addressing a large market, having a bold and crazy idea, showing some form of traction or signs that the company will be able to hit a milestone while in the program – but the most common, and debatably most important, is the team behind the company.

Getting into some of these programs is very difficult as acceptance rate can be as low as 1.5%. In such case, for every 7,000 applications there will be only 106 spots available. For comparison, Stanford has a 5.1% student acceptance rate and Harvard’s acceptance rate is around 5.9%. Rounding out the most active 20 accelerators are firms in Shenzhen, Sofia, Buenos Aires, New York, Brussels and Toronto. This shows that while Silicon Valley may be the most established VC and startup hub on the map, it now has an intense amount of competition from all types of locations around the globe.

Success Based on Number of Exits According to data from Crunchbase below are 10 accelerators based on successful number of exits.

1. Y Combinator

Y Combinator is a pioneer in the startup accelerator space. Each year the accelerator funds a group of new startups with $120k. A number that was lowered to reduce friction between founders. So far, the companies it has been involved with have a combined valuation of over $100B. Some of the most notable include: Airbnb, Dropbox, Stripe, Reddit, Twitch, Coinbase, and Weebly.

2. 500 Startups

500 Startups is a seed and early stage venture capital fund, consisting of 4 major funds and 13 micro funds which have invested in startups in at least 60 countries. Funded startups include Udemy and Credit Karma. Exits have included sales to Google and Rakuten. 500 Startups recently took in equity from Abu Dhabi Financial Group, giving the firm one of its only two board seats.

3. Techstars

Techstars funds, mentors and accelerates startups. Its accelerator program has produced over 1,000 companies valued at over $8B. Techstars is the name behind Startup Week and Startup Weekend, which spur entrepreneurs to kick procrastination to the curb and launch new ventures in a matter of hours.

4. Plug and Play

Plug and Play Ventures has put 51% of its investments into pre-seed ventures, achieved 8 exits in 2017, invested in 262 new startups last year and holds networking events every day. The accelerator’s in-house VC is reportedly willing to write checks from $25,000 to $500,000. It’s portfolio companies have raised a combined $7B.

5) MassChallenge

Although based in Boston, MassChallenge has accelerator programs around the world, with locations in Israel, the UK, Mexico and Switzerland. In the past 8 years the accelerator says its startups have created 80,000 jobs. The program appears to be heavy in Biotech and Fintech.

6) SOSV

SOSV closed its own third round of funding for $150M in January 2017.  The ‘accelerator VC’ started by Sean O’ Sullivan prides itself on creating real products, not just digital ones. With access to real labs and makerspaces it appears to be popular with food-tech and biotech startups.

7) Startupbootcamp

Startupbootcamp runs IOT, Fintech, Insurtech and Foodtech programs around the world from Singapore to London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Dublin, Dubai and Amsterdam. To date Startupbootcamp has accelerated startups with an average funding amount of 1.168M Euros.

8) Internet Initiatives Development Funds (IIDF)

IIDF is established by the Agency for Strategic Initiatives. It is a Russian venture capital fund. This accelerator invests in tech companies in the early stages of development. IIDF facilitates startups in Retail, Adtech, CyberSecurity, BigData, IoT, and Edutech, etc. Almost, every year more than 4,500 startups participate in IIDF’s online basic programs. There are also 20,000 online attending events and hackathons provided by IIDF. Internet Initiatives Development Funds have invested in 335 companies and their total number of successful exits is 21.

9) Wayra

Wayra is a global technology innovation hub. It was founded in 2011 in Latin America and then expanded in many countries. Wayra is financially supported by one of the largest telecommunication companies in the world called “Telefonica”.

Wayra invests around $50,000 in startups. Wayra also claims that 45% of its startups have female founders which is a good thing. Wayra invested in 960 companies and the total number of successful exits is 18.

10) Startup Chile

Start-Up Chile is a seed accelerator. It was created by the Chilean government in 2010. It is located in Santiago, Chile. Start-Up Chile provides equity-free investments to its qualified startups.

It is the most unique and active accelerator program worldwide. It provides almost $80,000 equity-free funds to its startups and $100,000 in perks.

Start-up Chile invested in 837 companies and the total number of successful exits is 16. The best of Start-Up Chile is that it provides pre-accelerator programs for startups led by female founders in the world. This program is called “The S Factory”.

Best Startup Accelerator in the World is trying to fuel up startups and entrepreneurs with plenty of funding and supportive ecosystems. These accelerators also provide mentorship and capital in return for equity. The mentorship continues for at least three to four months so that an entrepreneur or startup can get maximum support in taking their idea/business to the next level.

Accelerators not only invest in these startups/entrepreneurs, but they also provide them free office space, business and management consultancy, product feedback, and open access to different investors.

 Access to different investors can be in the form of one day demo. During the demo day, founders would present their pitch to investors and representatives from Venture Capital Firms. This demo includes a detailed presentation of the startups and how they are working hard to produce something big.

startup business

Knowing Startup Business and The Oppurtinity

Here are 10 of The Best Reasons for Starting Your Own Business

Deciding to start your own business is a leap of faith. It requires pushing out of your comfort zone and trying something new. If that idea excites you, why wait around? You’re ready to take the leap and be the CEO of your OWN COMPANY. It’s a lot of work and there are some risks, but the potential for rewards is huge. If you’re not convinced yet, here are 10 of the best reasons for starting your own business.

1. Each day at the office will be motivating.

When you’re working for someone else, it can be tough to find the motivation to do the best possible work. No matter how much work you put in, the owners of the company will get the ultimate rewards.

When you’re your own boss, you’ll find motivation at work every day. Following your dreams is exciting, and you’re in control of your own success. The day-to-day vitality of your business depends on you, so you’ll be driven to make each day as productive as you can. You’ll know that your own hard work and drive will help you reap the rewards, and that’ll keep the fire burning in your belly to make each day count.
 
2. You’ll be following your passions


Many entrepreneurs start their own business to follow their dreams and fulfill their passion. Following your dreams will fulfill you in a way that working for someone else may not do. You are in charge of creating your business from the ground up, so you can shape your company to be something you’re proud of and that you may even be able to pass on to your children as your legacy.

3. You can pursue social justice or support non-profits


One of the most fulfilling parts of becoming an entrepreneur is setting up your company for social gain. You can opt to support non-profits, charities, or community efforts with your profits. Or you can set up your business to solve a problem in your community or in the world at large – whatever your passion may be.

For example, consider Snowday, a company started by teach-turned-entrepreneur Jordyn Lexton. It’s a food truck, but it’s doing more than just filling the hungry bellies of passersby. Snowday employs young people that have been incarcerated (which makes it harder for them to find work) and helps them gain valuable skills and experience on the job. Starting your own business gives you a unique opportunity to make the world a better place.

4. You can achieve financial independence


Many people commit to starting a business with the dream of financial comfort. While it’s true that getting your company off the ground can take grit and result in some lean times while you’re getting started, the ultimate goal of being your own boss is cultivating financial independence. With determination and hard work, there’s no cap on how lucrative your own business can be. If you aspire to build wealth, there’s no reason why you can’t achieve that goal.

Starting your own business has several financial benefits over working for a wage or salary. First, you’re building an enterprise that has the potential for growth – and your wallet grows as your company does. Second, your business itself is a valuable asset. As your business grows, it’s worth more and more. You may decide to sell it or you may hold on to it and pass it down to your heirs. Either way, it’s valuable.

5. You can control your lifestyle and your schedule


Perhaps you’ve spent years in the corporate world and you feel ready to turn over a new leaf after years of reporting to a superior. Starting your own business can give you a more flexible lifestyle and schedule so you don’t feel like you’re running in circles on that corporate hamster wheel. You can opt to schedule meetings around your family schedule or you can opt to work from home – the sky’s the limit when you’re the boss. You still have to get the work done, but nobody’s looking over your shoulder making sure you do it their way on their time.

Starting a business is hard work, and that flexible schedule may not happen right away. Even if you’re working long hours, however, you know that you’re doing it for yourself and your family and not for a distant boss or shareholder.

6. You can start from scratch


This is your business! You make the rules. You’re not restricted by the standards and procedures of your boss or corporate culture. You can offer a product or a service that fits your vision. You can also build your company according to your own ideas. Maybe you’ve thought of a way to make processes more efficient. Maybe you want to make sure your employees get fair wages and family leave time. Whatever problems you’ve encountered in the working world, you have a chance to do something different with your own business.

Many entrepreneurs say that once they’ve sampled the freedom of being their own boss and calling the shots at running their own company, they’d never want to work for someone else again.


7. You’ll get tax benefits


Starting your own business takes funding and it may take some time to turn a profit, but you can start taking advantage of some substantial tax breaks right off the bat. Government programs support small business entrepreneurship and seek to reward these endeavors with impressive tax incentives. You’ll want to work with a financial planner or an accountant to make sure you’re setting up your business in a way that will allow you to get the benefit of these government programs.

Note that there are also a variety of programs aimed specifically at business started by women and minorities, so you may be able to get grant funding and other benefits to get your business off the ground.


8. You’ll have true job security


The stress of climbing the corporate ladder is real. You never know whether you’ll be promoted or whether you may be handed a pink slip – these life-altering decisions are in someone else’s hands and beyond your control. When you start your own company, you know you’re investing in your future and in your own job security. Moreover, should you choose to start a family business, you could be providing jobs for other members of your family, as well. Your destiny is in your own hands – no more layoffs in your future.

9. You’ll become an expert at a broad range of skills


Part of running your own business is learning to wear a lot of different hats, especially early on. You’ll have to pick up a lot of new skills, from HR decisions to inventory management to customer service. You’ll soon become a pro in your own industry, as well as a pro at a variety of new skills you’ll learn on the job. As your business develops, you’ll continue to pick up new knowledge and abilities. You’ll know how every tiny aspect of your operation works. You can’t get that kind of experience anywhere else.

As your business grows, you may opt to continue manning the helm for those tasks you enjoy – whether that’s graphic design or accounting – but you can outsource those tasks that you dread. You can also turn those skills to new tasks. Who knows? You may even want to start another business!


10. You can be creative


It’s up to you to decide what your business will produce, sell, or which services it will offer – that’s exciting! Rather than following the formula of those who came before you, you’re looking at a chance to develop a concept or an idea that nobody else ever has. Even if you stay mainstream with your product or service, each day as an entrepreneur allows you to find new, outside-the-book ways to problem solve. Innovation and creativity are necessary traits for a successful entrepreneur, and you’ll hone those skills daily.

Knowing that each day brings new challenges, exciting opportunities, and a chance to engage your passion is reason enough to start your own business. Knowing that you’ve decided to take control of your own future is empowering. What are you waiting for? The time is now!

startup incubator program

Lesson One Learned The Hard Way in a Startup Incubator Program

Startup Incubator | Incubators are more open-ended than accelerators, and aren’t usually designed to rapidly boost growth. Instead, incubators nurture and mentor startups over longer periods of time – over a year.

While accelerators want to pay close attention to each startup, incubators provide ad-hoc help with legal and business services, as well as help turning a concept into something with product-market fit.

There are lessons you can learn from Startup Incubator Program. Check these out!

  1. Support 

A good incubator support you to grow your business for the sake of the local economy or monetize equity in new companies that they support. This includes assistance with business basics resources, work essentials such as office space, internet, digital marketing activities, and more.

  1. Mentorship

Incubators offer advice and capital to steer you in the right direction. Through their mentorship programs, young entrepreneurs are helped to avoid making costly mistakes as they grow their businesses.

  1. Networking Opportunities

An incubator provide founders with numerous networking opportunities, team-building occasions with fellow entrepreneurs as well as a robust business partner network.

Competition Is a Gift

  1. Competition Is a gift

When you start a startup, the very notion of competition can be intimidating. Instead, an accelerator will teach you to embrace the value of competitors. 

  1. Speed Is your superpower

One thing startups do have going for them is speed, you learn to embrace this as your core advantage to outperform competitors. This speed enables startups to launch products in a matter of months or even weeks. Startups have to respond quickly to customers’ evolving expectations, so when we learned that a customer was evaluating a competitor to replace us, we acted at the speed of light to meet their needs. We built new features on nights and weekends and within two weeks we had surpassed the customer’s initial ask and leapfrogged the competitor. The customer was so impressed with our responsiveness that they upped their contract size. It’s those “code red” moments that truly move forward your product. Speed is what gives startups their most important advantage over large players.

  1. Customer development Is face to face

Many first-time entrepreneurs learn that this is in fact  the “lean” way of building products that address a pain point. Thanks to all the resources you have access to – including mentors, customers and potential investors – an incubator is one of the best ways to build your customer strategy.

  1. Culture is an absolute must

At big companies, tech recruiting tends to focus more on hard skills and less on cultural fit. As a result, they hire qualified people who don’t necessarily have the leadership skills or passion to advance their organization. However, personality fit is much more critical at startups, due to their close-knit work culture. Building our startup at Techstars, we began to understand the importance of hiring missionary leaders, driven by purpose, rather than mercenary leaders, or opportunists focused on money.

We learned that the hard way when we hired a brilliant, award-winning employee without evaluating the cultural fit. Unfortunately, we realized we didn’t share the same vision or leadership principles, so despite his smarts, we had to part ways. At any startup, while the technical bar is very high, the experience is intimate, and thus requires a unique kind of dedication. As such, entrepreneurs need to focus tremendously on cultural fit, and finding missionaries, not mercenaries, as they expand their teams.

Adjust Work Style and Get Comfortable

For many, the steep learning curve of an accelerator is the perfect bridge from being a corporate employee to becoming a startup founder. You quickly have to adjust your work style, get comfortable with the lack of a safety net, understand how to differentiate from competition and grow your ideal team. Find the right accelerator, and it will give you a crash course in running a startup so when the time comes to run the business — you won’t need to crash.

Incubators usually provide office space and consultations with experts, but take a more laid-back approach. There’s no intense program here — just an environment of collaboration and support when needed.

Examples of incubators include 500 Startups and Amplify.LA.

Is an incubator right for my startup?

If your company is not ready to join an accelerator program, an incubator might be the answer. Incubators help startups solve technical and design issues when building the product, learn how to run lean, and build a successful team.

Incubators also help startups who don’t have experience operating a venture-backed startup or are up against legal and operational issues related to company structure, etc.

Incubators usually don’t require equity or put as much pressure on success as accelerators, but also don’t offer capital. It’s all a trade-off.

To summarize: if your company is very early stage and needs help getting past the idea stage, an incubator is the better fit versus an accelerator.

Incubators can run anywhere from 6 months to 5 years, which gives teams a lot more time to grapple with the problem their business is solving (albeit usually in a lower-touch environment).

Incubators are less rigid with applications than accelerators, so the process is harder to generalize; check the FAQs of incubators in your local area for specifics.

Incubators don’t traditionally offer capital to startups, instead offering office space, mentorship and partner opportunities. Because no capital is given, incubators don’t ask for a cut of equity.

The formal concept of business incubation began in the US in 1959 when Joseph L. Mancuso opened the Batavia Industrial Center in a Batavia, New York, warehouse. Incubation expanded in the U.S. in the 1980s and spread to the UK and Europe through various related forms.

Incubation activity has not been limited to developed countries; incubation environments are now being implemented in developing countries and raising interest for financial support from organizations such as UNIDO and the World Bank.

Get Powerful Connections & Build Strong Business Partner

Although not all successful businesses passed through incubation programs, it’s recommended that young entrepreneurs work with an incubator because they will show you several shortcuts. You will also get powerful connections, introduce you to investors, and help you build a strong business partner network.

startup accelerators

Most Succesful Startup Accelerators in The World, What are They Doing Right

Nothing is easy at the beginning. There are processes and struggles but we can imitate from what is done and the lessons shared by successful Startup Accelerators in The World.

1. Solving real problems.

Spenser Skates, co-founder and CEO of Amplitude, says that the most important factor for a startup comes at the very beginning: figuring out exactly what problem your customers need you to solve.

In the early days of a startup, founders need to prioritize talking to potential customers and really understanding their problem so that they can help solve it. In fact, customer feedback has remained essential to Amplitude’s product development and company success.

2. Staying focused 

Will Canine, cofounder and CPO at Opentrons, has taken his company through two tech accelerators. The first was Hax, a hardware-focused accelerator based in Shenzhen, China. Then, Opentrons was accepted to Y Combinator, which is really what put the company on the launch pad.

“Probably our biggest learning that comes with it is focus. Having clear, concrete goals and a strategy for getting there keeps everyone in the company on the same page, working toward the same thing. “Once you feel the clarity of this type of focus–and see the huge advantages in productivity and progress it gives–you will never want to work any other way.

3. Leadership, values, and culture set you apart.

Having a great idea is only part of the battle, says Fred Stevens-Smith, cofounder and CEO of Rainforest QA. To make your company truly impressive, it’s all about the human element.

Another thing Stevens-Smith appreciated about the tech accelerator experience was simply the networking, learning, and camaraderie that came built in.  being a CEO is hard. Building a company is hard. For everyone. It’s easy when you’re inside the founder journey to think that you’re exceptionally bad compared to your peers, so it’s crucial to see that other founders are experiencing the same rollercoaster as you are.”

4. Be intentional about figuring out how to scale–in all aspects of the business.

The eventual goal of any startup is to grow, of course. To Vivek Ravisankar, cofounder & CEO of HackerRank, buckling down and learning how to scale has been critical.

“Agility is important at scale. It’s easy to do this when you are a three-person company, but how do you do this, and make sure people are aligned with the company proposition and values, when you are 100?

“Hiring people at scale. The bar is extremely high for the first 10 hires. The most important part is figuring out how to maintain this bar at scale.

“Customer love. When you’re first starting out, it’s extremely important to make 10 customers happy. But how do you do this for 100 customers, 500 customers, 1,000+ customers?”

The earlier you start thinking about how to scale your company, the better you’ll be able to grow. “These lessons were very instrumental in the early days of founding HackerRank,” says Ravisankar.

5. Pay attention to what people want, not just what you think they want.

The more transparent you are about what you’re trying to create, the more time you’ll have to gauge the reactions of your target audience. Segment cofounder and CEO Peter Reinhardt experienced this during his time for program Startup Accellerators.

6. Lean on your mentors. When you’ve made it, pay it forward.

Startup founders may feel like they have to bootstrap their companies all on their own. But you’ll get further if you embrace the power of mentorship and learn from those who’ve gone through the process before you.