Launch Your Startup: 7 Essential Steps, Tips to Start

Subtittle: Strategies to Start Your Start up

Everyone has ideas. Some of these ideas may be decent, while others are probably not so good. Even if your idea is great, there’s a big difference between having a great idea and creating a successful startup company.

Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

It will take hard work, dedication, money, some sleepless nights, and even some failure before you succeed. 71% of businesses fail within 10 years.

Once you get your company off the ground, you need to work just as hard to keep it going each year.

You can use this guide as your blueprint for launching your startup company.

1. Make a business plan

Having an idea is one thing, but having a legitimate business plan is another story.

In simple terms, a business plan is the written description of your company’s future.

You outline what you want to do and how you’re planning to do it.

Typically, these plans outline the first 3 to 5 years of your business strategy.

The business plan needs to be the first thing on your list because you’ll use it to help you with some of the remaining steps.

2. Secure appropriate funding

You’ll need adequate capital to get yourself off the ground. There’s no magic number that applies to all businesses.

The startup costs will obviously vary from industry to industry, so your company may require more or less funding depending on the situation.

For a small, part-time startup with no equipment, employee salaries, or overhead to worry about, it may only cost you less than $10,000.

Based on the graphic above, the vast majority of this money comes out of the entrepreneurs’ pockets.

The cost of doing business is much higher than people initially think.

Let’s circle back to our business plan for a minute.

All business plans contain a financial plan. This plan usually includes:

Balance sheet

Sales forecast

Profit and loss statement

Cash-flow statement

82% of businesses fail due to cash-flow problems.

You’ll use these financial statements to determine how much funding you need to raise in order to get started.

You may discover that the number is significantly higher than you originally anticipated.

3. Find investors.

Investors can be:

Friends

Family

Angel investors

Venture capitalists

Proceed carefully because you don’t want to start giving away significant equity in your company before you even get started.

The type of business you’re starting also influences the likelihood that angel investors and venture capitalists will be willing to give you funding.

If you find a potential investor, you need to know how to pitch your idea quickly and effectively.

You need to have your financial numbers memorized forwards and backward.

Refer to your business plan.

Make sure it’s presentable so you can give them a copy, but you also need to know how to successfully verbalize your startup strategy.

It’s imperative that your business plan has a proper executive summary.

Investors are busy and may not take the time to read through your entire plan if the executive summary doesn’t give them a reason to move forward.

Once you secure the appropriate funding, you can proceed to the next step of launching your startup company.

4. Surround yourself with the right people

You’re going to need some help while launching your startup company.

So where do you start?

Certain people often get overlooked when entrepreneurs are getting their business started.

Sure, you may realize that you’ll need some staff and a manager to help run your company. Is that it?

How many people do you need?

It depends on the industry.

Let’s take a look at an example from a study about the amount of employees for startup companies in the technology industry.

Based on this information, the vast majority of startup companies are small teams.

These numbers would be significantly different if you were starting a business in the restaurant industry.

You would need servers, a kitchen staff, bartenders, and managers.

5. Before you do anything, you need to register your business name.

Once your business gets registered, you’ll need to get a federal tax ID number, as well, from the IRS.

The IRS lets you submit your business information online to get your employer identification number (EIN).

You also need to consult with a:

Lawyer

Accountant

Financial advisor

Unless you’re an expert in law, finances, and accounting, these three people can help save your business some money in the long run.

They can explain the legal requirements and tax obligations based on how you structure your business.

Sole proprietorship

Partnership

Corporation

Limited liability company

While your lawyer, accountant, and financial advisors are not necessarily employees on your payroll, they are still important people to surround yourself with.

Don’t forget about insurance.

Shop around and find an insurance agent who can get you plenty of coverage at an affordable rate.

Now you can start hiring people within your organization.

6. Find a location and build a website

Your startup company needs a physical address and a web address.

Whether it’s offices, retail space, or a manufacturing location, you need to buy or lease a property to operate your business.

As you can see from the graph, leasing property for your business is significantly more expensive than buying.

With that said, it may not be realistic for all entrepreneurs to tie up the majority of their capital in real estate. You should strategize for this in your business plan.

Try to secure enough funding so that you can afford to buy property. It’s worth the investment and will save you money in the long run.

You also need to create a website. Don’t wait until the day your business officially launches to get your website off the ground. It’s never too early to start promoting your business.

If customers are searching online for a service in your industry, you want them to know that you exist, even if you’re not quite open for business yet.

You can even start generating some income through your website.

Once your website is up and running, you need to expand your digital presence.

Utilize social media platforms like:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Snapchat

Your prospective customers are using these platforms, so you need to be on them, as well.

7. Become a marketing expert

If you’re not a marketing expert, you need to become one.

You might have the best product or service in the world, but if nobody knows about it, then your startup can’t succeed.

Learn how to use digital marketing techniques like:

Content marketing

Affiliate marketing

Email marketing

Search engine optimization (SEO)

Social media marketing (SMM)

Search engine marketing (SEM)

Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)

If you’re starting a small business in a local community, you can take advantage of some older and conventional methods such as:

Print advertising

Radio advertisements

Television

Billboards

While these methods can be productive, outbound marketing efforts are not as effective as they used to be.

As long as you’re doing these things, you’ll be able to fight through any obstacle your startup company faces in the future.

What Makes Startup Accelerator Programs Successful

Subtittle: Checklist for your startup to be ready for an accelerator program

Are you ready for the next big step in your startup , a journey that will change your life forever?

1. Trillion-dollar startup idea?

The bigger the idea the more likely you will get noticed in your application. You also need to make sure that you are able to explain your idea so that it is easy to understand.

95% of accelerators seek B2B startups, while only 78% of accelerators look for B2C startups.

2. MVP

Your product/service needs to be completed, but that doesn’t mean it has to be perfect. Launching a Minimum Viable Product shows how your idea can work in the real world, gives you time to get customer insights, and highlights the areas where you would want to improve your product/service when you apply to enroll for an accelerator programme.

68% of accelerator programmes accepted startups that already have a prototype in place.

3. Evidence

Are you growing as a business? Can you prove it? What is the likelihood of growth in your startup over the next 2 to 5 years? How many customers have you worked with? How many people are visiting your website? What’s your ROI? These are the things that you will need to provide when you’re filling in an accelerator application.

53% of accelerators accepted startups that already have some customers, even if some of those customers aren’t yet paying.

4. Your Team

You need employees. No one can run a startup on its own for long (#burnout!!). Your employees need to work full time or be willing to switch over to full time when being accepted into the accelerator.

18% of startups fail due to team problems such as a lack of domain knowledge, lack of marketing knowledge & plan, lack of technical knowledge, friction within the team, lack of motivation, and a lack of availability.

5. Network + Research

Do you have references from mentors and other founders who have gone through one of these programmes? Have you done your research on which accelerator will be the best fit for your startup?

“It’s OK to ask recruiters and hiring managers questions to see if their vision aligns with yours so you can run a successful business.” — Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

6. The Pitch

If you get accepted to go through to the interview for one of these programmes, you need to be ready with your pitch. You need to know your business inside out. This means you need to know the metrics, stats, the vision, and how to overcome potential obstacles (check Point 3 again).

“Most tech startup people are so in the trenches of their product that they forget how to talk high level about who the tech is for.” —John Murphy, eBike Generation

7. Accepted 

If you get accepted you are one of few. Take this opportunity to expand your network in the startup realm. In addition, make friends , being an entrepreneur isn’t always easy and not everyone understands that part of the startup world.

New research from the University of Georgia links startup accelerator success with a few key program elements, such as mentorship and open discussion among participating startup founders.

Recently published and forthcoming papers co-authored by Susan Cohen in Research Policy, Administrative Science Quarterly and Organization Science examined the variation among several accelerators.

Accelerators are fixed-term, cohort-based educational programs for startups. There are about 170 accelerators located across the country, including more than a dozen programs in Georgia.

“When I started studying accelerators for my dissertation in 2011, I was routinely asked whether accelerators were a fad and if they were going to last,” said Cohen, an assistant professor of management at the Terry College of Business and one of the first academics to study accelerators. “What we found is a few accelerator programs improved outcomes for the startups, so we compared the ones that had stronger results versus those that were less effective.”

In one paper Cohen found that, although many accelerators used mentorship as a cornerstone of their program, the key difference was how they spaced out those interactions. Some programs concentrated them upfront and prioritized meetings with both mentors and customers, which is a hallmark of the lean startup methodology. The more the entrepreneurs met with mentors, customers and various stakeholders, the more open they were to new ideas, Cohen said. They often joined the accelerator thinking they were ready to launch a product or scale delivery strategies, but the concentrated interactions helped them determine where they needed to change their plans.

“What they soon learned is they had the seed of an idea, and sometimes they had to pivot quite substantially to make the idea work,” she said. “Those interactions helped them to figure out both that they needed to learn and what they needed to learn.”

Second, the accelerators differed in privacy. Some fostered privacy and were concerned that the entrepreneurs might steal each other’s ideas, yet others forced entrepreneurs to pitch each other frequently and work in cramped, open spaces. The accelerators that encouraged transparency often worked better, and participants often helped each other with execution. Plus, their businesses often were less similar than they initially thought and were rarely actually competitors.

Third, standardized programs tended to perform better than programs that were tailored to fit each venture and each entrepreneur. Often, the entrepreneurs — and even accelerator directors — had weaknesses in certain business skills that they couldn’t recognize by themselves. A standard program helped them to cover common ground, broaden their knowledge and speak a similar language.

In terms of benefits, Cohen’s research team found that ventures that participated in some startup accelerators had better long-term outcomes securing funding, including venture capital and angel investments. They also received more online traffic and hired more employees. The effects were large in some accelerators, including up to 170% more funds. However, the results weren’t universal.

“I often caution entrepreneurs who ask me whether or not they should apply to an accelerator to be careful,” she said. “Do your due diligence in making sure it’s a program that will help your company achieve its goals.”

To help with this, Cohen and two partners produce the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project annually for entrepreneurs to evaluate accelerator programs. Since accelerators can’t always divulge information about their individual startups, these rankings help the programs to showcase their results and performance while still maintaining confidentiality for startups.

Based on her dissertation research, Cohen saw several organizational design elements emerge for the top startup accelerator programs. She found that accelerators with smaller cohorts tend to have stronger performance, and programs sponsored by investors or universities (rather than governments or corporations) raise more money. In addition, programs run by former entrepreneurs are correlated with lower valuations, versus those run by former investors or government employees, which draw higher valuations. Other factors, such as providing workspace, show mixed results and may not be as important to the accelerator’s design.

As the popularity of startup accelerators climbs in 2020, Cohen will continue to study what works and what doesn’t. She also wants to know how accelerators influence the career trajectories of entrepreneurs who participate.

“We know accelerators work for some ventures, but we’re wondering what their impact is on entrepreneurial careers,” she said. “We’re also looking at how these entrepreneurs build relationships with different types of investors, such as angel inventors, venture capitalists and corporate investment.”

Cohen studies accelerator programs with several colleagues. “The Design of Startup Accelerators” was co-authored by Daniel Fehder of the University of Southern California, Yael Hochberg of Rice University and Fiona Murray of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Cohen published the Administrative Science Quarterly and forthcoming Organization Science papers with her doctoral advisor Chris Bingham of the University of North Carolina and Benjamin Hallen of the University of Washington.

What is a Startup Accelerator or Incubator Do to Help Startups Attain Success

Subtitle: How Startups Attain Success with Accelerator or Incubator 

Are you ready to make your side hustle becomes your main hustle? Or maybe you’ve got an idea you just don’t quite have the details fleshed out. You may be considering an incubator or accelerator to help you get started. But what’s the difference?  And What is a Startup Accelerator or Incubator do to help startups attain success? 

Accelerators

Accelerators usually begin with a rigorous application process. Top accelerators like Techstars and Y Combinator are highly selective, accepting less than 2% of applicants into their programs.

Typically, the accepted companies have already demonstrated fast growth and a minimum viable product (MVP). They’re often given a small seed investment and paired with mentors from the accelerator’s vast network.

The goal of the accelerator is primarily networking, mentorship, and resource allocation to skyrocket the success of proven business ideas. A business’ time at an accelerator typically ends with a presentation sharing the growth and development they’ve achieved during their weeks or months in the program.

Things to Consider When Joining an Accelerator:

Is it the right time? Make sure you’re joining an accelerator at the right time. If you’re still searching for a co-founder or your first few employees, you may be a better fit for an incubator.

How fast or slow are you growing? If you’re a fast-growing company, an accelerator might be the right fit. If your growth plan is still developing, an incubator might be a better choice.

Will you relocate? Many accelerators require you to relocate for the few months you’re participating in their program.

Incubators

Some incubators select candidates through an application process while others only work with companies or entrepreneurs passed along from within their network of advisors. Some incubators are focused on specific verticals. For example, Monarq Incubator supports female-led startups through their programs.

Incubators also tend to focus on businesses or entrepreneurs from a certain geographic location — or require participants to relocate to their coworking space or local community for indefinite periods of time.

Participants spend their time at the incubator networking with other entrepreneurs, fleshing out their ideas, determining product-market fit, and creating a business plan. Intellectual property issues are also vetted and dealt with at this stage as well.

The incubator process usually lasts a few months — but is often open-ended — and ends with a pitch or demo day where the entrepreneur presents their business idea to the incubator community and/or investors.

Things to Consider When Joining an Incubator:

Do they have the right mentors? Make sure your incubator can offer specific and experienced guidance for your business or idea. The last thing you need is someone advising you on your shipping business idea who’s spent the last 30 years mentoring young restaurateurs.

Do you need funding now? If you’re looking for capital to grow your business, an accelerator might be a better fit. Incubators focus on preparing the entrepreneur or founder with the business model, plan, and mentorship necessary to confidently pitch their finished business plan to investors.

Can You Get By with a Coworking Space?

If funding, business savvy, and a proven business idea aren’t an issue for you, you might consider simply joining a coworking space. You’ll get the office space you need with built in networking opportunities and events. Some coworking spaces even help you outsource administrative tasks so you have more time to spend on the bigger tasks at hand.

Another benefit of joining a coworking space is that you don’t have to give away equity in your company. Incubator and accelerator mentors generally receive equity in exchange for their expertise. That’s not an issue with coworking spaces.

If you’re joining an incubator or accelerator, make sure you have clearly defined, actionable goals. And be honest about whether or not you can achieve those goals without joining an incubator or accelerator. The process for applying to and joining these programs is lengthy and arduous — and it’s time you could be spending getting your business off the ground without parting with equity.

-Incubators

An advantage of being a part of an incubator is that your startup business gets access to a wide range of financial capital alternatives. In addition, it also provides mentorship, networking, and expertise in your specific startup industry, as well as helps startups turn ideas into new businesses.

Sometimes these benefits can also be a disadvantage to incubators. Certain types of mentorships and networking with entrepreneurs may hinder the startup owner’s focus during the risky early stages of their startup and your idea might not always lift off.

Accelerators

On the other hand accelerators in general work extremely close with everyone involved in the startup, which is an advantage. Accelerators also match the partners and investors to fit with the chosen startup.

In accelerator programmes they also focus on the development of pilot projects for their startups to ensure growth and success. Accelerators try to provide a platform for the startups to grow fast while enrolled in the programme to increase the probability of receiving startup investment.

Y Combinator accepts about 1.5% to 3% of the applications it receives.

A disadvantage of accelerator programmes is that they are short-lived and won’t provide as much support as an incubator would over an extended period, however the short-term acceleration might produce better results in the long run. Another con is that these programs only accept a few startups every year and require equity in each startup they accept.

In the end, it depends on how developed your startup is and what type of support it will need to grow.

At a high level, startup accelerators and incubators are organizations that seek to help startups attain success. Startup accelerators tend to focus on providing startups with mentorship, advice, and resources to help the startups succeed, including a Demo Day, a day to focus the attention of the startup investor community on the startups through hosting a series of investments pitches from the startups to startup investors.

Accelerators tend to not offer dedicated office space to startups (and may encourage startups to find their own dedicated space), but may have a physical location for shared resources and accelerator events such as invited guest speaker talks and advising office hours. Incubators tend to offer dedicated office and development space to the startups for a set period of time.

Startup accelerators and incubators can get involved at all stages of a startup’s development, from idea stage to revenue-generating, late stage. However, most tend to focus on relatively early stage startups, as this is when companies can typically most benefit from outside help.

Startups are usually admitted in batches, with many incubators and accelerators offering 1-3 batches per year. Some focus on a specific industry, market, technology, stage, or other thesis, whereas others are more generalists. Most seek to run an application and screening process.

However, while a handful of accelerators and incubators have been very successful in helping startups attain success, being admitted to a startup accelerator or incubator is not a guarantee for success to a startup founder, and not a guarantee of a sound investment for a startup investment.

Accelerators Vs Incubators: How to Choose the Right One

Subtittle: What is a startup accelerator or incubator? Which One Better

Accelerators and incubators both offer entrepreneurs good opportunities early on. Founders get help to quickly grow their business and they often better their chances of attracting a top venture capital (VC) firm to invest in their startup at a later point. Still, the programs are different frameworks for startup success.

Let’s start by breaking down the goals of each of these types of programs. Accelerators “accelerate” growth of an existing company, while incubators “incubate” disruptive ideas with the hope of building out a business model and company. So, accelerators focus on scaling a business while incubators are often more focused on innovation.

While both types of programs were popularized in startup hubs like Silicon Valley, nowadays they can be found all over the world. Although most people associate these programs with tech startups, most of them accept companies from a wide variety of verticals.

Accelerators

One of the big differences between accelerators and incubators is in how the individual programs are structured. Accelerator programs usually have a set timeframe in which individual companies spend anywhere from a few weeks to a few months working with a group of mentors to build out their business and avoid problems along the way. Y Combinator, Techstars, and the Brandery are some of the most well-known accelerators.

Accelerators start with an application process, but the top programs are typically very selective. Y Combinator accepts about 2% of the applications it receives and Techstars usually has to fill its 10 spots from around 1,000 applications.

Early stage companies are typically given a small seed investment, and access to a large mentorship network, in exchange for a small amount of equity. The mentor network–typically composed of startup executives, venture capitalists, industry experts, and other outside investors–is often the biggest value for prospective companies.

The mentor networks aren’t small, either. TechStars, for example, has hundreds of mentors in its program.

Aaron Harris, a partner at Y Combinator, said he’s not sure that accelerators necessarily work as a whole, but Y Combinator’s success is due to the way it approached incentives.

“A lot of that success comes back to the alignment of incentives,” Harris said. “Good programs completely align all parties — at YC all the partners who advise the companies have a stake in their success. We also do as much as we can to limit distractions. We don’t schedule unnecessary meetings, don’t force them to work in a big loud co-working space, etc.”

At the end of an accelerator program, you’re likely to see all the startups from a particular cohort pitch at some sort of demonstration day (often shortened and referred to as a demo day) attended by investors and media. At this point, the business has hopefully been further developed and vetted.

“The goal of the accelerator is to help a startup do roughly two years of business building in just a few months,” said Mike Bott, general manager of the Brandery. “If you go through a good one, you’ll know at the end where your startup founding team and business stand.”

Incubators

Startup incubators begin with companies (or even single entrepreneurs) that may be earlier in the process and they do not operate on a set schedule. If an accelerator is a greenhouse for young plants to get the optimal conditions to grow, an incubator matches quality seeds with the best soil for sprouting and growth.

While there are some independent incubators, they can also be sponsored or run by VC firms, angel investors, government entities, and major corporations, among others. Some incubators have an application process, but others only work with companies and ideas that they come in contact with through trusted partners. A good example of an incubator is Idealab.

Depending on the sponsoring party, an incubator can be focused on a specific market or vertical. For example, an incubator sponsored by a hospital may only be looking for health technology startups.

In most cases, startups accepted into incubator programs relocate to a specific geographic area to work with other companies in the incubator. Within the incubator, a company will refine its idea, build out its business plan, work on product-market fit, identify intellectual property issues, and network in the startup ecosystem.

A typical incubator has shared space in a co-working environment, a month-to-month lease program, additional mentoring, and some connection to the local community.

Co-working is a big part of the incubator experience and has been split off as its own separate business offering around country, with co-working spaces charging rent for access to utilities. Some accelerators offer a co-working space, but most provide companies with private office space or let them find it on their own.

“If you need private space, most incubators are open seating, and this can be distracting for larger teams,” TechStars mentor Troy Henikoff said. “The economics are usually on a per-seat basis, which is great for the first few people, but at a certain point it may be less expensive to get your own office.”

Both incubators and accelerators offer a great opportunity to help young companies and ideas for startups get headed in the right direction, but it’s up to you where you need to start.e 

Accelerators and incubators both offer entrepreneurs good opportunities early on. Founders get help to quickly grow their business and they often better their chances of attracting a top venture capital (VC) firm to invest in their startup at a later point. Still, the programs are different frameworks for startup success.

Let’s start by breaking down the goals of each of these types of programs. Accelerators “accelerate” growth of an existing company, while incubators “incubate” disruptive ideas with the hope of building out a business model and company. So, accelerators focus on scaling a business while incubators are often more focused on innovation.

While both types of programs were popularized in startup hubs like Silicon Valley, nowadays they can be found all over the world. Although most people associate these programs with tech startups, most of them accept companies from a wide variety of verticals.

Accelerators

One of the big differences between accelerators and incubators is in how the individual programs are structured. Accelerator programs usually have a set timeframe in which individual companies spend anywhere from a few weeks to a few months working with a group of mentors to build out their business and avoid problems along the way. Y Combinator, Techstars, and the Brandery are some of the most well-known accelerators.

Accelerators start with an application process, but the top programs are typically very selective. Y Combinator accepts about 2% of the applications it receives and Techstars usually has to fill its 10 spots from around 1,000 applications.

Early stage companies are typically given a small seed investment, and access to a large mentorship network, in exchange for a small amount of equity. The mentor network–typically composed of startup executives, venture capitalists, industry experts, and other outside investors–is often the biggest value for prospective companies.

The mentor networks aren’t small, either. TechStars, for example, has hundreds of mentors in its program.

Aaron Harris, a partner at Y Combinator, said he’s not sure that accelerators necessarily work as a whole, but Y Combinator’s success is due to the way it approached incentives.

“A lot of that success comes back to the alignment of incentives,” Harris said. “Good programs completely align all parties — at YC all the partners who advise the companies have a stake in their success. We also do as much as we can to limit distractions. We don’t schedule unnecessary meetings, don’t force them to work in a big loud co-working space, etc.”

At the end of an accelerator program, you’re likely to see all the startups from a particular cohort pitch at some sort of demonstration day (often shortened and referred to as a demo day) attended by investors and media. At this point, the business has hopefully been further developed and vetted.

“The goal of the accelerator is to help a startup do roughly two years of business building in just a few months,” said Mike Bott, general manager of the Brandery. “If you go through a good one, you’ll know at the end where your startup founding team and business stand.”

Incubators

Startup incubators begin with companies (or even single entrepreneurs) that may be earlier in the process and they do not operate on a set schedule. If an accelerator is a greenhouse for young plants to get the optimal conditions to grow, an incubator matches quality seeds with the best soil for sprouting and growth.

While there are some independent incubators, they can also be sponsored or run by VC firms, angel investors, government entities, and major corporations, among others. Some incubators have an application process, but others only work with companies and ideas that they come in contact with through trusted partners. A good example of an incubator is Idealab.

Depending on the sponsoring party, an incubator can be focused on a specific market or vertical. For example, an incubator sponsored by a hospital may only be looking for health technology startups.

In most cases, startups accepted into incubator programs relocate to a specific geographic area to work with other companies in the incubator. Within the incubator, a company will refine its idea, build out its business plan, work on product-market fit, identify intellectual property issues, and network in the startup ecosystem.

A typical incubator has shared space in a co-working environment, a month-to-month lease program, additional mentoring, and some connection to the local community.

Co-working is a big part of the incubator experience and has been split off as its own separate business offering around country, with co-working spaces charging rent for access to utilities. Some accelerators offer a co-working space, but most provide companies with private office space or let them find it on their own.

“If you need private space, most incubators are open seating, and this can be distracting for larger teams,” TechStars mentor Troy Henikoff said. “The economics are usually on a per-seat basis, which is great for the first few people, but at a certain point it may be less expensive to get your own office.”

Both incubators and accelerators offer a great opportunity to help young companies and ideas for startups get headed in the right direction, but it’s up to you where you need to start.

Startup Accelerator Business Model, Everything You Need to Know About Accelerator Programs

Subtitle: What you Have to Know About Startup Accelerator Business Model

If you’re looking at a viable business model for your startup, I’m sure you’ve found out by now there are different choices with some fundamental differences. One of those choices that everyone fancies is a startup accelerator business model which provides everything a startup founder dreams of:

  • Financing
  • Education
  • Mentorship

All of it is condensed in a very limited time span, which makes this particular choice an intense experience. Despite all the buzz they receive, these seed accelerators (their other moniker as they support seed and early-stage startups) are not a great fit for every aspiring startup out there. 

Why? Let’s start with the basics:

What are accelerator programs?

One way would be to define them as hybrid models focused on the development of early-stage startups through mentorship, education, and support during a (typically) three-month period. In other words, tech startup accelerator programs “accelerate” the growth (hence the name) of an established business (one that already has a team, proof-of-concept, market validation, and so on) by providing everything necessary to scale. In exchange for the seed money they offer, they take equity in the business (some are non-profit). 

How do startup accelerators work?

First, there is a rigorous application process where the acceptance rate is only 1-2% for the more popular and established programs, while the percentage is just a teensy-weensy higher for the less prestigious accelerators.

Once accepted, a startup enters an accelerator on-site for a precisely defined/fixed period which is typically three months but can also be half a year. You also become part of a cohort of companies, which is another plus because a great deal of the connections you make during the process can turn into long-term, meaningful relationships – not to mention lead to potential funding-related introductions.

Because the accelerator experience is aimed at accelerating the life cycle of a young startup, it’s very intense and immersive with educational seminars and workshops, group and individual mentorship meetings, investor pitches, networking events, and everything else needed to fine-tune the product/service and business model. You are thrown into a highly compressed cycle that would usually take a few years so it’s vital to be able to focus, learn, and make progress at a rapid pace. 

Finally, the speedy learning-by-doing experience comes to an end with a ‘demo day’ – a business version of college graduation where startup founders present their business model. Each startup in the cohort gets an opportunity to publicly pitch to the investors and community, with the possibility of private and follow-up presentations. 

The entire startup accelerator structure is what makes all of this an enticing proposal. There are distinct collective elements that make this form of cultivating early-stage startups fairly unique: 

  • Fixed period
  • Cohort-based
  • Mentorship and education-driven
  • ‘Demo day’ exit

And with that, we reach the question that’s on every founder’s mind:

Are startup accelerators worth it?

With its ever-growing importance in startup communities across the globe, it’s easy to see why the startup accelerator business model is often perceived as the predominant way for scaling and securing funding from investors. While some programs actually provide limited funding or guarantee it in exchange for an equity stake, it’s important to note they aren’t suited for every startup. 

The thing is – they are not mandatory for building and growing a successful business. While not every program works in the same way, the high-pressure environment is one constant you’ll find in every accelerator. Arguably, not everyone is equipped both emotionally and cognitively to thrive under such conditions, which is a must in this case. 

There are plenty of alternatives where you can reap largely the same benefits without devoting yourself to the exhaustive pace of an accelerator. That being said, the truth is these programs have literally transformed promising businesses like Airbnb, Stripe, Dropbox, Udemy and many others into global companies. Plus, the value of accelerators is reflected by the fact that all parties involved (investors, startups, end users, even the economy) benefit from the intensive learning regime. 

Once more, I’ll reiterate: learning-by-doing is critical to scalability, and accelerators make a point to speed up that process by stuffing years’ worth of learning into a few months. As such, they are great opportunities to quickly grow early on but also to attract other investors. 

How do you know if your startup is ready?

Most accelerators follow a similar process so before you decide to apply for one, you need to ask yourself a few key things:

  • Are you in the right stage of development? If you’re growing quickly, have a minimum viable product (MVP) and some form of competitive advantage, you’re likely ready to go a step (or two) further.
  • Can you and your team move on-site for 3 to 6 months? In order to be admitted into the program (and take full advantage of it), you must be on-site, even fully relocate your startup in some cases. 
  • Are you able to dedicate yourselves 100% to your startup during that time? The majority of accelerators require a full-time effort from the entrepreneurial team
  • Can you thrive in a frenzied, highly demanding environment? Because not everyone is suited to handle learning organized in such a fashion, not everyone is coachable in the eyes of experts who lead the accelerator.

On a side note – do you know how to clearly articulate what you (c)are about? Paul Graham of YCombinator, probably the most successful startup accelerator around, says most of the applicants don’t present their startup concisely, poorly explaining what they do and ultimately, conveying little to no relevance and importance. There’s something to think about.

Final thoughts

The startup accelerator business model is designed with an aim to help entrepreneurs of all walks of life scale their business and make an impact. From verifying your idea or concept to validating the market to securing financing and everything in between, there are many benefits that, in the end, significantly improve a budding startup’s chances for success. 

Do note this: addressing these key issues doesn’t automatically make much of a difference as these programs can differ in their success. My advice to you is to take your time, evaluate both accelerators and other options, and think long and hard about your ability to fully commit. Understand both the value you’ll be receiving and gamble you’ll be making.

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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!