accelerator program

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

accelerator program

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.

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.

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 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.

When is Joining a startup incubator a perfect time for your company?

Happy young Asia businessmen and businesswomen meeting brainstorming ideas about new paperwork project colleagues working together planning success strategy enjoy teamwork in small modern office.

Incubators are designed with smaller, newer companies in mind. And, when we say “companies” here, we’re being quite generous, as most who seek out an incubator have little more than a cool startup name and a potentially powerful idea.

Join a startup incubator when you’re still putting your dream team together. When considering an incubator to apply to, research the mentors that are available. 

You should also be wary of incubators if you need funding. Many incubators do not offer investment, unlike accelerators. However, they do not usually require relocation, either, so budget accordingly.

What startup companies and entrepreneurs should expect when going through the process of applying and working with a business incubator.

1. Do your research. Not all business incubators are the same. It is important to understand the resources and services offered, the cost of being involved, and make certain the whole package matches the needs of your company. 

2. Consult alumni. Most incubators will list the companies that have gone through the process. Do your best to contact and discuss the experiences of former incubator businesses

3. Assemble your team. Business incubators look for strong founders with strong teams first, business ideas second. A startup that goes through an incubator will more than likely exit a completely different and certainly more refined business.

4. Prepare your pitch. Your pitch is how you will differentiate your startups from the other applicants and should be well prepared and well rehearsed. Keep in mind that the incubator wants companies that can succeed, not only because they have an equity stake, but also for recruiting future investment capital and promising companies

5. Determine what you want to give. As mentioned before, the cost of being accepted into an incubator is typically an exchange of equity in your company.

startup accellerator

The most successful startup accelerators in the world, what do they have in common?

startup accellerator

As most of you know, startup accelerators help connect startup companies and investors by doing business partnerships for periods of time. When a startup company has a plan for collaboration in its mind, it must have those ‘special’ criteria that act as requirements. The most successful accelerators must possess those criteria. Here are the top 5 standards compiled by the HUB.id team from various sources.

1. They focus on collaborations.

They usually focus on collaboration between mentors and founders. It is important to note that for a startup company to flourish, they create impactful partnerships. The mentor’s ideas with the founders are aligned, and they know they are here to change the world. 

Here on HUB.id, we’re looking for startups that have already acquired funding, so the mentoring that will take place will not be too basic. The inventors already had previous knowledge.

2. They strive for innovation.

They focus on innovation while staying true to inventors’ intent. Of course, they can pivot just a little but not do a drastic change because of a single accelerator’s needs. Here’s where integrity plays the most prominent role. You change, you waste.

3. Demo Days

The best startup accelerators routinely have their demo days where inventors can pitch their ideas to angel investors or investors in general. There are also days when inventors can learn the financial aspects of their business.

4. High Exit Rate

Numerous sources such as Forbes.com, gathering data from Crunchbase, ranked accelerators based on a metric called Exit numbers. According to betaboom.com, top accelerators like Techstar Boulder Accelerator even have an exit rate as high as 24.7%. One of the top accelerators, such as Y Combinator that birthed Reddit, Dropbox, and Airbnb for a total of 9.7% exit rate.

5. Transparency

According to an article by newswise.com, in an environment where inventors can communicate openly with mentors and fellow inventors, they can help each other out. When working in an open space together, it was initially believed there would be competition among inventors. It turned out it was unlikely that they would’ve competed amongst them.

So those are the five main criteria for top startup accelerators by HUB.id. Do you think there are more not listed here in the article? Let us know in the comment section!