Accelerators 101

Accelerators can be a potent catalyst for success for early stage startups. Offering hands-on mentorship and coaching, seminars and workshops, and proven learning frameworks and methodologies, Accelerators provide structured guidance and skill development to drive venture and entrepreneur growth.

Being cohort based, Accelerators also offer incredible opportunities to network with and learn from peers, industry experts, business leaders, and potential investors.

 

Is An Accelerator a Good Fit For You?

Accelerators are proving grounds that test perseverance, endurance, commitment, and focus. They are intense and high pressure by design, and demand 100% of an entrepreneur’s time and energy. They also often require that participants relocate to the area the Accelerator is headquartered out of (though many Accelerators have multiple HQs based in cities around the US, and sometimes even the world).

Accelerators are also geared towards companies that have a proven market offering, even if it’s still at the minimum-viable product (MVP) stage.

For these reasons, Accelerators aren’t for every entrepreneur and every venture. And plenty of successful startups have been launched and grown without participating in one.

But for many new ventures, participating in an Accelerator may be the perfect step to get them to their “next”.

 

Choosing An Accelerator

Choosing an Accelerator to apply to can seem daunting. But understanding each Accelerator’s focus and participation requirements can make navigating the options much easier.

  • What is the Accelerator’s “wheelhouse”? Does it focus primarily on a particular industry or niche like urban development, green energy, or biotech? Does it cater to early or later stage startups?
  • What is the length of the Accelerator, and between what dates does it run?
  • Where is the Accelerator located, and what relocation requirements might exist?
  • What kinds of outcomes does the Accelerator target, and do those align with the venture’s needs and goals?