Business

A Concise Explanation of The Startup Accelerator Program

Entrepreneurs with a startup idea have always found it hard to get their feet off the ground. Mainly, the difficulty lies in getting the initial and adequate funding you need to spring up and spending it in the right way to elicit growth.

Well, with startup accelerator programs, there’s a way for entrepreneurs to scale their business in a short period. The concept is relatively easy to understand; you apply for these programs, and then you go on a 3-month intensive program with the aim of developing as an entrepreneur and learning how to grow your company.

If you were taken in by that, it was just the tip of the iceberg. The juice is that successful applicants receive something called ‘seed money’ to invest in their business – in return for equity.

On average, you can get anywhere between $20-50,000 investment from these programs, so it’s well worth looking into. As of right now, there are 186 startup accelerators in North America, with 3,296 businesses receiving investment through them.

This amounts to approximately $107.3 million! In truth, the hope of investment is what attracts most entrepreneurs to these programs, but you get so much more than that. Once accepted, you have access to world-class mentors, workshops, and endless networking opportunities.

By the end of the 3-month program, you put all your new knowledge to good use by pitching your idea to more investors. It can be quite hard to understand what is a startup accelerator, but we’re going to try and teach you – with the help of this trusty infographic.

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The application process

If you take a look at the infographic, there’s an excellent visual representation of what happens when you apply. The very first thing you do is to fill out a form online, you use this to explain so much relevant information as possible about your idea, business model, team, and so on.

This application is assessed by the accelerators who will call you in for an interview if they’re interested. This lasts around 25-50 minutes and gives you a chance to talk about your idea/product in more detail.

The next stage is for you to provide as much evidence as you can to help support your application. Many applicants lose out at this juncture, the reason is that they hold back on vital information.

Don’t hold back on anything that may give you a positive point as accelerators use this when evaluating whether or not they deem your idea to be worthwhile. Based on your score here, you’re either accepted or denied.

Around 3,000 people will apply for startup accelerators, but as few as 45 can be accepted. Usually, it’s about 1% to 3% of the applicants – it’s hard to get onto these programs!

The benefits of startup accelerators

The meager acceptance rate makes sense when you think about how beneficial a startup accelerator can be. It’s a chance to obtain funding for your business in the form of that initial seed investment.

Not only that, but there’s so much education to teach you how to best spend this money and scale your business. You receive intense mentorship too, and it all takes place in an on-site environment with the other successful applicants. So, networking is made easy for you as well!

All things considered, a startup accelerator is one of the best and quickest ways of taking a business idea and getting it off the ground. Yes, the application process is very tough, but there is some advice in the infographic on how to boost your chances of being selected.

Photo Credit: The National Roads and Motorists’ Association Flickr via Compfight cc

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About John Ejiofor

John Ejiofor is a curious life-researcher, whose quest to finding answers to life's pertinent questions has led to founding Nature Torch. This blog aims to debate and explore many questions about our earth -- including those a lot of people are uncomfortable with asking. He has been published on some of the internet's most respected websites, which you can find online.
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