Did you know that startups graduating from accelerator programs have a 23% higher survival rate than their counterparts? Mentoring and coaching are foundational to accelerator programs. Entrepreneurs benefit from ‘been there-done that’ expertise which translates into success.
It doesn’t matter what stage your startup is at, whether you’re searching for product-market-fit, launching your product or landing your first customer, we’re willing to bet you’d love to reach your goals as soon as possible. And that’s exactly what an accelerator program helps you do: fast-track progress.
In this post, we’ll cover the top 5 benefits of accelerator programs:
- Speed up your progress
- Grow your network
- Gain clout and investor attention
- Decreased costs and exclusive perks
- Avoid costly mistakes
Accelerator programs can be fixed-term, cohort-based programs that support early-stage, growth-driven companies through education, mentorship, and financing. But not all accelerator programs are the same. There are three main types of accelerator programs:
- Open Innovation Programs invite startups to set up shop at a large corporation. Through this partnership, startups receive financial resources and guidance.
- External Corporate Accelerator Programs partner companies with third-party accelerators for the purpose of getting funding. Integration opportunities and collaboration are generally provided in return.
- Innovation Outposts are a dedicated physical office staffed by innovation professionals. Their primary job is to do market analysis and identify new trends, and based on this research, they create innovation programs.
At Innovate BC, our accelerator program falls into the external corporate accelerator programs. And good news – you can access the program from anywhere in B.C. Our program—the Venture Acceleration Program—is delivered throughout the Province of B.C. by delivery partners in different regions. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, keep reading to uncover the top 5 ways joining an accelerator program will benefit your startup.
Learn More about the Venture Acceleration Program >>>
Benefit #1: Speed up your progress
You’ll have an expert work with you on your business plan, prototyping, marketing, etc. to set you up for success.
Since you’ve got a coach guiding you through the process of starting and growing your business, you’re cutting out the time it would take to learn these things on your own. Not to mention the cost associated with countless phases of trial and error. You’ll learn where and how to best allocate resources and have your business turning a profit much sooner than if you were to go it alone.
Benefit #2: Grow your network
Accelerator programs are hot spots for up-and-coming tech companies. By being a part of one you’ll also be part of a community of entrepreneurs and founders. Entrepreneurs need to find partners, customers, employees and other players to help them build their businesses. Getting the chance to talk to peers who have faced similar challenges and learn how they overcame them is crucial to success. According to Co-Founder and CEO of Techstars, David Brown, companies emerge from accelerator programs and do truly amazing things when their founders have been able to leverage the value of the associated network.
Benefit #3: Gain clout and investor attention
Investors are drawn to accelerators in the hopes of discovering the next, big innovation. And many attend the demo days. This is where you showcase your company for an audience. From the investor’s point of view, they’re more likely to see a return on their investment when a startup has benefited from the expertise of someone who has successfully launched their own company. This article from the Harvard Business Review cited a comparison between graduates of top accelerators with similar startups who instead raised angel funding. What they found was that the accelerator graduates were more likely to receive their next round of financing significantly sooner.
Benefit #4: Decreased costs and exclusive perks
Did you know that a lot of accelerators include office space as part of their program? If you need a workspace but don’t have the funds to rent an office, this is an excellent benefit of accelerator programs. This will often look like a co-working space with boardrooms available for booking. But there are also private offices and labs available at some of these tech and innovation hubs. This is one example of how you can decrease overhead costs. You can also access services the accelerator offers at volume rates and access equipment or hardware by sharing instead of buying.
Also, many large service providers partner with accelerators to help them offer programs that are tailored for small businesses. We’re talking about programs like Microsoft for Business and HubSpot for Entrepreneurs. Program participants are given access to their suite of software, business and marketing tools at a significantly discounted rate.
Benefit #5: Avoid costly mistakes
We’ve come full circle, and it bears repeating, the foundational component of accelerators is ‘been there – done that’ experience. There’s a reason why startups who graduate from accelerator programs have a 23% higher survival rate than their counterparts.
The ability to lean on resources that have been through it before to gives you:
- Line of sight
- A safe space to talk about what keeps you up at night
- An outlet to clear up mental space and reduce anxieties
- Time and energy saved by not having to grind through problems on your own
But most of all, working with an expert helps you avoid costly mistakes. Imagine reducing the amount of trial and error while starting your business or launching your new product. That’s a significant cost savings. Instead, you’ll get advice from someone who can tell you how to do it right from the get-go. Don’t forget about the revenue you’ll gain by being able to get to market sooner.
Did you know that there’s a network of tech accelerators in BC? The BC Acceleration Network offers all of the above benefits to your tech startup and can be accessed from almost anywhere in the province.
Innovate BC oversees the BC Acceleration Network and the delivery of the accelerator program. We want to ensure all entrepreneurs and innovators across the province have access to this resource so together we can continue to grow strong businesses and a prominent BC innovation economy.
Learn more about the BC Acceleration Network and apply today >>>
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