The growth of a company, especially that of a startup isn’t always easy to achieve. Even with a revolutionary business idea, a thriving demand for your product or service and an excellent team to lean back on, it can still be hard to make profit when you’re first starting out. To cope with the multiple challenges that come your way, you may need to seek the help of an
To cope with the multiple challenges that come your way, you may need to seek the help of an accelerator- a selective platform that offers funding, networking opportunities, mentorship and the camaraderie of other startups.
With myriad number of accelerators crowding the market, choosing the best accelerator can be challenging, but when you choose well, the rewards can be enormous.
Here are a few ways that will help you choose a suitable accelerator program for your business-
- Ask the alums
Sometimes alumni organizations can provide valuable feedback and insight on the accelerator’s conduct and performance. But, beware of biases and do not go by their criticisms blindly. Keep their suggestions in mind and make an informed choice after weighing in other factors.
- Do your research
Accelerator scouting should always begin with proper research. Just as you would choose a business partner or investor for your business, choose an accelerator for the long-term, and not the short-term. Conduct necessary research and if the program doesn’t seem to be what it claims to be, do not go for it.
- See if it is a good fit
Try to determine the way in which a particular startup operates and whether its habits are aligning with your organization’s goals. An accelerator does not have to top the list of world’s best accelerators in order to suit your needs, what’s more important is to see whether its value set, industries and verticals are a good fit for your business and will benefit you in the long run.
- Gauge the environment
Assessing the culture and environment of an accelerator is imperative, since you’ll be a part of it for a few months at least. You will have to do your fair share of research so as to determine the success the accelerator has gathered, its mentor-alumni engagement and stakeholder networks in order to figure out whether this is the right type of accelerator for your company.
- Decide on a local or global accelerator
Since relocation can be disruptive, expensive and even time-consuming, not all startups are in favor of it. However, sometimes it’s good to expand your horizon and get out of your current city to improve your likelihood of success. Whatever be your preferences, you need to choose an accelerator keeping these factors in mind.
- Evaluate the mentors
At the early stages of your startup, you may not have the slightest idea of what you need to be doing right away. What you need is access to reliable and experienced mentors who will share their wisdom and connections with you. Insist that the accelerator you’re looking at gives you a list of mentors you can have access to. Don’t forget to take a good look at their credentials and experience in your startup industry.
- Consider the terms of investment
An accelerator may provide funding to startups in exchange of stake in the company. Make sure that the deal terms are simple and easy to understand. Show them to your advisor or lawyer before signing anything.
Selecting the best startup accelerator for your company is definitely no piece of cake but can be critical to success or failure in the maiden days. So keep these pointers in mind and choose wisely. All the best!