What are the startup accelerators for?
Asking for help may become one of the leading decisions of your life. It can not only boost your performance but also speed up the timing of your set-up. It this fast-paced world, when trends become mainstream in a few days, it is important to hurry in order not to lose a moment of the most enticing conditions for your startup’s popularity. Here’s where the startup accelerators come in. With the growing number of new ventures, it was inevitable for them to emerge in the tech market. These companies employ the best professionals in tech, business, and financing field. So what do startup accelerators really do?
- Help the startup initiators to build the early versions of their products (MVPs);
- Assist in choosing the most promising target audience groups;
- Improve the resource-accumulative process: hiring employees and finding investors;
- Provide the first starting capital (which is usually not big but enough for the beginning);
- Offer various networking opportunities – e.g. get you acquainted with the developers, investors, businesspeople, possible customers;
- Arrange an event usually called “Demo Day” where you present your product and the investors choose whether to allocate you the money or not;
However, isn’t it what startup incubators do, also? Yes, still, there is a difference in their basic features and performance. The main distinction is in the timing because, usually, the collaboration with startup accelerators lasts for 3 months averagely, whereas, with startups incubators, you will have to spend more than 1 year. Why? Not all ventures are ready to make a winning shot in the beginning. Some of them are fragile, although the idea might be great! That’s why accelerators suit the projects with a basis and understanding of the business. In the case of incubators — the initiators usually start from the very scratch and these guiding companies bring them up, like a child — teaching how to walk in this challenging tech world. Overall, incubators give you a strong base, however, with great time expenditure. Vice versa, accelerators provide you a fast start. These characteristics can be seen even through the meanings of the words:
- Accelerate (v) to happen or make something happen sooner or faster (Cambridge dictionary);
- Incubate (v) develop slowly after a lot of thought or discussion (Collins).
We will tell you about different startups accelerators in four articles: about North American, Australian, Asian and European startup accelerators. This is part 1, where we develop the North American tech conditions for your project!
US best startup accelerators
Y Combinator is a venture fund based in California. Twice a year they provide 150 thousand dollars to startups. Then they start cooperating with them for three months, helping to improve their product and make it enticing for the potential shareholders. Each cycle ends with a Demo Day, however, the collaboration itself does not finish because Y Combinator helps its former “students” to maintain the achieved quality even after the graduation. The beginnings are always the hardest, especially when you are a newbie in the tech business world. Y Combinator can become your guide and say “You shall not pass” in case you play with fire.