The Benefits of Startup Incubators and Accelerators
Even the savviest entrepreneurs could use some extra help, especially when business growth is their main goal.
Both incubators and accelerators can help you grow your small business or startup, but they’re two distinctly different models. Incubators help you out when you’re getting started and accelerator programs guide you as you continue to grow and develop. You should choose the model that suits your business best.
If you’re on the fence about joining an incubator or accelerator program to propel your own small business success, here are 4 reasons you should consider taking the plunge.
1. Guidance from successful business owners
This first reason is perhaps the biggest draw to startup incubators and accelerators. Whether you’re first starting out in the business world, or trying to make it to the next level of success, it’s difficult to know what works and what doesn’t. Without guidance, you’ll likely make time consuming mistakes that could have been avoided.
You can learn exactly how to nail a pitch to potential investors, or how to make your business plan stand out to potential investors. If you’re faced with a roadblock like a funding rejection this guidance can also motivate you to bounce back stronger than ever.
There are incubators and accelerators for every business niche, too. You should be able to find a program with people who know all about your particular industry, including the various nuances and insider secrets.
2. Resources that will free up time
Many incubators and accelerators also provide their members with access to administrative support, freeing up precious time that can then be spent on other projects. You’ll also save money on hiring employees or outside help for these important tasks.
Legal advice, accounting support, general administrative assistance, and more are all available depending on the program you choose. If you think these types of resources would be helpful be sure to look for a program that offers them.
3. Access to funding
Money is another big draw for businesses, especially in incubator programs that grant access to investors as part of acceptance. The funding you might receive from an incubator could be just what you’ve needed to expand your small business.
The exact dollar amounts will vary widely based on your industry and the program, so it makes sense to “shop around” to compare and contrast different programs.
4. A robust network of fellow entrepreneurs
There’s so much truth to the old cliche, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” A big reason many people join incubators and accelerators involves the networking opportunities that are available.
You’ll be exposed to important people within your industry and will have the opportunity to work closely work together. Gaining access to these people isn’t always easy in everyday life, so joining an incubator or accelerator for the networking opportunities could be a very wise business move.