Becoming the next giant unicorn is the dream of any startup founder. But with the disappointing startup failure rate, building profitable chart-topper products takes a lot of work, especially if you’re new to entrepreneurship. Where do you get the needed guidance and help?
Acclaimed accelerators are your pit crew, uniquely equipped to provide mentoring, financing, and networking nitro for your startup’s rapid growth. It’s an intense 3-month ride that amplifies gains for early-stage and mature teams boasting robust MVPs. Just 1–2% qualify for the top programs, so fine-tune your startup before you submit applications. And mind that most accelerators ask for equity in return for their guidance and investment.
Why do startups join accelerators?
Accelerators wield startup magic, unlocking invaluable funding, mentoring, and connections to conjure business success in just months. Prominent projects like DoorDash, Coinbase, and Stripe gained skills, strategy, and exposure, rapidly boosting growth.
What do you get if you join an accelerator program?
- Acquiring new skills and gaining a fresh perspective
- Obtaining expert business advice
- Identifying new opportunities to expand your operations
- Coming up with the best plan for your product’s success
- Boosting your product promotion and attracting more users
- Accessing a wide range of valuable connections, potential business partners
- Getting funding (some accelerators provide funds in exchange for equity)
A brief top 5 accelerators overview:
1️⃣ With renowned alumni startups like Webflow and Dropbox, Y Combinator is a pioneer in offering mentoring, exclusive networking, and valuable discounts. Charges 7% equity.
2️⃣ Techstars aids 500+ startups yearly to raise $1M+ post-program, plus provides access to global workshops and expert mentors. 120k USD investment for 6% common shares equity.
3️⃣ Plug and Play raised big players like PayPal and Dropbox. There is no equity, but it provides venture funding instead.
4️⃣ For tech startups, 500 Global gives a curriculum spanning vital business areas and $150K funding for 6% equity.
5️⃣ Silicon Valley-based AngelPad focuses on early-stage startups — 7% equity for $120K funding. Below 1% accepted, but has helped alums raise $2B+.
Key Q&A about accelerators
Worth it? Yes, if your mature startup seeks rapid expansion help.
Perks? Mentorship, possible funding, networks to tap.
The best moment to join? Startups ready to scale that have decent traction and functioning MVP.
Application process? Complete the in-depth application and wait for a response.
Duration? Commonly three months.
Selection parameters? Growth prospects, product, founders, market potential.
It is an intense ride, but for driven founders with solid MVPs, accelerators bring wizardly results.
If becoming the next unicorn is your dream, you could consider applying to an accelerator program. Check out all the details of choosing the right program and applying for participation in this roundup article: