How to Pick the Right Accelerator for Your Startup?

How to Pick the Right Accelerator for Your Startup?

Unleash your startup’s potential—use these tips to find your perfect accelerator.

As an entrepreneur, one of the critical decisions you must make for your business is finding a startup accelerator program to enroll in. In a world with over 3,000 accelerator programs, finding the right one to support your startup’s growth can be challenging. 

Making the right choice is imperative as startup accelerator graduates are more successful at raising funding than their peers. Whether you are looking for mentorship, networking opportunities or access to funding, we’ve got you covered! Here is a guide to the different kinds of accelerator programs and the key factors you need to consider when choosing one for your startup. 

Types of startup accelerators

Stage of the startup

The first thing to consider when picking a startup accelerator is the stage of your startup. Based on this, the three basic types of startups are— 

  • pre-seed accelerators (for startups yet to raise any funds)
  • seed accelerators (for those that have raised initial capital)
  • pro-seed accelerators (for those that have already raised Series A funding)

Of these, pre-seed startup accelerators are the easiest to get into but provide the least amount of funding, and post-seed ones are the most competitive but provide the most resources and funding. 

Goals of the accelerator

Another feature that differentiates startup accelerator programs is the source of their funds. This determines their mission statement and goals with the startups they recruit. Based on this, there are— 

  • Venture capital accelerators: These look to invest in projects that give them significant returns for three to five years. They have an extensive network of investors and are a great pick if funding is your priority. 
  • Government-backed accelerators: These programs support startups that improve technological innovation in the country, provide jobs and nurture entrepreneurship. They are a great pick if you are looking for more resources at the national level. 
  • Corporate accelerators: These programs are run by large corporations, and they typically end with the startup pitching their product/service to the corporation for further funding. Corporate accelerator programs are meant to bring innovation in-house. If you want to work as a subsidiary of a mega-corporation, this might be the way to go. 

Mentors 

Once you have the type of accelerator figured out, the next thing to consider is the kind of mentorship the program provides. This is particularly important if you don’t know too much about the industry your company caters to. Having mentors from your specific industry will help you gain real-life experience that you can use to make better business decisions. So, if you want to establish a food-related startup, food entrepreneurs like Mario Batali and Dave Chang (both with multiple food businesses under their belt) would be good picks as mentors.

The share of equity you have to part with

Another important factor is that most accelerators aren’t free. They will ask you for a certain percentage of equity in return for investing in your business. This percentage is typically between 5-10%, which is way higher than the amount of investment they might put in. Thus, before you sign on with an accelerator, you should consider whether you want to dilute your equity early on in the business. 

Program structure 

Different accelerator programs require different amounts of commitment. Some offer extremely hands-on training and mentorship, whereas others are laxer, allowing entrepreneurs to work independently. You should pick one that best fits your and your team’s working styles. The program’s timetable should also fit in with your work schedule so that you don’t end up relinquishing your equity without even making the most of the program. 

The success rate of the accelerator

The final thing to consider is how the accelerator program’s alumni are faring. You can even speak to a few of them to see whether they would do it again and make a decision based on that. Let’s say you run a fashion-tech business, but the accelerator you are looking at doesn’t have a track record of helping fashion-tech companies generate funding. In that case, it might not be the right accelerator for you. 

An accelerator is a long-term commitment that can provide you with a lifelong network of contacts in your industry. So, make sure to choose wisely. Research the available accelerators, assess their strengths and talk to past and current participants. 

If you follow all these tips, you should be able to find an accelerator that is best suited for your business. That said, you should avoid joining an accelerator solely to follow what others in your industry are doing. Think about whether your startup is even ready to join an accelerator. If you are struggling to define your startup’s challenges or pitch to investors, you should probably hold off for the time being and prepare so that you can make the most of what the accelerator has to offer. 

Also read:

Header image courtesy of Envato. 

SHARE THIS STORY

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

RELATED POSTS

Mercedes-Benz Launches the New Luxurious CLE Cabriolet

Mercedes-Benz has launched the CLE Cabriolet, building on its heritage of creating four-seater convertible vehicles. This new addition is characterized by its expressive design, advanced technology, and high-quality features, ensuring an enhanced driving experience. The model, which evolves from the CLE Coupé, stands out with its traditional fabric acoustic soft top and distinct high-quality details, making it uniquely positioned in the market. Designed to offer dynamic performance alongside exceptional daily comfort, the CLE Cabriolet supports year-round open-air enjoyment.

4 Companies Reusing Coffee Husk for Eco-Friendly Innovations

A daily cup of coffee is more than just a morning ritual—it’s a powerhouse of energy and health benefits. Beyond keeping you alert, coffee supports brain health, maintains liver function and may even lower the risk of depression. However, the journey of coffee from plantation to mug involves an energy-intensive process that produces significant waste, particularly coffee husks.

Fort Worth Hosts New LG Electronics Facility for EV Charger Assembly

LG Electronics has initiated its first U.S. production facility for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in Fort Worth, Texas, aiming to bolster the national EV charging infrastructure and generate employment opportunities. The facility’s inauguration was marked by an event attended by Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker and LG executives Alec Jang, H.K. Suh and Nicolas Min. This development is part of LG’s strategy to expand its presence in the EV charger market by providing high-quality charging solutions and services.

KPMG Introduces “The Road to Leadership” along with Harvard Business School

KPMG in India and Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation (HBSPC) have announced a collaboration to launch “The Road to Leadership”, a program designed to empower mid-level managers with the skills and insights needed to ascend to leadership roles. This collaboration brings together HBSPC’s rich legacy in leadership education and KPMG’s deep industry experience, offering participants a unique blend of theoretical knowledge and practical insights tailored for the Indian context.

What Are the Negative Impacts of AI on the Film Industry?

The arrival of artificial intelligence (AI) in filmmaking is changing the game, introducing endless possibilities into an industry known for its creativity. Hollywood, known for its glitz and glamour, is already on board, using AI to pick out potential hits through script analysis and predictive analytics. This allows filmmakers to make data-informed decisions on which scripts might win the audience’s hearts.