What are the benefits of joining a startup accelerator or incubator?








Accelerators and incubators will help you in two specific areas:

  • To build your product/service
  • To help you build the business around that product/service

When you are selecting an accelerator or incubator, you should be clear about what you are seeking from the program and what exactly your needs are. Evaluate different accelerators and incubators according to that they bring to the party, and then choose accordingly.

Most accelerators and incubators, at least in India, are designed to provide some assistance in both areas. In some programs, the focus is primarily on helping you build your business (including business case, business plan, operating pan, etc.) while some programs focus on helping you build your product (prototype, MVP, product, etc.). In programs that help build products, the business understanding is generally covered by mentoring sessions, off-hours (visits by successful entrepreneurs and senior professionals), mentoring clinics, expert talks, etc.

Overall, an accelerator of incubator program should provide you the following:

  • Comfortable working space (well, there are virtual accelerator programs where you do not have to work out of the accelerator facility)
  • Access to mentors and experts who can help you with your business and product/service development needs
  • Networking opportunities and access to relevant folks in your eco-system, access to potential customers, potential employees, potential advisors, etc.
  • Access to capital

An accelerator program is usually a shorter duration program – usually between 3 months to 6 months, and primarily focuses on getting your startup from a concept/power-point stage into the market with a business plan and a MVP/product. An incubation program is usually longer duration and provides resources (shared office space, etc.) and hand-holding and guidance through the first year or so of your venture’s launch into the market.


Author: Prajakt Raut

Prajakt Raut is the founder of Applyifi.com, and author of the book for startups - ‘Starting Up & Fund Raising’ Prajakt personal goal in life is to encourage and assist a 100,000 people to become entrepreneurs. _____________ Prajakt is the founder of Applyifi - an online platform that provides startups a 36-point scorecard and assessment report on the venture's investment readiness [www.applyifi.com], and helps them improve their odds of getting funded. Prajakt is also the founding partner of The Growth Labs, a platform where growth-stage companies get sharp, incisive advice from senior professionals and experienced entrepreneurs. [www.thegrowthlabs.in] Before starting Applyifi, Prajakt was the head of operations at IAN, founding member of a leading incubator, and the Asia-Director for TiE (2004 - 2007). Previously Prajakt had co-founded Orange Cross, a healthcare services company, and was part of the founding team member of Idealake Technologies. While in college Prajakt had founded a printing business and has spent over 10 years working in leading advertising agencies. Prajakt’s book, ‘Starting Up & Fund Raising’, helps startups understand an investor’s perspective, and helps them improve their odds of getting funded. The book also helps entrepreneurs understand the building blocks of a business.

One thought on “What are the benefits of joining a startup accelerator or incubator?”

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