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Are accelerator programs and incubators over-hyped?

I really don't understand why I should give up 5 to 10% of my company when I have a network that I can tap into in order to create a solid advisory board and a good board of directors. What is the real purpose of this programs? I find too much noise around these initiatives...

~Mike

13 Replies

Irwin Stein
2
0
Irwin Stein Advisor
Very experienced (40 years) corporate,securities and real estate attorney.
If you don't need it, don't buy it. The real purpose varies. Some are designed to help younger entrepreneurs who need the help. Some are designed to give the accelerator backers access to good potential investments that come along.
Rob Adams
1
0
Rob Adams Advisor
Advisory Board Member at PhotoPad For Business
Most accelerators exist to jump start pre-seed companies and get them to an investable state. The percentage of equity required covers the substantial risk inherent in such early stage companies. The small amount of cash normally offered is usually backed with marketing, design, and legal services. Office space is usually included. Accelerators normally also have an investor network and provide a demo day to show off in front of said network.

If you have all this already, can bootstrap it or fund it yourself, then by all means please do. But for *many* startups, an accelerator can be invaluable.
Suryanarayanan A
1
0
Head, Incubator consulting services at Bhiveworkspace
Accelerators and incubators offer credibility in many cases as investors customers and other stake holders find comfort in dealing with a curated start up. They also offer excellent eco system which helps the start leapfrog to the next level. The trick is to choose the correct incubator/accelerator
Rod Abbamonte
1
0
Rod Abbamonte Advisor
Co Founder at STARTREK / @startupHunter / @startupWay / @CoFounderFound / @GOcapital / @startupClub / @lastminute
One of the most important challenge of any entrepreneur is take a decision and negotiate based on that. Each entrepreneur needs to decide if an acceleration and management company who bring experience, knowledge and investment is necessary or not and negotiate an equity share that make sense for both side.
Martin Omansky
0
0
Martin Omansky Entrepreneur
Independent Venture Capital & Private Equity Professional
Some incubators or accelerators provide valuable services to start-ups, especially to those that are first-timers. But, as always the case, let the buyer beware! Sent from my iPhone
Josh McCormack
0
0
Josh McCormack Advisor
Owner, InteractiveQA - Marketing, Web Dev, Testing, Data & Market Analysis
Incubators sound great. An environment where I'd get help, feedback and access.
Galina Ozgur
1
0
Galina Ozgur Advisor
GM at Grand Central Tech
It's a choice. If you have a brilliant network and can build a killer advisory board - more power to you. My experience says, that alone does not a company make. Accelerators - if they are good programs - will help founders avoid mistakes which I guarantee are made on a daily basis by companies on both coasts. How? Through advice, mentorship, educational components of programming, a thoughtful approach to your company's operational challenges, a close look at your metrics, performance against these metrics, etc etc. In addition, accelerators give you business development opportunities, partnership opportunities, more connections, access to VC/ angel money resources, advice around fundraising and company management. The list goes on. Most importantly - they give you momentum and a community.The former is something to be built upon and not taken lightly; the latter - provided you were engaged and participating - is something that stays with you and supports you for a long time. GCT has founders that have had exits before and they still choose an accelerator program to build their new business because sitting side by side with smart people is always a preference.The reason folks argue about the value add of programs is because they aren't created equal and there's a lot of confusion and misrepresentation of the term. There is a difference between an accelerator, incubator, coworking/ collaborative space. There is a difference among all the programs offerings and how well they are built. In the long run, YOU as a founder have a job to do due diligence on these programs and find out what their strongest points are.
Ema Chuku
0
0
Ema Chuku Entrepreneur
Designer. Product Developer. Founder @ NuPad
The startup industry is itself overhyped and experiencing too much noise so shouldn't be a surprise there's with everything associated with it.

That said, just like picking products, there's always the wrong ones amongst the great ones.

Just have to do your research to pick the right ones.


Stella Holman
0
0
Stella Holman Entrepreneur
Affiliate representative for the Standard of Trust | #FWCC | Online Advertising
We provide a type of incubator/support community. We meet up once a month in London.
Thomas Sutrina
0
0
Thomas Sutrina Entrepreneur
Inventor at Retired Pursue Personal interrests and family
The reason most people argue about accelerator programs Galina, is that the incubator is also a startup that need clients that PAY. Galina, in the end that will take precedence over helping people launch their products. Thus they will accept questionable clients. They may be able to help but just as likely will not and they will fail.
This is not identical but I worked for 6 years at a product design firm which did this all the time. Human nature that you come first.
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