The Truth is, You Need to Accelerate Here to Take Off

Nay-sayers don’t get role of Accelerators
Startup accelerators come in a variety of forms -one set up within a university is very different from a corporate accelerator, which is very different from a standalone startup accelerator. Startup founders must consider their personal and business contexts to determine which accelerator best serves their needs. A founder must vet an accelerator based on needs, rather than com needs, rather than compare two different acce lerators. It just do esn’t work.Also one must consider an accelerator only when there is a minimum viable product. You must have something to accelerate. It can’t be a bu siness siness plan or an idea. Maybe a boot camp or an incubator is a better fit for an idea or a business plan.

There are many nay-sayers who think that accelerators are not relevant, but that could be because they haven’t understood the operating models of accelerators. An accelerator is just like a startup that manages several more startups. There is no fixed operating model. In fact, if an accelerator is not innovative and iterative in its programming, it is bound to meet a deadend sooner rather than later. Also, an accelerator needs to manage multiple stakeholder relationships beyond just the world of startups. Accelerators need to create value for each of the stakeholders; it is not an easy task, and it can’t be superficial either. The single biggest advantage an accelerator brings to startups is relationships. A robust accelerator programme provides a startup with relationships relevant to its business and situational need. Most entrepreneurs do not always have the network of contacts needed to succeed. It could be the need for an advisor, as mentor, first set of customers, hiring interns. An accelerator doing its job well would be handy .

Since the resources with a startup are limited, the second biggest value-add that an accelerator can bring is to help startups bootstrap for longer. It is not just about a fancy coworking space, at no rent or limited rent. Accelerators are a community of startups where startups access a quality peer network of like-minded entrepreneurs and access to professional services at a frac tion of regular cost, all of which allow the founders to stretch their capital further. The camaraderie between fellow entrepreneurs and sharing of wins, contacts, and hacks is something that a startup cannot access elsewhere.Most impor tantly , an accelerator lends legitimacy and visibility to a startup. It is a place where there is working due diligence beyond just a PowerPoint presentation, or financial forecasts. Accelerators create a lot of comfort for corporates while dealing with startups for a proof-of-concept, and investors see a value in building rela tionships with accelera tors for deal flow. Ove rall, accelerators are net job creators that can transform the job mar ket and economic pro sperity of communities, cities and nations.

(The writer is director of Zone Startups India, a tech accelerator which is a collaboration between BSE Institute and Ryer son University of Canada)

Source: The Economic Times
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Author:

Neeraj; an entrepreneur & a visionary in the field of Railway, Defense & Automobiles, is a graduate in commerce and a Harvard Business School Alumni. He’s an expert in govt. liasoning & contracting and has an exceptional network & connections at both local as well as global level. He’s an expert in Market Strategy & Planning and has served number of overseas companies as an advisor/consultant. He takes a profound interest in upcoming startups & is very receptive towards ground-breaking ideas & innovations. He likes to brainstorm those ideas and if the values & philosophies matches; he is even ready to invest his resources, serve as a mentor or act as an incubator to futuristic businesses.

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