When you have a great idea for a new business, the usual course of action is to grow a startup from scratch and seek funding from a variety of different sources. Some people prefer to fund their own business by using their personal funds, but there are also other common ways to fund your startup idea such as seeking angel investors, but one popular method as of late is a startup accelerator program.
Accelerators are becoming an integral part of the startup lifecycle that gives entrepreneurs a way to quickly scale their operations over a few short months. An acceleration program is designed to provide entrepreneurs with not just financial backing, but also access to advisors, mentors and even other business entrepreneurs that could be of assistance such as forming partnerships.
The startup accelerator application process
The first step is to find an accelerator program that is willing to take you on. This involves searching for the right company in your area, such as Y Combinator or 500 Startups in California or MassChallenge in Massachusetts. It may be possible to seek an accelerator program further away from the location of your business, but it’s generally advised to seek a local accelerator so that you can
Applicants will start by filling out a form about their company. This is usually done via an online application process and will involve talking about your business idea, how you plan to approach the market, the people on your team and so on. This will form the first impression that your accelerator sees, so make sure it is informative and well-written. Next, your accelerator will assess your application to ensure that it fits with their investment portfolio.
If the accelerator shows interest, then you’ll be invited for an interview. They’ll want to know more about your products and services, they’ll want to meet your team and also see if you’ll be a good fit for the program they offer. If you make it through to the next stage, then you’ll be evaluated. The accelerator will ask for documents to help enforce your application and experts will be brought in to assess how well your business is doing before accepting you into the program. If you are accepted, then you’ll be brought onboard and offered financial assistance along with mentors and a network of other helpful businesses.
Accelerators look for ideas that can disrupt industries and products or services that can greatly improve on something that already exists. When putting together your business ideas, make sure you’re bringing something new to the table or else the accelerator will likely reject and overlook your ideas.
Who are accelerator programs designed for?
Anyone can take advantage of an accelerator program, but the most recent industries that have experienced growth thanks to accelerator programs are in advanced manufacturing industries, blockchain services and products and also agricultural technologies. These are currently the most popular high-growth verticals so if your startup ideas are related to these industries, you may be preferred over the competition.
<p><strong>Please include attribution to MassChallenge with this graphic.</strong><br /><br /><a href='<a href=”https://masschallenge.org/media/startup-acceleration-application-explained”>https://masschallenge.org/media/startup-acceleration-application-explained</a>’><img src='<a href=”https://masschallenge.org/files/articles/startup-accelerator-application-explained.jpg”>https://masschallenge.org/files/articles/startup-accelerator-application…</a>’ alt=’The Road to Startup Acceleration’ width=’730px’ border=’0′ /></a></p>