When you plan your travels, a map helps guide your route to a successful and enjoyable trip. Likewise, a Venture Accelerator Program will help guide your way along the best route to success.
You’ve got a great new idea for a product or service. You may have even initiated the process of developing a business. Chances are, in these early stages, you could use some helpful advice, direction and maybe even a little funding. That’s where an accelerator program comes in. If offers the resources and expertise of someone who’s successfully traveled the path to help you get all three.
If you need a little nudge about participating, here are six good reasons why you should consider joining an accelerator:
1. Comprehensive support
As you may already know, developing, launching, and operating a startup can be a challenging and often lonely business. That’s where an accelerator program can help. When you work within an accelerator, you receive valuable support from experienced mentors or Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR). In addition to the direction, experience, and knowledge, they’re also there for emotional support.
2. Accelerated knowledge
Providing a ton of information based on the years of experience and skills that each mentor, or EIR, has amassed is what makes an accelerator program what it is. Access to this concentrated amount of information allows you to make your way through the various steps far more quickly and efficiently than trying to go it alone.
Accelerator programs offer you the opportunity to leverage the years of accumulated wisdom and experience available, instead of trying to reinvent the wheel. As a result, you are better positioned to develop and launch your startup in a more calculated, strategic way, improving your chances of success.
3. Skills development
Focus on teaching the skills essential to launching and running a business, including sales and marketing, customer discovery, communications, finance, and sometimes even technical skills provide the foundation of an accelerator program.
Accelerators can also help you share your skills with other startup founders in the program, providing a great testing ground for disseminating your skills later on to your own team.
4. Risk management
Front of mind for any startup founder is, more often than not, the risk of failure. It can seem as though there is risk in everything you take on. This includes the market you’ve targeted, your product, and the concept you’re presenting.
The success of a startup depends on how the various functions – product development, pricing, technology, operations, customer service, marketing, finance, and HR management – have been performed. How each of these components is addressed has a direct impact on the success or failure of the enterprise.
An accelerator can identify the risks within your concept and help you work on minimizing them. Also, those within the program can provide you with the direction in proactively taking on risk and managing it effectively.
5. A bigger-picture, long-term view
As a founder, particularly if you’re jumping into startup waters for the first time, it can seem impossible to see beyond the first six months or year. However, in order to ensure your chances for success, it’s critical to work toward a much longer view and outcome. Accelerators help you see the entire forest in addition to the individual trees.
An accelerator program EIR can help you anticipate complexities or roadblocks and help you to navigate them more effectively. They can ask the questions that get you thinking bigger picture. They’ll also suggest the tools, strategies, and tactics to help get you there.
6. Motivation and morale
There is a spirit of collaboration in the accelerator program experience and it adds motivation and inspiration with each step. Your EIR or mentor has been there, both in their own business as well as coaching other startups, and they serve as a powerful motivating force.
Doubts and challenges are part and parcel of the startup process, and when you connect with other accelerator participants, hearing about their self-doubts and challenges, it can be highly inspiring and motivational.
Interested in how an accelerator program can help launch or advance your startup? Check out the BC Venture Accelerator Program HERE!