If you were faced with the question what is the difference between an Accelerator and an Incubator, would you know the answer? More so, would you know where to start looking if you needed a particular platform?
We are going to take you through the facts and figures that fundamentally set Accelerators and Incubators apart from one another. First of all, you should know that there are handfuls of these companies around you that will help you and your business, should you look to get in to one of their programs. They are extremely beneficial and put your business on a fast track towards mentorship, investment and business progression. Keep your head screwed on, is tip numero uno.
The basic definition of these models are loosely acknowledged in some parts and can have a cross over when talking about them in context. The following has been outlined by the online publication INC.
Accelerator: Fundamentally offer funding. An Accelerator will generally take a single-digit equity ownership in return for small amount of capital [for the start-up] and mentorship. The programs tend to last anywhere between 12 and 16 weeks.
Incubator: Fundamentally offer mentorship. An Incubator will work similarly however, it will bring in an external management team to develop an internal idea. Typically these ideas gestate for longer periods of time while taking a larger amount of equity [in comparison].
Just by those definitions you can already tell there are strong similarities yet there are definitive alterations that set them apart from one another. They both have their merits and will be equally beneficial to your business. It’s up to you to do your research and figure out what’s out there!
Don’t let the vagueness tear you away from making an executive decision. Assess the situation and always keep in mind that the line to get in to either an Accelerator or Incubator can be long and take precious time.
If you’re looking for accelerators or incubators in London, you will not find them difficult to come across, that’s for sure. We have strong ties with a couple amazing platforms that we have engaged with through our seed branding winners and some we will be engaging with in the future with seminar talks and lectures etc. Both Sliide and Sideways6 from our seed branding programme have both been through the New Entrepreneurs Foundation (NEF) which acts as a strong mentoring launch pad as well as help their graduates seek funding and investment further down the line. The accelerator you absolutely need to be looking out for is The Startup Institute. Herder, Emeline has been booked in with these guys to speak at some pivotal events the company is holding. All the way from cities such as Chicago, New York, Berlin and Boston, they now reside in London and we are excited they have done!
There are a few things to consider when taking the plunge into the unknown. So remember, don’t forget your fundamentals! Here are what you need to consider:
This is where Incubators come in handy. Every busy needs a workspace and whether you do it from a quirky café in Barbican or the desk in your front room, an incubator is where you need to be progressing to. Anything further and wider requires funding, we’ll get on to that! Take a look at spaces such as TechHub or Google Campus. They cost a bit of money but will be well worth it!
Take finances into consideration. If you need funds to take your business further but feel overwhelmed with the investment arenas, Incubators and Accelerators will both offer you the resources to get you going. You also have the crowdfunding and personal funding routes to take if you feel these are better suited. Often, a mentor will help you make these decisions based on experience.
Mentors can be found everywhere! Every corner you peer around, every bar you drink at. There will be business men and women sat there willing to give you the advice you so desperately seek. They won’t necessarily seek you out, though, unless you are part of an Accelerator program, for example. The right people will put you in touch with whoever you need to get your head around the business world. And trust us, it takes a keen mind to be able to do that.
We have plenty more to bleat about around Accelerators and Incubators, all you have to do is pick up the phone or ping a quick email. Job’s a good’un.