How Does a Startup Accelerator Work?

By Fernando Berrocal

The acceptance into a startup accelerator is a major milestone for any new startup, these initiatives provide the funding and mentorship necessary for any entrepreneur. They integrate new teams into the dynamic startup environment, where they will be surrounded by learning opportunities and other innovators.

Startup Accelerator


What is a Startup Accelerator? 

A startup accelerator is a short-term growth program that encourages a startup to reach growth that would have taken several years to within a matter of months. Consider them a market-readiness and investment-development boot camp. According to studies, graduates from top-rated accelerator programs are more likely to achieve important milestones sooner. A startup accelerator has numerous advantages, including the following:

Seed funding: Most programs provide startup financing to their participants' businesses. In 2018, the average accelerator equity deal was $38,000, according to recent data. So, how do startup accelerators make money? These investments are exchanged for a percentage of the participants' equity.

Training: Many accelerator programs provide one-of-a-kind training opportunities. Formal mentoring programs are the source of this. These advisers are accomplished entrepreneurs, investors, and business professionals. Companies will participate in seminars, workshops, mentor meetings, and pitch practices throughout the accelerator.

Networking: Cohorts are important in accelerator programs. As a result, startups get to meet others in the early phases of development over several months. They share ideas with other innovators that might lead to future success and partnerships. Accepted entrepreneurs will also get the opportunity to work with successful business founders and have access to an alumni network.

Demo Day: A pitch day is held at the end of the program. Following the scaling of their businesses, each team is allowed to present their startup to potential investors.

Examples of Accelerators: Since its inception, the number of accelerators has increased at an exponential rate. Over 5,000 businesses in the U.S. have received investment from them. Here are some of the most well-known and recognized accelerator programs: TechStars, 500 Startups, Plug and Play, Dreamit, Y Combinator, MassLight, etc.

How long do Startup Accelerators usually take? Accelerators have a designated time limit. During the program, startups dedicate all of their attention to the business, and each program is unique.

How Does the Application Process Work?

It's difficult to get into the top business accelerator programs. Only 5% of candidates are accepted into the best programs. Most have their own set of criteria, which differ from each program. The application procedure requires much study and planning. Companies generally receive a decision quickly, with some programs making decisions only a few hours after the interview. 

The Advantages of a Startup Accelerator:

  • Growth potential: An accelerator program's ultimate goal is to help your startup grow. Your business can thrive with dedicated work time, expert training, and investment opportunities.

  • Valuable feedback: One-on-one meetings with program advisors are available. They've worked on growing startups, attracting investors, and entering into new markets.

  • Prestige: In the perspective of investors, an accelerator is a badge of pride. Participation in a top program demonstrates that your team has the necessary skills, motivation, and training.

Is Your Company a Good Fit for a Startup Accelerator Program?

Some businesses want to expand at a slower pace and may not require venture capital to accomplish so. Accelerators aren't usually required in this scenario. A startup accelerator is a wonderful choice for a company in need of professional advice, funding, and growth. 

Ready to bring your startup to the next level? Apply to MassLight’s next batch. MassLight supplies capital and a dedicated tech team. We take equity in return. Have questions? Refer to our FAQ page

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