We all know that we are currently living in the era of start-ups. While most of us look at it as another market trend and move on, there are people who find opportunities within this trend. When the market was full of new and promising start-ups, there was one problem that every start-up had to face- it was the access to advisors, capital, a dedicated workspace, and even professional with different expertise. The start-ups obviously do not have the financial liberty to hire full-fledged team of professionals. So what now? While many find freelancers to their rescue, the more viable and efficient option is a start-up incubator or accelerator. This brings us to the question-
Incubator Or Accelerator?
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Start-up incubator, as defined by business dictionary, means “Facility established to nurture young (start-up) firms during their early months or years. It usually provides affordable space, shared offices and services, hand-on management training, marketing support and, often, access to some form of financing.”
The keyword here is “young” because Incubators generally work with new start-ups. On the other hand, accelerators work with existing start-ups that need further “acceleration” or growth. Accelerators are more finance based as offering capital is its key feature while an incubator may or may not offer capital. Incubators are more about physical space, professional services like marketing and so on.
Your decision regarding, whether to start an incubator or an accelerator, would largely depend on the market research.
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The most crucial aspect of starting an incubator is building the “super-team”. I call it the super team because this team needs to be able to pull of anything and everything. From finance to marketing to sales to web development, you need someone for everything! That’s what makes you special and that’s also your biggest test. Once you have the perfect team at place, there’s no turning back. Good and quality services will always attract customers.
Not to forget, to begin with, you might need a lot of capital investment. Even if you are not planning to provide the start-ups with space or capital, you will have to pay salary to your super team. Just keep that in mind!
The idea of helping start-ups is no more a new start-up idea. There are lots of incubators and accelerators in the market as of now. Thus, before you launch your own star-up, make sure you have something more or different to offer. One formula that can help you succeed is- specialisation. Focusing on a well-defined group of target customers can be very helpful for you business to begin with. Your specialisation can not only attract more customers but also make it easier for you to operate since it will unburden you from the responsibility to meet different kinds of demands of different kinds of start-ups.