One cannot be an expert in everything, either you can have an innovative mind or have a business mind. But to have a great startup, you need to have everything, it just has to be perfect. This is possible if you provide your startup with a leverage of right mentoring.
In today’s competitive world, we need to develop and follow the best strategy to make sure the startup we are running fares well in the toughest of the times. Achal Ghai, who is a well know Venture Capitalist discussed a few things regarding mentoring of startups (for more info visit: www.achalghai.com).
What are Incubators?
These are the firms that help you establish a startup right from the scratch. They help startups in developing the idea, rightfully estimating the size of the market, building the right team and getting the early stage feedback from the target consumers. They build the right foundation on which the startup can grow and prosper. There can be two models of working of an incubator, one in which a fixed fee is charged for each service provided, the second, where the incubator is funded by a venture in the startup. There can also be a third option in which a mix of both is done. In short, if your startup is in very early stage, the incubator is for you. These firms help the startups in data and networking management too. And most importantly, they help a startup raise funds. This can be achieved by raising funds through bank loans, angel investors or by venture capital firms.
What are Accelerators?
Accelerators are the firms that will help you market your product for short period but in a very intensive way. If your startup is older than 4-5 months these will boost your growth. They provide a professional training to the staff of a startup and inculcate a professional environment in the firm. Accelerators can also help you fetch good investment from VC companies. There are many Accelerator firms that have been there for long and have successfully helped startups in boosting their growth. These also work in the similar model as that of the Incubators.
Should you choose these programs?
Well, going for such firms is largely a personal choice. It is important to choose an accelerator or in Incubator very wisely considering their area of expertise. If it doesn’t have the right experience, it is of little or no use to you. You don’t need them if your startup is already doing well and has all the problems they solve already figured out. But if you think you are lacking in some skills that these firms have, you should consider them.
There are many advantages of getting into these programs, like the skill development and exposure of your product to a wider market. But they don’t ensure sure-shot success. You need to know if these firms are themselves performing well or not. Some startups have no idea what these programs do and get themselves enrolled. Each one of these firms might have a different philosophy and working model. You should go with the one which many successful startups in their kitty.
Incubators and Accelerators have been around for quite some time, but have become popular in India only recently. There are some ideas that are really good but need a good platform. These ideas need to be converted into a good business model. Investors will invest only if they see a good return and hence converting your idea into a money-making machine is one task that might require you to have an experienced team.