Why We Need Startup Accelerators and Ecosystems
It’s almost impossible for people to create monumental success by themselves. When we run blindly into business, thinking we can do everything on our own, without consulting with someone who’s been there before -- it truly is a recipe for disaster.Still, many entrepreneurs who are just starting out believe that they can’t afford to invest in mentorship, that it would be a waste of time, or that no one is going to understand their vision as well as they do -- so they may as well execute it themselves the whole way.
We’ve all been over-confident before, but the success of any empire is contingent upon the willingness to learn from the mistakes and achievements of others. It’s simply a fact that if you want to make a mark, it’s important to review the marks that have been made.
Startup accelerators and mentorship programs have grown in popularity as we’ve seen the huge upsurge of online entrepreneurship as well as the growth of service-based businesses and entrepreneurial ventures in general.
It’s not even just about being aware of possible pitfalls and secrets for the journey you’re embarking on -- it’s shown to actually increase your financial revenue by a great deal.
In a 2013 survey by MicroMentor [a private business mentorship organization] mentored businesses increased their revenue by 83 percent. Those without mentorship only increased their revenue by 16 percent. This was over the course of a year.
Mentorship has also been shown to encourage survival of early-stage startups, and to help people seamlessly transition into their entrepreneurial venture being their full-time job. These are two of the greatest fears of entrepreneurs: failure and having to work their dream as a side-hustle for much longer than they desire.
Mentorship and guidance are time-tested ways to ensure that you’re at the top of your game. Plato was mentored by Socrates. Warren Buffet was mentored by Benjamin Graham.
The wise and the wealthy have always known that the road to success is more easily paved when you apprentice with someone who knows what they’re talking about.
Incubators and accelerators aren’t much different -- though they do have the added value of a built-in community, something that most entrepreneurs crave, especially in the early stages of their process. It can be a sometimes isolating endeavor to build and grow a business, so the ability to connect with and lean on others who are in the same place is not only a boon for emotional health but can build a collective rapport that increases chances of success.
Adding to this -- it isn’t yet commonplace for valuable entrepreneurial skills like coding, copywriting and emotional intelligence to be taught in schools. There are a lot of bright young minds, read: the future, who are craving the resources to be able to go on and build their own dreams. This is the next wave of revolutionary action: a world where it truly is possible to do what you desire, because you are well-equipped enough with the information and support to do so.
This has inspired many people to go out and create communities that are far and beyond co-working spaces, to offer a haven to young and aspiring entrepreneurs who are chomping at the bit to not just be successful, but to make a difference.
Recently launched in Newark, N.J. -- traditionally regarded as a rougher part of the state - is Fownders. Located near several college campuses and focused on empowering young minds through trainings and mentorship, it is equal parts startup incubator and academy for success. It will be replicated across the country in inner-city areas after its initial iteration is proved out.
The idea there is to build a startup eco-system. A network of individuals who give back after creating success to help support and elevate the next wave of young genius, which in turn boosts economy and in the longer-term, can lead to job creation, particularly for youth who may not ever have been granted such opportunities.It’s a very important time to start thinking about collaborative efforts to create more steam behind the era of entrepreneurship that we’re living in and the power of community and knowledge from other leaders cannot be undermined.