3 Ways an Accelerator Program Can Kickstart Business Growth
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As entrepreneurs continue to power the business landscape, startups and venture capital are in higher demand than ever before. Combining visionaries with the next great idea and those able to fund them has led to unique expansions in the entrepreneurial landscape embracing concepts such as startup accelerator programs. In my view, accelerator programs offer diverse opportunities for startup founders to learn, grow, fund, and network while launching their companies and driving business growth. These programs represent incubators for small and large ventures giving them years' worth of advantages in a compressed and shortened period.
Undoubtely startups face many challenges in this business environment. Still, they are also seeing unprecedented success and curious about what is driving that, I spoke with Chentur Thambiah, founder of Accelerator Online, an Internet-based startup accelerator taking an unlimited view of business potential. The world has been confusing and full of ups and downs, but Thambiah believes that our perceptions create our reality, and we are in control. He shares the three ways an accelerator program can help kickstart growth.
Education and Development
Many entrepreneurs get into startups because they have a great idea, but the reality is that it takes a lot more than just a great idea to get a company off the ground. An accelerator program teaches startup founders the ins and outs of sales, marketing, communication, finance, tech, employee management, literally everything that goes into running a successful business. "It's important to find an accelerator program that aligns with your values. It's about learning from others and gaining the practical skills that will take your business to the next level," says Thambiah.
Access to Capital
While accelerator programs do not lend money or provide funding directly; they can connect entrepreneurs with investors who will. "Investors look favorably on startup accelerators because they have a higher than average success rate. Investors know that entrepreneurs in accelerator programs are serious, and they are looking to invest," explains Thambiah. Thambiah explains the most significant draw is "demo days," where founders are given the opportunity to present to select investors, giving them additional time to meet and talk with them. We all know capital is fundamental to growth and these programs provide the first steps to secure the necessary funding.
Being an entrepreneur can be a very lonely journey, and it can be difficult to grow without a community behind you. "When people decide to launch their startup, it can feel quite isolated from the rest of the world. If you're lucky to have a few employees or a co-founder, you begin spending all your time with the same people day in and day out, which can lead to complacency, conflict, and burnout," states Thambiah. I believe the most valuable part of any accelerator program is the relationships you make as everyone learns from their struggles, victories and shares those experiences with the group.
A combination of networking, education, and funding, accelerator programs represent the future of business development. You can't expect to grow if you aren't willing to level-up, and an accelerator program puts you in a place where failure is not an option. Accelerator programs eschew the traditional in favor of growth, putting a renewed emphasis on what is possible as the business climate adapts to 2020 and beyond.