Following the rise of startup accelerators, the number of new entrepreneurs who want to get a position within these incubators has also significantly increased. Wall Street Journal reports that the applications to more than 200 accelerators around the world have almost doubled in the past two years.
According to Marc Nager, Chief Executive Officer of Startup Weekend, an accelerator may be good for those who are new on the field of entrepreneurship. However, in isolated cases, some of the terms may not be as acceptable. Nager provided some information that might help those who have yet to apply for an accelerator.
Understand the Basics
For Nager, would-be entrepreneurs must start with understanding the basic terms of the deal. He said that before applying, they should look at the benefits that they will get once they participate in this venture.
In the world of startup accelerators, a lot of value will come from the network that will be established amongst the students, mentors, and program leaders. Nager added that the applicants should also use to their advantage the possibility of having one-on-one experience with experienced entrepreneurs. He stresses the need for applicants to identify at least three mentors who have had experience on the industry that they are working on. This will ensure that the sessions will be maximized and will result in a highly beneficial experience.
Nager advises that when applying for startup accelerators, would-be entrepreneurs should consider signing up in well-known programs. He said that these will ensure better results that will be advantageous for the participants.
Unfortunately, well-known start-up accelerators usually have very low acceptance rates. With this, applicants can also try signing up in local versions of the accelerators provided that they have high quality program, mentors, and leaders.
Nager also noted the rise in the number of accelerators that offer specialized programs. There are those that focus solely on providing programs that help healthcare startups, civic startups, and startups that use a specific technology, among others.
The specialization may be advantageous for some startups. However, it must be noted that there are also things that one may miss if he or she decides not to sign up in one of the traditional accelerators that offer a wider range of coverage. Because of this, would-be applicants should know how to weigh the benefits before deciding to participate in specialized programs.
Work on that Application
As stated, the chances of getting admitted into a well-known accelerator are very slim. Because of this, would-be entrepreneurs should toughen up their applications if they want to get the nod of the evaluators.
One thing that they can do, Nager says, is to understand how the applications were evaluated by the accelerators. He also said that having a good team that will shine above the rest will boost the chances of getting selected.
Finally, he said that the applicants must do all their best to impress those who will decide on the applications. He suggests the use of human element, among others, to get the approval of the decision makers.
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