Startups Accelerators vs. Incubators: where to sign up
To become a successful startup needs expert mentoring and acceleration from reputed startups experts. The two buzz words in the highlight in Indian media today, and everyone wants to know are entrepreneurs and StartUps. India is the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world, and the startup India initiative and success of many startups, the movement creates a wish in the mind of the youngster to be an entrepreneur.
In the early stage, startups face many obstructions, and to overcome, one must be aware of the startup’s support system available in the country.
The early-stage startups and entrepreneurs heard two words, a startup accelerator, and a startup incubator in the journey as an entrepreneur. Both are very important and play a great role in the journey of startups. The startups origin with great innovative ideas and become in the form of some well-structured within a few months or years.
One should be aware of both words and related programs and find out where he fits best and sign up.
Difference between a startup accelerator and startup incubator
Startups incubation is like a mother(entrepreneur) give birth to a healthy baby (ideas) with the help of doctors, nursing staff, caretaker, etc (incubation center) and nourish baby to walk and talk, up to the nursery. At this level mother don’t know how the baby is intelligence.
Startups accelerator is a stage, where the baby starts learning the alphabet to become an expert(ready to market product) with the help of many teachers and experts (VC funds, tech expert, market expert, business leader).
The real competition starts when this baby has become young and starts performing in the market, the perform/success is on depending on the ideas and technology feed by an entrepreneur, innovation and mentoring provided at incubation center and what the support startups accelerator provided.
The main difference between a startup accelerator and a startup incubator is, at the incubator level, a startup or entrepreneur structure their innovation and build-up some unique technology by research and build a business model that uses this technology to solve some problems, and so, it’s a time of innovation. While a startup accelerator is a level where one is ready with the business model and innovation and needs some boost to launch a product in the market.
So, a startup incubator structuring an ideas and innovation while a startup accelerator structure and accelerate the business model and launch product for the market. Accelerators focus on scaling a business model and market growth while incubators are often more focused on innovation and ideas.
The startups incubator provides basic facilities for innovation and research. Incubator centres are mostly sector-focused, startups and entrepreneurs in the early stage with specific sector knowledge, research base innovative technology, and have a business plan to use this technology are entitled to sign up these programs.
Startups Incubator have sector-specific knowledge to incubate startups ideas like financial Startups incubator concentrate on Fintech startups and provide support in innovation in the finance market, while hospital-based startup incubator provides support in search and innovation in the healthcare sector.
At this stage, the startups need to acquire inclusive technology support, ideas from industry and domain experts, and early-stage funds to structure an innovative business model.
The startups incubator are sponsored or run by VC firms, angel investors, government entities, corporate houses, Non-profit trusts, Research Institutions, Business management institutions, etc.
In incubator centres, startups get co-working experience and mentoring to build ideas and technology product innovation. Most startups incubator located in specific geographic areas to understand the location-specific problems and also resources that best fit the startups ecosystem.
The government of India had established 28 Atal Incubation Centres in different geographical areas and each one provides sector-specific technology and expert support to boost the startups initiatives in India. Many private bodies and VC funds build their own focused area incubator centers in India.
The startups accelerator centres, where startups and entrepreneurs get mentoring from financial experts, market experts, and more enhanced technology and infrastructure boost to start a business.
The startups ready with business ideas and technology, but needs support to launch the business and want to make footprints in the market will get benefit from these. The startups accelerator is the next step after the startups incubator.
This is the stage where specific ideas based startups are selected and mentored to become a successful company. The programs ranging from 4 months to 3 years, and in-between time, they built their products and start the business.
At this stage, startups need more funds to reach the market and development of products, also need more reputed experts to boost the business in the competitive market.
In startups accelerators, startups develop innovative products and make it ready to use for the consumer. Y Combinator is the best example of this; here startups accelerate their growth with the support system provided by Y Combinator.
Many applications come at the accelerator level to get support and mentoring to reach the target market and very few were selected for the programs.
Startup accelerator also has a well-established network of technology experts, Venture capitals, angel investors, business bodies, etc, and provides quality network and infrastructure support to startups in the exchange of some equity dilution from the founder. The startups get the benefit of the infrastructure and network to boost their products and reach the target market.
One’s the startups selected for the accelerator program and completed the cohort program, the startup will be launched in the market in the present of VC investors and media to get more support and market segments.
With the support of startups accelerator, the startups reach the level within a few months, which in ordinary conditions takes 2 to 3 years.
So, it’s very important to understand the stage where you are. If you have clear ideas but need more innovation and expertise in the technology you will sign up for the startups incubator programs and if you have ready to launch products and search for marketing and launch than you sign up for the startups accelerator programs.
Both are very important for the early-stage startups and most institutions and governments are concentrating on the startups incubation, for innovation and research to boost the wellbeing of the society, while most angel investors and venture funds concentrate on startup accelerator, ready to use ideas and products to get financial benefits.
In the next article, I will discuss the presently most active Startups Incubator and Accelerator in India.
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