Most Important Investment You Can Make As An Entrepreneur
A recent study by VentureBeat found that companies graduating from top accelerators returned over 10 times on capital invested. Similar studies show that the survival rate of companies that go through accelerators could be three times that of companies that don’t.
Furthermore, research shows companies that completed an accelerator grew faster than companies that didn’t.
New York State's Business Mentor of NY Program found that mentored entrepreneurs who were provided with "support and guidance" were able to sustain growth while employing up to 3 people in the first year of business.
So if you're an entrepreneur you need to come to terms with the single most important investment you will ever make on your startup journey; join a startup accelerator - and not just one!
I know plenty of founders that go "accelerator-hopping" since there's a ton of benefits to each one. I'll quickly cover three that come to mind.
First, each accelerator belongs to an entrepreneurial ecosystem or a community of founders, partners, investors, thought-leaders, and possess established relationships which for you spells out resources and connections.
Second, education is not an event, but an ongoing process that requires constant review, adjustments and mentors.
And finally, being surrounded by like-mind people is the fastest way to grow and overcome obstacles - especially those you can't foresee.
There's so much more that can be said regarding the accelerator experience such as peer-to-peer reinforcement, daily inspiration, personal branding and community-building.
Being surrounded by like-minded entrepreneurs on the same startup journey can make the difference between a breakdown and a breakthrough.
With accelerators you go beyond what any single organization can do since you're co-evolving with a cohort in a community of leaders dedicated to mutual growth, support and sustainability.
Accelerators provide the fast track to "growth-hacking" which are back-door tactics to achieving specific objectives such as rapidly increasing credibility and visibility while gaining consumer and investor confidence. Accelerators also provide inside tracks to a vast network of industry leaders and strategic relationships which typically require personal introductions.
In terms of education, specifically self-education, accelerators are at the forefront when it comes to the ROI on informal-education. Perhaps that's why Universities and Colleges across the world are investing in their own entrepreneurial centers and accelerators. They know first-hand all too well the benefits of accelerators.
Yes, all accelerators are different with specific verticals, funding options, equity requirements, schedules and yes the reputation is true, they are notoriously difficult to get into. However, there are new options with recent "cross-breeds" or "hybrids" popping up that combine the accelerator education model with more flexible terms, add-ons and goodies.
For example, 2020 Startups is a hybrid program that's like a co-working space, a founder's club and an accelerator all rolled into one.
2020 Startups was designed to disrupt traditional accelerators as a non-for-profit model, which provides a result-driven accelerator program with a flexible part-time schedule, 0% equity required, easier enrollment and accepts a community of entrepreneurs regardless of stage, vertical or funding.
With accelerators quickly becoming the source behind startup success worldwide, entrepreneurs of all shapes and sizes are advised to invest in the one certain vehicle designed to accelerate success on the startup journey.