So why should you consider joining a business accelerator?
Entrepreneurial Spark is about to expand further across Scotland with a fourth Hatchery opening in the New Year – the start-up renaissance is well and truly under way – but what role does an accelerator play in the diverse entrepreneurial ecosystem? And why choose one?
Here are our thoughts on, what has become clear over the last 18 months in practice, the key factors for considering a business accelerator.
The Lean Start-Up
It’s about taking away those early stage costs associated with a young and vulnerable business. An opportunity to test and validate an idea or reiteration without the crippling overheads that often come in to play – and if you’re going to fail, which happens, do it fast and do it cheap – as you’ll be certain to have learnt something along the way. The Accelerator, by its nature, will allow you to move faster, make bolder decisions and, to use Entrepreneurial Spark terminology, #GoDo with some initial barriers taken away.
Some describe it as an awakening. When you’ve spent so long trying to convince friends and family that what you’re doing isn’t complete madness. That just getting a job – wouldn’t quite cut it! And guess what – ‘You may say I’m a dreamer…but I’m not the only one’! An accelerator brings together like-minded individuals, all unique, all making their own path – but on a journey together. The journey of an entrepreneur, with all the rollercoaster moments, living on the edge and dreaming of making a difference can be shared. Like-Minded individuals can share and learn from the successes and failures of those around them and motivate each other as they grow together.
Collaboration is King!
Bringing together a network of inspiring and motivated individuals makes collaboration highly powerful. Covering a range of sectors and from a variety of backgrounds – the network very quickly becomes vast. With a quick chat over coffee usually unearthing opportunities you didn’t know were possible. To ‘give back’ and ‘pay it forward’ attitudes will give the greatest reward, for the bigger picture, the economy and that warm feeling you get inside.
The process of a business accelerator is to ultimately become investor ready. Backable, validated and defined! Whether looking for multi-million pound investment, a small bank loan or customer support – the process shapes a business to define the concept, pitch and sell, sell, sell. The focus of ‘back the jockey, not the horse’ is established through the development of entrepreneurial mindsets and behaviours required for an individual to push through an idea – and they’re reinforced on a daily basis. The support, enablement, challenge and guidance are there to accelerate a growing business, with mentors on tap and networks established to ease the process – you get back what you give!
Rep or Street Cred Innit?
The business accelerator concept has really taken off, and with that comes a highly competitive application process. Stage 1 – approval gives huge credit to the individual who can pitch with passion, display a viable business model and a have a look in the eye that screams ‘I will make it happen’. The space allows for formal business practice, a place to hold meetings and introduce staff, set in comparison to working at home or from a coffee shop – ‘I mean business’! And finally the journey – a fast track in entrepreneurial learning that will allow you to drive your venture forward, learn from your network, your mistakes and shape you to #GoDo – in whatever path you choose!
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