12 Reasons You Should Join an Accelerator to Advance Your Startup

Source | Entrepreneur : By Serenity Gibbons

You have a startup, but you are at the point where you could use advice, direction and a little funding. That’s when you hear about accelerators located around the country that offer three- to four-month programs where you can get those things you are seeking. If you are still in doubt about going this route, here are 12 reasons why you should join an accelerator:

1. Comprehensive support

Operating a startup can be lonely and challenging. That’s where an accelerator can help. When you work within an accelerator, you get support from mentors and those sponsoring you. Besides emotional support, they can provide direction, experience and knowledge. Plus, you have the support of other founders in the accelerator program with you.

2. A full roster of activities

While an accelerator program may seem like a short time, those few months are jam-packed with activities that benefit you and your startup. Although accelerator programs do vary, a typical program includes meetings with mentors, feedback sessions, “demo day” presentations, networking and social activities. There is a lot of information to glean from these events and even more to apply directly to your startup.

3. Investor access

While accelerator programs don’t tend to give out much in funding, what they do is connect you directly to interested investors who are drawn to accelerators in the hopes of discovering the next big thing. During an accelerator’s “demo days,” many investors are invited to watch the presentations.

There is also time to meet and mingle with investors. This opportunity can open the door to additional funding offers, especially when the investors see that the accelerator program has helped you further develop your startup into something that shows the potential for return.

4. Accelerated knowledge

An accelerator program packs in so much information from the years of experience and skills that each mentor or accelerator manager has amassed. This concentrated form of information allows you to speed up what you are doing with your startup. Instead of reinventing the wheel, you are leveraging their years of accumulated wisdom to launch your startup in a more calculated, strategic way. Clearly, this can improve your chances of success.

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