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The one about startup acceleration programs

How to choose best startup acceleration program? What actually startup accelerator is? How to pick the best program for you? - those are the questions we asked our community partners. Make sure to read it thoroughly!

by Marta Janczewska-Bażak 13.8.2021  |  5 min read Coworking
The one about startup acceleration programs

How to choose best startup acceleration program? What actually startup accelerator is? And how to pick the best program for you? – those are the questions we asked our community partners in order to help you out in figuring out is that the next step your company should take.  

 

Karolina Wilk-Tryjanowska , ReaktorX 

 

Who are acceleration programs for? 

Acceleration programs are intended primarily for people who have a solution to problems still not solved on the market or solved incompletely. It is important to be able to identify them, based on a founder’s experience in the field, which is why at ReaktorX we value so many professionals who come out of their industries with detailed knowledge of the problems and shortcomings.
During acceleration, these people develop their solution to the stage of validation, the first investment or entering cooperation with a successful business partner. If this is the goal of the submitting founder, then he is in the right place. 

  

When not to apply to an acceleration program and why? 

Acceleration is not for everyone, of course, there are some limitations that we call ‘red flags’ in ReaktorX. Certainly, dividing the time of working full-time with building a startup carries a high risk of failure. The character of a founder is also of enormous importance, at the beginning of our cooperations we always try to examine ‘coachability’, because if it is missing, no mentor will be able to fully support the startup. And the least defined, but no less important thing – the chemistry between us and the startup, which is something special that we feel when someone tells us about their solution and its development. 

  

What to look for when searching for the right acceleration program for your startup? 

As with any decision related to the development of a startup, be it acceleration or VC financing, decent research is the most important decision-making factor. It is worth checking whether the acceleration program has experience in providing this type of support and whether it operates in areas that are consistent with ours.  

Additionally, it is worth looking at mentors to see if there are people with whom we want to work. If possible, it is also worth checking what network the accelerator has in the startup ecosystem. We can have two greats, but specialized, accelerators in front of our eyes, and it’s not worth hitting both, but choose the one that has a chance to help us better. 

 

Agnieszka Cichocka, Huge Thing 

 

Who are acceleration programs for? 

Acceleration programs are for startups on different levels of development. In Huge Thing we mostly concentrate on pre-seed and seed startups. It means we support those in very early stages of their business development, and we want to teach them tools and help them validate their ideas, business models and value proposition for the clients. In those stages they already have their MVPs but sometimes they just have an idea. However, in our opinion it is the best to invest in a person as if someone is highly motivated and you can see he has entrepreneurship in his DNA, even if this idea does not work out, there is a big chance that he or she will come back with something far better.  

  

When not to apply to an acceleration program and why? 

It is hard work when you are in the program, so I think it is not good to apply when you are not ready to sacrifice your time, energy to fully be in it. Sometimes you just need to be mentally ready – as in the program you will hear a lot of feedback from mentors, investors and other teams and sometimes it is not as positive as you would expect.  And the idea you come in with is so precious to you that you are just not ready to listen and to implement any changes.  

 

What to look for when searching for the right acceleration program for your startup? 

In my opinion it is crucial to do good research on that – to find some opinions, find people who were in a certain accelerator. It is best if someone who has already been through that process can give you some recommendations. It is important to check the program beforehand and also check the list of the mentors an accelerator is working with. People are always the most important in the startup journey – meeting the right people is half of the success. 

 

Aleksandra Janik & Igor Iwanow, Fundacja Przedsiębiorczości Technologicznej 

 

Who are acceleration programs for?  

The MIT Enterprise Forum CEE acceleration program is aimed to help innovative startups. An important element of acceleration is connecting startups with industry leaders looking for innovative solutions in their sectors. We’re looking for startups in the fields of Health, New Energy, Industry 4.0, Fintech and Insurtech, Retail and Autonomous store, Sustainability, Martech and Smart Cities. 

  

When not to apply to an acceleration program and why?   

An important aspect for us is that the startup needs to have something to offer, to show to our corporate partner with whom it will later cooperate. That increases its chances of being selected. 

  

What to look for when searching for the right acceleration program for your startup?  

It’s crucial for startups to check what the specific program has to offer. They need to pick the right accelerator for their needs. Before applying to an accelerator, ask yourself:  does it give access to a global network, does it provide valuable workshops, does it establish cooperation with companies, does it give an opportunity to scale and organize trips abroad to broaden startup horizons? 

  

At the end of the day – you need to ask yourself what is best for your startup. Figure out are you looking for financial support and if so, is acceleration program the best way to gain it? Do you need mentoring or expert guidance? Can you make the time commitment needed to participate in such initiative? Would you benefit from cooperation with fellow startup founders and connections to VCs and other organizations? Whatever you decide, make sure you do your homework and learn as much as possible about the program you’re considering. Startup acceleration can be a huge benefit for you, but you also need to be ready to put in the work to gain all of the benefits.  

 

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