A business accelerator is an institution or group of people who help entrepreneurs to launch their ideas to the market, in a reduced period of time, agreed by both parties. During this period, there are several stages to know the business and laying the foundations to promote growth as soon as possible. Given the experience of the accelerators and the know-how of the process in these early stages, the entrepreneurs will be able to tackle the launch and overcome feared barriers such as the fear of failure.
These stages of business acelerator can be summarised as follows:
- Knowing the business: First of all, it is highly important to find out as much as possible about the business: potential customers, target market, product or service, value proposition, etc.
- Mentoring the project: One of the great value contributions of accelerators is to be able to share knowledge to avoid mistakes and turn them into correct decisions, that will be differential for the future of the Startups. Throughout the process, participating companies will have the support of a mentor or mentors who will bring them to fruition.
- Sharing experiences, networking: Entering these places facilitates contacts of great value for the projects, as well as being able to share experiences that enrich everything that can be learned during this first phase.
- Designing the business plan: After having analysed the business model and configuring the strategy towards which the project should be directed, the next step is to shape the business plan, which will be the presentation for investors.
- Getting investment: This is not always the case, but raising money for the project is one of the main objectives for entrepreneurs who want to start a business, unless they already have the resources to start. Accelerators help them to prepare a plan to attract investors.
Unlike incubators, accelerators support solid projects that are close to be launched or even after having validated the MVP (Minimum Viable Product). This guidance time usually lasts 3 months and, depending on the project, could last up to 6 months. The process ends with the “Demo Day” where the Startups present their projects to investors.
There are thousands of accelerators that have their origins in the prestigious and well-known Silicon Valley.
Accelerators were born in 2005 in the United States, and moved to Silicon Valley (San Francisco) where, to this day, one of the best environments for any entrepreneur can be found. There, high-level entrepreneurs, business angels, investment funds, incubators, accelerators and large companies coexist.
In this very attractive ecosystem to boost the growth of Startups, everything is designed and professionalised with the idea of networking, getting good mentors and financing to make these projects to be accepted in the market and be successful in the long run.
In Spain there are a wide variety of business accelerator, among which we can highlight:
- Seedrocket.It was born in Spain in 2008 and was the first ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) accelerator, mainly based in Barcelona and Madrid.
- Wayra(Telefónica). It is located in 12 countries. It has more than 100 Startups and has raised more than 1.2 billion in capital from investors.
The life of a company is expected to last over time, but this is not always the case. Therefore, the support of these institutions (business accelerator) is necessary to establish the essential pillars of the business and to help obtain the necessary resources for its launch.
Accelerating is not the same as launching a project with no future, but rather preparing it well in a short period of time, but with full guarantees of success.