(image from knowstartup.com )
The tech startup industry has a number of firms that specialize in getting tech startups off the ground. The problem with most technology startups is that you are unsure how to take your venture to the next level. We are going to show you how tech accelerators can help you do that. This blog post will give you knowledge for your startup to make a decision on which support your business will benefit from the most as an upcoming Entrepreneur.
Before we do that we’re going to give you a brief overview of the different types of organizations that specialize in supporting and funding most tech startups. The overview will help to give you an idea of what else is out there to support tech startups.
The types of Institutions that Support Startups are as follows:
- Angel Investors: We’ve previously covered angel investors for you in one of our previous blog posts, click here to give it a read.
- Incubators: Incubators provide support, services, access to investors (they do not invest directly) and even workspaces in exchange for an equity stake in your startup. An incubator may charge a fee for the elements listed above instead of taking equity. An incubator is partly funded government research and innovations institutions in order to encourage entrepreneurship and job creation. While incubators generally do not have a set time period for incubation, they typically support startup for up to five years before exiting. Examples of a tech incubator have been outlined by inc.com. An Incubator is typically non-competitive in terms of accepting startups into their programmes, unlike accelerators which are very competitive. Incubators generally have on-site workspaces for startups however there are also virtual incubators which provide for site or distance support.
- Hybrid: These Organisations are a mix between an incubator and an accelerator, that typically support startups from 3 months to 2 years. In addition, they can take equity for services like incubators or directly invest like accelerators, resulting in also providing access to investors themselves. Entry for startups is competitive, however, selections are ongoing with no defined acceleration period. They are typically on-site like most incubators and accelerators. They also provide mentoring and even staff to carry out certain tasks for startups. Startup owl.com gives some examples of hybrid incubator/ accelerator organizations.
- Accelerators: Tech accelerators are very competitive unlike incubators and typically support tech startups for 3 to 6 months. We are going to go into much more detail about accelerators in this article for you.
What is a tech startup?
A Tech Accelerator is where you bring forward your business idea, and strive to bring it into action by seeking investors for financial investment, in return for equity within your startup company. Depending on the programme, a startup accelerator is usually a short-term programme lasting up to 6 months, unlike other programmes which are much longer. However, this short period is very important as it gives a start-up company the opportunity to gain support such as mentorship, established connections, workspaces and upfront capital invested in your business.
It’ll be important to take into consideration how competitive these programmes are, also taking into account that you are not the only one reading this blog post who has a tech startup. Your startup could be applying to programmes on numerous occasions before being accepted, but it is important to have faith as the advantages of being accepted into an accelerator programme are critical for your business.
Rocketspace have created a logistics technology accelerator program which offers opportunities for partnerships with businesses that are from different industries, we’ve embedded the link for you below:
(Video from logisticaccelerator.com)
Now that you understand the concept of a tech accelerator, we have provided you with a list of potential tech accelerators that you may wish to consider to help get your tech startup off the ground as more tech startups are currently implementing.
- Y Combinator
- Angel Cube
- BBC Worldwide Labs
- Oxygen Accelerator
We have handpicked a few popular accelerators which you can read more on below:
Y Combinator has funded at least 1464 companies and 3000 founders. They provide a combination of seed funding and assistance towards tech startups This is because a number of startups do not necessarily need the money and would gain far more from training, logistical support and access to a large network of experts.
They specialize in tech startups developing web and mobile applications, having many years of experience in these fields. Y Combinator also provides online courses to aid those who are pursuing a start-up business through a free 10-week course which is available online, with lectures posted on their official website. They also give coaching to startups on pitching to investors and closing the deal after interest has been shown.
Another excellent benefit is that they also assist startups in company formation or incorporation by providing access to legal advisers who can even differ payment of legal fees until a later date. This assistance can really help startups avoid legal traps and disputes in the medium to long-term. Y Combinator also offers support for YC Alumni companies where they would invest in the particular companies funding rounds. The YC Continuity teamwork to create opportunities for founders to continue their personal growth and scale their companies successfully.
Techstars is one of the world’s largest and most well-known tech accelerator programmes. One of the tech stars startups developed the world famous new Star Wars Episode 7 BB-8 driods for Disney. The London Techstars specializes in financial technology (fintech), transaction or trading apps are a few examples and provide the following:
- Provide mentors in the first month with feedback through meetings
- Revenue strategies and provides funding through finance.
- Bonding experience through alumni
- Long-term advantage – opens doors for your company.
If your business is located outside of the United Kingdom, there are many more tech accelerators available on an article featured by the Guardian.com. TechStars takes a minimum of 6% equity in exchange for the services outlined above. The Techstars global network is another key benefit for the startup because it helps establish key business relationships for your startup in the medium to long-term. We would advise doing additional research before applying to Techstars as there many programmes globally specializing in many different sectors that are applicable to most tech startups, with their various programmes found here.
Most tech startups are unaware of the benefits of having support from tech accelerators, so we hope that this blog post has assisted in understanding how to get your tech startup off the ground. For more Tech startup, Entrepreneurship and general tips and support, be sure to sign up for our free Urgos.co.uk newsletter to get notified our new content.