Today is a great day for startups and small businesses. What used to be an arena dominated by conglomerates and major corporations, is now a level playing field where small players can also thrive.
Thanks to angel investors and global accelerators, budding entrepreneurs and startups are now getting solid support and fresh funding that allows them to compete on a much bigger scale. Not to mention that most accelerator platforms also provide mentorship programs that make business decisions easier to tackle — a blessing, especially for young businesses that are still finding their footing.
According to an article from Forbes, most successful startup accelerator programs yield results and growth that can actually be seen in as little as three to four months from time of launch, a great timeline for entrepreneurs who wish to see if their ideas will work or not.
What’s also great about global accelerators is that these companies generally extend as much help as possible, in exchange for equity. This includes helping businesses find a permanent headquarters, build a solid management framework and even give important product feedback. But most important, perhaps, is access to other investors via the accelerator’s network.
Now, there might be a lot of accelerator programs out there today, but only a few can truly prove that they are the right partner for your business model. More established programs are usually hard to get into, with acceptance rates that might be as low as 1.5 percent.
Considerations to be accepted could be anything: Target market, bold ideas and most importantly, who is the team running the business. So, which ones are the best fit for you? Consider the following:
Based on Crunchbase data, there are 10 startup accelerators that are considered to be the leading ones in terms of a successful exit.
TechStars, for example, has around 1,557 investments and 134 successful exits or businesses that have been successfully established. Aside from funding, the Company also provides mentoring programs. This Company is so successful at accelerating startups, that their program has produced a thousand companies valued at over $8 billion.
The company 500 Startups in California, has over 1,694 investment programs and 162 of those have been established successfully. 500 Startups is described as a ‘seed and early stage venture capital fund’ composed of four major funds and 13 micro funds, which are used to invest in startups in over 60 countries. Part of their funded projects include Udemy and Credit Karma and some of their exits included selling to Google and Rakuten.
Plug and Play, on the other hand, has around 731 investments and 60 successful exits. The Company has placed almost 51 % of their investments into pre-seed ventures and successfully established eight companies in 2017 alone. They hold networking events daily for most of their startups as a way to support them. Plug and Play has an in-house venture capitalist who provides seed money, ranging from $25,000 to as much as $500,000.
Through their Public Accelerator-Incubator (PAI) model, DATI accelerates potential startups by first, offering programs that speed-up and provide early-stage and angel investors faster access to liquidity. Then, they create a friendly environment that allows disenfranchised investors (those who are not recognized by the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] as an accredited investor) — or simply ‘everyday people’ — to access the same investment opportunities into startups and development-stage companies that normally only the rich or people ‘in the know’ had access to.
Disenfranchised investors are the folks who usually don’t get the chance to own stakes in companies like Uber or Snapchat when they are affordable. Ultimately, the exclusion of this group grossly reduces a young company’s ability to raise money and grow quickly.
Thus, apart from providing effective services for startups that seek funding, DATI also allows everyday people a chance to financially participate in companies that have the potential to become industry leaders. DigitalAMN can do this courtesy of the company’s PAI model and proprietary programs such as Angels+. This includes recent business ventures that bigger companies have already begun investing in.
What’s also great is that through DATI affiliated equity crowdfunding portals and social capital platforms, everyday people can find truly affordable investment opportunities, in a user-friendly marketplace, to begin building their financial future. As little as $10 in some cases. Likewise, entrepreneur’s can find much of the financial, marketing and developmental support needed to grow their first business venture.
There are a plethora of new startup accelerators that have begun supporting new businesses this year, and although they are new, many are backed by ‘veteran’ programs like TechStars. MetLife Digital Accelerator, for example, gathered the first three companies that will be under their accelerator program last July. According to Bizjournals, the companies are from Washington, D.C., Singapore and London, and they were chosen out of a hundred applicants.
The companies were chosen with the hope of Metlife establishing a Triangle Startup Cluster.
“We have a network of companies and startups we’re familiar with. We are an investor in 16 leading Silicon Valley venture companies and our partner, TechStars, also has a lot of relationships and a reputation for helping very young startups accelerate their success,” said John Geyer, senior vice president of MetLife’s innovation office.
The VP said that the company has been traveling to Europe and Asia looking for “the best startups in the world.”
In Malawi, a new startup accelerator also launched. Malawian hub mHub recently partnered with GrowthAfrica, Dutch investment firm Accesserator, UNDP Malawi and the Norwegian Embassy for the country’s first startup accelerator programme called Growth Accelerator.
The program features a nine-month accelerator program, which was established for entrepreneurs looking to significantly develop their business.
According to Disrupt Africa, the organizers of the accelerator said that the objective of Growth Accelerator is to instill entrepreneurial leadership and grow enterprises that could eventually help the Malawian economy.
With these accelerators in mind, it has become very easy to be hopeful that budding businesses with strong potential have an equal chance to grow and succeed like their major counterparts.
Create your free account to unlock your custom reading experience.