One subject that has been a source of confusion for startups is “Are accelerators and incubators the same?” Yes, they are really related, but different. Confused? Let me explain because it is important to know the elements of both, as accelerators and incubators offer great ways to grow businesses.
WHY ACCELERATORS OR INCUBATORS?
Accelerators, incubators, and idea factories are all set up to help small companies grow by providing them with services they are not familiar with, because they are new to the market and lack the connections to acquire things on their own.
One of most obvious differences between accelerators and incubators is the time frame of both.
ACCELERATORS: Accelerators’ programmes usually have a one-month time frame.
INCUBATORS: Incubators don’t usually have a specific time frame. Their mentorship programme lasts more than 1 year, because they focus on growth with a specific goal in mind for your startup to become successful.
ACCELERATORS: Acceleration stands for “ACTION”. The sole aim is to build something and deliver it to market.
INCUBATORS: Incubator stands for “structure” because they focus on structure that they provide with their network and reception – making small startups look big.
ACCELERATORS: Accelerators provide free professional services like PR, design, strategic consulting and management training.
INCUBATORS: Some take little or no percentage from the generated cash but don’t provide upfront capital like accelerators. Some of them are funded by grants.
ACCELERATOR AND INCUBATOR: WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE?
Accelerators and incubators both offer great opportunities for new startups. Choosing between accelerators or incubators depends on what you need. Different startups want or need different things like capital, guidance, structure and other assistance they usually offer.
About the Writer: Kadiri Valentine is a columnist at YES Magazine.