The main difference between business incubators and accelerators is that for incubators the driving force is the infrastructure your team is going to use to create, and for accelerators it’s the potential market value of your innovation.
In an incubator everything is aimed at building a business, even it’s one person who approached them with an idea. Here this person can meet like-minded people who will help to figure out how good the idea is.
In an accelerator both the idea itself and the product/service which it results in are tested for vitality. But it’s better to reach out to them when you have a team in place.
So if you are looking for a place to implement your ideas, and also if your team lacks certain members — go straight to a business incubator. If you have a completely independent team which created a product and needs expert advice on the effective ways of taking it to the global market or getting positive feedback from first customers — head to a business accelerator.
And now let’s talk about the services themselves. Incubators, first of all, help to pitch a project to the investor. Sometimes they provide entrepreneurs-to-be with an office, finances and technical resources, organize educational events. In some cases they also offer small investments.
Incubators which are focused mainly on consulting usually don’t have strict criteria for project selection. Every entrepreneur or team with an idea and the willingness to implement it can become their client.
Note that the relationship between a startup and an incubator can be formed on both paid and free basis. With the former, for a fixed price the entrepreneur gets access to an educational program, seminars and coaching sessions.
Free participation is possible in case if the incubator or its particual program is financed by potential investors who later select projects out of all the participants for joint development. The amount of startup equity an accelerator gets varies depending on the amount of funding and/or non-financial contributions.
How to Make Your Startup More Appealing to Business Incubators?
- Good presentation is the basis of every project’s ‘attractiveness’. It allows both to sell the startup and to get investments. While preparing your presentation, do not use intricate fonts, huge complicated spreadsheets, tiny texts and images — the audience won’t be able to see all this on a large screen, but the impression from your presentation will be worse.
- Pay attention to ‘neighboring’ markets — sometimes you might notice something very interesting there that hasn’t be properly implemented in any other part of the market.
- Don’t try to predict all possible micronuances. Choose one main direction and present — your business plan won’t withstand its first meeting with the real market anyway and will need to be changed.
- Evaluate your own product or service from its users’ point of view — if it is possible, use customer focus groups to identify product’s or service’s weak points.
- Dismiss everything but the main features of your project. Remember Pareto’s law: only 20% of efforts produce 80% of final result.
LEZGRO Engineering Incubator is designed for those who want to find a CTO for their startup – it actually brings up CTOs and provides early stage development services for equity. It’s really hard to find a good CTO nowadays. They are either involved on top positions or already working in their own startups.
LEZGRO Engineering Incubator brings up the CTOs for you, and, because they are interested in company’s capitalization, their technical professionals work on setting up the right development team for your startup.