How Do You Know Your Startup is Ready for an Accelerator Program?
If these four things are true for you and your business, an accelerator program may be for you.
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An accelerator program has the potential to change the game for your startup. But how do you know if an accelerator is right for you? Completing a program is a big commitment, so you want to be sure that it’s the right next step for your business.
Here are the questions you should be asking yourself to know if you’re ready or not to participate in an accelerator program:
1. Does your startup have the time needed to participate in an accelerator program?
When it comes to accelerators, you tend to get out of them what you put in. That means if you don’t have the time to give it the attention it deserves, it’s likely not going to be worth it. Accelerators are time consuming, but doable. The SixLab Accelerator, for example, is a six month program that requires 2-4 hours a week of workshops, plus additional time on your own. Another important consideration: if your business is already up and running, you’ll need to be sure you have a way to keep it going while you’re simultaneously completing the program.
2. Does your startup have the scalability that investors are looking for?
Investors want to know that your business will provide a return on their investment. Your startup should be at a stage where you know it is scalable and can be monetized. You should have a clear market and a plan to grow your business with returns in mind. While your accelerator may be able to help you communicate and refine these points for your pitch deck, you’ll likely need to be able to prove you’re scalable to be accepted in the first place. If you don’t have a plan for scale, you may not be ready for an accelerator.
3. Will an accelerator program add value to my startup?
Being accepted to an accelerator program can make you and your business look good. But if you’re only doing it to impress others, then it will likely be a waste of your time. You need to ask yourself: how will this accelerator actually impact my business? An accelerator should provide meaningful benefits for your startup. If you can see how an accelerator will tangibly add value, then you’re probably ready for one. If the main benefit you can think of is that it will add clout, then it’s not the right time.
4. Is my startup at a stage where we’re prepared for feedback?
There’s a reason accelerators are for early-stage startups — you’re probably going to be told to change some things. While you don’t have to listen to every piece of advice you receive, you should be ready to pivot as necessary. You need to be coachable and prepared to see your startup “baby” mature — with all the associated growing pains. If the idea of making changes to your business puts you on the defensive, then an accelerator may not be right for you.
The SixLab Accelerator Program
SixLab is a pre-seed to seed startup accelerator for businesses in the energy industry. Our goal is to accelerate your path to a commercially viable product or service, including connecting you with top mentors and VCs, and the potential for a $50K-$250K investment in exchange for a small equity interest to unlock resources within a global organization.
The program includes workshops, mentorships, and a VC showcase, and is perfect for any startup that’s looking to innovate the energy industry. To learn more and apply, visit www.6lab.io.