What You Need to Consider Before Joining an Accelerator Programme

A new path in your life begins when you launch your first business. When things don’t appear to be heading your way, it’s only reasonable to feel concerned because there’s such a big learning curve to get over and so much is on the line. Your concern might then lead you to seeking support from an accelerator programme as it seems like the most reputable and reliable option. 

However, there are several reasons why an accelerator programme might not be the best option for you. So, sit tight as we have put together a list of 5 things that you need to consider before joining an accelerator programme. Read on to find out what they are! 

  1. You are unwilling to go to any lengths to get profitable. 

Your dream may have been to launch a company that sells high-quality, handcrafted goods for several years. But this raises the question of whether you are prepared to adapt and pivot the business if the model is not scalable even after being tested in a myriad of markets. 

The path to profitability involves a persistent mindset, a desire to test and evaluate your customers’ needs, and the capacity to adapt your business model to ensure that you are providing a service that is in demand in the marketplace. It also implies that, if things do not go as planned, you might have to change the direction of your company. A few notable companies that became successful after pivoting their business are Starbucks, Netflix, and Instagram. 

However, if you are willing to do whatever it takes to reach profitability, you can begin exploring accelerator programmes such as MDEC ideaKITA that offers support for the development of business technology. 

  1. You simply need financial assistance. 

An accelerator is a bootcamp that lasts between three and six months and offers entrepreneurs training, guidance, seed money, and chances to gain momentum in the market. 

Following the acceptance of your application and those of the other businesses in your cohort, you will participate in several exercises designed to assist you and your team in creating your minimal viable product (MVP), which will be presented to investors on demo day. In essence, you can expect an accelerator programme to provide you with the following: 

  • Numerous workshops that include marketing, branding, and product development 
  • Discussions with other business owners 
  • Coaching from seasoned mentors 

Accelerator programmes provide more than just financial assistance. Different accelerators provide various benefits that can give your company a head start when it launches. For instance, the Selangor Accelerator Programme offers a vast amount of exposure in the ecosystem and aligns businesses with additional new knowledge to scale up the company globally. You can even learn crucial elements in business such as raising venture capital, being in the right network and gaining customer traction. 

On the other hand, different accelerator programmes will provide you with a labyrinth of opportunities. Another example would be that you can conduct pilot testing using Sunway iLabs Super Accelerator within the varied business ecosystem of Sunway Group, which includes real estate, healthcare, education, and ten other business areas. 

Nevertheless, joining an accelerator programme requires a significant time commitment. If you’re only searching for a business fund to help with your start-up’s first cash flow problems, you should explore bank loans, equity crowdfunding, peer-to-peer financing, or angel investors with minimal commitment requirements instead. 

  1. You don’t want to distribute your company’s equity. 

Essentially, accelerators are companies that provide start-ups with an atmosphere that is conducive to their growth through mentorship, networking, and finance. An accelerator is not paid in cash; instead, you grant them some stock in your firm in exchange for the support and seed investment they give your business. An accelerator that owns stock in your business is more likely to assist its expansion after the accelerator program’s set duration. 

Equity dilution, or the issuance of new shares by your company, can also occur as a result of investor investments in your business. Accelerator programmes are not for you if you do not intend to share a portion of your company’s stock with an investor. Instead, you can decide to expand your company through bootstrapping. 

If you believe that distributing the equity of your company is not a problem, then seeking support from an accelerator programme such as the MYStartup Accelerator Programme might be the best decision for your business. The MYStartup Accelerator Program is a comprehensive enrichment initiative that aids early-stage entrepreneurs through partnerships and mentoring. 

This initiative, which will run for six months through December 2022, provides participating businesses with access to a large network of mentors and subject-matter experts on a variety of subjects, including market access and company scalability. 

  1. You wish to establish your company alone. 

Two heads are better than one, as the saying goes. According to accelerators, your company will benefit substantially from having at least one co-founder in the following methods: 

  • Your success is monitored by co-founders who are held accountable to one another. 
  • Your start-up’s skill set can be completed and complemented by a co-founder. 
  • Having a co-founder you can communicate with on an internal level may encourage you to push the boundaries of your imagination. 
  • Building a start-up from the ground up is extremely challenging, let alone doing it by yourself. A co-founder can help your firm run smoothly and maintain your motivation. 

Being a lone founder is not, however, a deal-breaker. When you take part in an accelerator programme, you might not have a co-founder, although many start-up founders do so later in the process of running the business. 

If you believe you require more mentoring on the establishment of your company, accelerator programmes such as the Huawei Spark Accelerator offers support, guidance, and mentoring from their experts as well as workshops from industry leaders in their area of expertise. 

  1. You think that enrolling in an accelerator will ensure success. 

An accelerator can give you the facilities and seed money you need to launch your business idea, but in the end, you are still in charge and must perform all the labour-intensive tasks. In an accelerator programme, you can pick the brains of mentors who have been where you are and learn how to create a successful business. You can also get seed funds to start your firm. 

And of course, you can undergo intensive mentorship workshops that would teach you essential knowledge. For example, the Petronas Future Tech Accelerator programme consists of 1-on-1 mentorship and office hours, lectures, workshops and industry immersion with PETRONAS across 12 weeks. This aims to maximise the value impact of the programme for start-ups and unlock synergies from expertise across industries. 

Nevertheless, you must be reminded that these advantages do not ensure success. You will need to work hard on your own to make sure of your own success. It is, without a doubt, expected of you as an entrepreneur to generate ideas and carry them out quickly and smoothly regardless of the support that you receive. 

So, what do you think? Is joining an accelerator programme the right move for your business? 

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