Jacksonville Legal Blog
It is no secret that new businesses have many obstacles to overcome to be successful in an increasingly competitive landscape. Most businesses do not even turn a profit until they have put in years of hard work and long hours. The wait can be disheartening, and many do not make it. Others look for ways to hasten the process.
In recent years, business accelerators (also referred to as seed accelerators or startup accelerators), have emerged as a means to speed new businesses forward on the road to success. A recent article at Business News Daily examines this option.
What An Accelerator Program Can Do
The article points out the three greatest benefits of an accelerator program: speed of growth, access to resources and credibility.
These programs are designed to grow businesses fast. One of the biggest challenges for new businesses is getting access to things like funding and technology. These programs help businesses get access to these resources and more. Furthermore, because these programs are selective, participation in one comes with a level of credibility that can benefit a new business substantially.
While there are many different accelerators and each functions in its own unique way, these programs typically involve intensive mentorship and training, not just for the founder of the business, but for a small leadership team that is chosen to represent the business. There is also an investment component. The accelerator will typically invest a substantial amount of money in the business in exchange for equity.
Qualifying For An Accelerator Program
Accelerators do not make sense for every business. While tech companies may benefit from the reach and resources they can get from these programs, local restaurants and boutique businesses might not need them. Furthermore, if a business is already well along on the road to success, taking three or four months off to participate in an accelerator may do more harm than it is worth.
If an accelerator does make sense for your business, it is important to recognize that these programs are very selective. It is worthwhile to put in work before applying to ensure that the foundation of your business is solid and to make certain you have done everything you can at this stage to lay the groundwork for success. This can mean reviewing your business plan, double-checking business policies and handbooks, and more. Not only might this upfront work make your business a more likely candidate for an accelerator, it can help you make the most of the time investment that you will be making in the program.
At Heekin, Malin & Wenzel, our attorneys can help you do everything possible to lay the groundwork for a successful business. We provide a full range of business law services to startups. We can answer questions about accelerator options and help you ensure that nothing has been overlooked in the startup process.