Startup accelerators are fixed-term, cohort-based programs that include seed investment, networking opportunities, mentoring, educational components, and culminate in a public pitch event or demo day to accelerate growth. Accelerator programs have become one of the most powerful and valuable resources for entrepreneurs seeking to learn rapidly, build powerful networks, raise capital, build their startups… and do it at speed and scale.
In recent years, the number of accelerator programs around the world has grown at an incredible rate, propelling startups such as AirBnB, Uber, DropBox, Reddit, and others — many to billion-dollar valuations.
The number of accelerators, the differences in accelerator program offerings and the unique benefits and costs of different accelerator locations makes choosing the right accelerator a challenge. Selecting the wrong accelerator, failing to be accepted in the right one, or not fully taking advantage of all the accelerator has to offer can be costly, sometimes fatal.
With the stakes so high, entrepreneurs need to understand all their options, choose carefully and do the right things to maximise their chances of success.
Associate Professor Naomi Birdthistle from the Department of Business Strategy and Innovation, at Griffith Business School, along with co-authors, Dr Richard Busulwa, Swinburne University and Mr Steve Dunn, founder of DigitalKeys, Gold Coast, has recently launched a book “Startup accelerators: A field guide”—a must-read guidebook for entrepreneurs looking to get into accelerator programs and to build and scale their startups with speed. Written by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, this indispensable resource explains what different accelerator programs offer, how to get accepted, what to do during the program, how to raise money during accelerators, what to do after the program ends, and much more. Packed with real-world case studies and advice from leading experts on startup accelerator programs, this one-stop resource provides step-by-step guidance on the entire accelerator process.
Within the book one will find curated information for evaluating accelerators, for navigating different aspects of the accelerator process (e.g. preparing accelerator applications, preparing for interviews, starting the accelerator, networking, preparing for demo day, etc.). The book also contains curate tips and advice from a range of founders who have gone through accelerators on how to approach almost all aspects of the accelerator experience. Finally, for each region of the world (Asia, North America, Europe, Africa/Middle East, South America, Oceania), some of the most popular accelerators, their focus, and their notable alumni start-ups are identified. The book culminates in a Founder Resource Directory, which is divided into three parts. Part 1 contains the reflections of founders going through different accelerator programs around the world. Part 2 contains the reflections of program managers operating different accelerators around the world as well as the reflections of tertiary educators and researchers within the entrepreneurship discipline. In Part 3 curated key resources founders can draw on for different aspects of the accelerator experience are presented.