Why co-acceleration is the need of the hour for Indian startups

Co-accelerating can be seen as a de-risking methodology for co-accelerators working together. It is, in fact, a way of de-risking the growth for a startup, as they have 2X the support.

"If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself." – Henry Ford

This quote is the epitome of why the Indian startup ecosystem and co-acceleration go hand in hand. In order to grow anything successfully it’s about aggregating strengths all together, almost like building the perfect transformer, to take up a challenge in creating the best in class products and solutions.

In this case, the transformers constitute several startup enablers, organisations, and investors joining efforts to build solutions that transform industries for the better, by building startups together.

Acceleration can be defined as initiatives that provide developing companies mentorship, investors, support to grow, become self-sufficient, and successful.

Therefore, Co-acceleration can be defined as the above but with twice as much horse power and context when two entities with diverse support functions across financial and intellectual capital come together in building ventures.

I am going to refrain from mentioning statistics we’re all aware of that indicate the rising startup economy India has, or how almost any sector we are in is bound to thrive, see market leaders, even more unicorns, second/third time founders or even building new sub-sectors before any other country does.

But what all these articles in and around this one state is that every day the ‘J’ curve the startup ecosystem is witnessing is only rising.

The need of co-acceleration enables sustaining this rise, and ironically co-acceleration is a means to manage constant + consistent acceleration too.

Three questions often asked that answer the Why, When and How of co-acceleration.

When does co-acceleration work?

In order for co-acceleration to work, accelerators need to partner with either upstream investors that are willing to enter new sectors where they are building their expertise and therefore need an accelerator to work in building ventures in what we know as the ‘0-10’ phase or ‘proof of concept to steady revenue stage’.

Additionally, if upstream investors are looking at disrupting sectors of their own expertise with newer models, working with accelerators enables them to park smaller cheques but ones that come with a large infrastructure and support pool that makes the value of the capital they invest multiple times higher because now a startup can leverage a network of two entities striving to build the sector they are in.

When it comes to organisations co-accelerating, the difference only comes when what they are building is not exclusively for their organisation, as this is where ‘open innovation’ or ‘sand-box ‘programs are more favourable, and at times, limiting for a startup, as they end up with red-tapes on who else they might be able to serve.

With organisations, the ability to leverage their vastly available intelligence, data and experience can accelerate a startup multiple growth cycles, as accelerators have mentors and investors that have built similar industries and hence can read trends that apply more suitably to the startups solution.

Why co-accelerate when you can just accelerate?

Over the years of building ventures, the word competition seems to play almost no role in the world of accelerators and investors.

As the quote above by Henry Ford suggests, success is not a solo task. It takes many more to work together to build forever. In other words, we rather share a slice of the best cake in the world than bake a cake no one wants.

Co-accelerating is a way for startups to know they are working with two committed partners that are not greedy for solo success of their portfolio startup but of cumulative success in building the best venture(s) together.

While co-accelerating can be seen as a de-risking methodology for co-accelerators working together, it is in fact a way of de-risking the growth for a startup, as they have 2X the support.

Additionally, we are at a stage in multiple industries where transformation is underway and therefore, disruption of existing methods, which means a lot of failure before the match lights the perfect flame.

Co-acceleration is therefore a means to get together the strongest players who are passionate about building new industries, whilst being fully aware of the mistakes that might come with it.

Co-acceleration is always a means to make mistakes early, which often save all the stakeholders lots of capital, time, and quicken the learning curve towards success.

How should co-acceleration be gauged as successful?

While picking co-accelerators a startup should assess the following to make it meaningful –

Upstream and downstream investment + continuous support + ability to back financially, through network and hands-on support

The co-acceleration partners come with expertise to building from scratch and at least up until your Series A round, until when larger institutions can help grow your venture.

Support that applies across the early stages typically lasts much more time than a startup anticipates, and therefore a startup should assess the support they get during their foundational years strictly in order to pick an accelerator that can perfectly compliment the same during the growth years where they have a co-accleration partner that has built growth stage companies.

A simple way to do this is assessing how many ventures the accelerator has built that have reached scale and have been in difficult and transformational industries. The complexity of the solutions they have backed often helps gauge the richness of their support and ability.

Lastly, the days of co-acceleration are only bound to pick up and the greatest sign for this is the number of early stage startups emerging, that indicate the need of co-accelerators.

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)


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