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5 things every start-up should know before applying to an accelerator

Mona Singh
6th Feb 2018
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The trend of starting up in India is on a sheer rise. You can see the majority of start-up entrepreneurs hunting for great accelerator programs. The opportunity to join an accelerator program helps them in fetching funds and entrepreneurial perks in exchange for a nominal equity and leadership.

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Nowadays, the number of accelerator programs is reaching a high point. They are coming up with innovative opportunities to fund potential start-up businesses. These opportunities include seed capital, amazing office space, training, mentorship and many other entrepreneurial perks.

Being a start-up entrepreneur, if you are looking to steer your business in the right direction, then you must keep in mind the following things before applying to an accelerator:

1. Identify the right reason:  You must identify the reason behind your need to apply for an accelerator. Understanding its need is critically important in order to reap benefits after getting yourself enrolled in the program.Of course, money and freebies are one of the most important factors considered to give a push to any start-up. But they should not be in the list of your top priorities. It is good to get an initial push through cash but they should not be the underlying reason to join the accelerator program.The right reason may fetch you long- term opportunities and success in the long run.

2. Know your right time:  Do not apply for any accelerator program if you are not prepared with your start-up idea. There has to be a sense of alignment between the accelerator program and your start-up.Knowing the current status or stage of your business should be your foremost priority. Start-ups at ideation stage require completely a different mindset and mentoring than the start-ups resting at revenue generating stage. If you are not prepared with your idea or not sure about its viability then be patient and give yourself some time. You should not reach to any accelerator with just a visualised idea or a half prepared plan.

3. Find the right accelerator team:  Getting yourself enrolled in the accelerator program should not be your only goal. Figure out that program which suits your needs, network and nature of business the best.Knowing about the accelerator team is very important. You must make efforts to know the strengths and weaknesses of the leadership team, mentors and advisors to keep your business moving in a right direction.Accelerator team should be capable enough to help you build your business even in the toughest market situation. Do not join an accelerator program just to meet incredible entrepreneurs and listen to their motivational speeches. Find the right accelerator program and team to keep your business moving forward.

4. Keep your mind open for criticism:  Prepare yourself well to know the flaws in your business plan. Before becoming a part of an accelerator program, you must keep your mind ready to accept criticism.Accelerator programs are not only restricted to sharing entrepreneurship knowledge and skills. If you have opted for the right accelerator program then you will get to know the wrong and right steps undertaken by you. The leaders and mentors give you an extreme amount of insight to help you accelerate your business.

5. Be willing to disappear:  Digest the harsh reality of successful entrepreneurship. If you seriously want to go for an accelerator program, you must be willing to disappear from family and society.One of the important reasons to disappearing is you have to extract entrepreneurship skills as much as you can during the program. You would require to give a hard push to your business with the knowledge obtained in the tenure of the program. So be willing to disappear from your unalike in order to keep yourself focused and in competition with your own self. 

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