Corporate accelerator program: What is in for them?
It is no secret – the market is changing rapidly. While large organizations struggle to keep up with the pace, startups outgrow their competition by leveraging exponential technologies and reinventing the market over and over again. Startups achieve this incredible growth by leveraging new organizational techniques and accelerating new technologies.
Mature organizations must have a ‘Massive transformative purpose’ which captures the hearts and minds of the people inside and outside of the organization. Workforce of such enterprises needs to internalize specific traits to ensure they are ahead of the disruptive forces at play.
Many large enterprises are now looking to Start-up Accelerators which can help them imbibe this disruptive culture by being the bridge between outside innovation and the organization. The overall interest in entrepreneurship has spurred the growth of accelerator programs to service a startup culture. The rising number of accelerators – business immersion boot camps that usually take an amount of equity to help launch the companies. It provides budding entrepreneurs all sorts of incentives to join in.
And there are different models in which enterprises can associate with these Accelerators:
1. On-premise Accelerator – Many large corporations have now created, what is popularly called, ‘Innovation Lab’ under their roof to house the chosen start-ups. The executive team then engages with the Accelerators to do what they do the best – run and manage the Accelerator programs for the defined duration. This also becomes a good platform for the intrapreneurs of these organizations to develop their ideas in a more structure way.
2. Sponsored Accelerator Program – This is a model where Accelerators run a well-defined objective oriented program for the corporate. The Accelerators market the program, review and select startups for each cohort, provide mentors and manage the program on the corporate’s behalf with the goal to make shortlisted start-ups enterprise-grade, and integrating them into the corporate business.
3. Corporate Accelerators – This is the most popular model that many large corporations like Microsoft, Target, Google etc follow where the accelerator is often a subsidiary or a business unit of the larger organization.
Beyond the benefits of innovation and technology, start-ups through accelerator program also help companies in strengthening their portfolio. The giant corporate or companies get the opportunity to go through a portfolio of start-ups which they also can add in their portfolio or offerings to attract more customers. This entire concept or opportunities allow the companies to position themselves more towards innovation, as a result building more trust between their relationship with the start-up and potential clients.
Engagement with identified solutions could be in the following formats (Including a combination of any of these formats)
• Adopting the solution as the customer
• Investing in the company / acquiring the company
• Partnerships (e.g. partnership for market access – e.g. distribution)
• Collaborating with the company for enhancing Guardian India stakeholder experience
Since the founding of the first accelerator in 2005, this industry has grown tremendously, giving thousands of entrepreneurs access to expertise, resources, and capital which helps to turn their ideas into businesses. There is seen a tremendous increasingly increasing larger share of the accelerator programs, total investments into startups, and number of startups in their programs.
Few years ago, eager entrepreneurs with little business acuity and in need of funding turned to startup accelerators for help. From the outside, these programs had an air of exclusivity with the source code to build successful businesses.
In less than one and a half decade, accelerators have become a mainstay of startup ecosystems in regions across the globe. Throughout this time, business models of accelerators and growth strategies have continued to rise.