The more isolated you are when you’re working to get your startup off the ground, the more daunting the process will seem. And the more mistakes you’ll make.
Fortunately, most communities offer an abundance of resources for entrepreneurs who are looking for help with their startup plans. Incubators and accelerators, for instance, help guide startups through the process of moving from premise to business. For many fledgling businesses, these operations are not just sources of support – they are absolutely necessary to helping them fill in the gaps in their knowledge as they navigate the millions of decisions that accompany getting a business off the ground. Similarly, outside investors can play a critical role for a business that has great ideas and plans but lacks the funding to translate those ideas into a successful venture.
As Fryed Egg Productions continues its series on starting a business, here are basics to know about incubators, accelerators and investors.
Incubators vary, but they can provide startups with a range of means of support, including workspace, mentoring, consultations with experts, training, seed funding and access to possible investors. For new entrepreneurs, in particular, incubators can serve as an invaluable guide to the critical steps they should take to build their business from the ground up in a sustainable, responsible way. Incubators can be an ideal way for startups to refine their ideas, solve technical challenges, identify obstacles, build a team, home in on a structure, and develop strategies that will help their business be a success – both in the short term and the long term. Incubators typically work with startups that need time to develop and are not on the verge of launching into the marketplace.
Startup accelerators serve to boost startups that are far along in the process. These startups have developed their product and already have initial resources in place to begin their business. An accelerator typically provides more intensive, hands-on attention and support than an incubator does, as well as contributing capital – capital which often comes attached with equity in the business for the accelerator. Accelerators are geared toward speeding up the time to market for your business and putting the conditions in place to scale growth from the outset.
Both incubators and accelerators can help to offer connections to potential investors in your business, providing introductions or venues for your startup to pitch your business to them. Not all startups will seek outside investors to help them build their business, but for many the additional capital is necessary to launch a company without cutting corners in a way that could doom the business from the start. Investors often choose to support a company because of their experience and knowledge related to the industry the startup is entering. In that case, investors can help provide helpful advice and feedback that can make a business stronger and more prepared to enter the marketplace. Startups seeking investors need to decide how willing they are to involve outside investors in their business and how much of a role or input they’re willing to allow them. Pitches to investors can vary – from formal presentations to informal discussions. No matter the scenario, though, a strong business plan and a clear vision for the success of your business likely will be necessary to attract capital investments that can help your prospective business become a reality.
At Fryed Egg, we help new and emerging organizations find their footing and discover who they are. If you want to see if Fryed Egg is the right agency for your marketing needs, contact us at (813) 478-0494 or [email protected] or visit www.fryedegg.com.