Six Reasons Your Startup Should Join an Accelerator Program

Posted by Knowlton Thomas

Toronto-based MaRS Discovery District recently released a report called Seeding Success: Canadian Startup Accelerators that breaks down numerous aspects of accelerator programs in Canada.

In the report, six benefits of accelerators are cited, as described by the program directors and the entrepreneurs that participate in the programs. If you're a founder considering applying for an accelerator, check out the main six benefits:

 

1. NETWORKING

Networking is always of value in the startup world, and accelerators present a wide array of such opportunities. "One of our alumni from the first year is getting all his connections for his ventures in Silicon Valley through The Next 36," says Claudia Hepburn of The Next 36.

 

2. REPUTATION

Being in an accelerator offers at least some degree of prestige, as most applications aren't accepted. "We've taken the top 1% of companies," explains Andy Yang of Extreme Startups. "We've vetted these from hundreds and hundreds of applications. It carries a lot of weight."

 

3. EFFICIENCY

According to program directors, one great benefit of an accelerator is that it adds a layer of efficiency to the startup's entire process. "Accelerators make everything more efficient," says Patrick Riley of the Global Accelerator Network. "If a company can go to one place and get mentorship, investments, and collaboration with other companies, that's the ideal world."

 

4. COLLABORATION

Accelerators are great for allowing people to collaborate with the bright minds of other eager and competitive entrepreneurs. "When you're in an open space and you're working with another 10 or 15 entrepreneurs or engineers or designers or marketing people, there's a lot that happens," says Ben Zlotnick of INcubes.

 

5. EDUCATION

Accelerators are likened to universities, where some formality and discipline helps hone the focus of entrepreneurs. "We realized through our insight discovery that entrepreneurs in the city of Toronto were lacking that type of accountability and that type of engagement and training, and that's what we really need," explains Tamara-Melissa Huggins of Driven.

 

6. FOCUS

Accelerator programs offer an ideal way to test and ensure the commitment of all founding members of a startup team. "It was our way to weed out those who really didn't want to be there," explains Adam Jarczyn, an entrepreneur behind Hovr.it.

Company:
Extreme Startups
Website:
http://www.extremestartups.com
Location:
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Extreme Startups is a venture backed startup accelerator that supercharges founder development, optimizes product-market fit and graduates fundable companies. Our evolved programs provide an unrivaled combination of seed capital (up to $250K), digital product leadership education and access to a global pool of mentors. Investors and financial partners include Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Relay... more

Company:
The Next 36
Website:
http://www.thenext36.ca
Location:
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The Next 36 addresses Canada's deficit of high impact entrepreneurship by providing resource-rich education programs to promising young entrepreneurs. It was founded by a small group of business leaders and academics and is championed by Founding Patrons W. Galen Weston, Paul Desmarais, Sr. and Jimmy Pattison. We believe that by fast-tracking the development of Canada’s most talented young innovators, we will... more

Company:
HOVR.IT
Website:
http://hovr.it
Location:
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Window Shopping Online. Using image recognition search technology, HOVR.IT makes images online clickable and guides you to the retailer for purchase. more


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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys playing tennis, hiking, and exploring weird side streets. more




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