Accelerators are designed to do just that: they take a startups and put them on a trajectory that turns them into a full-fledged companies, preparing them for Demo Day, where and when they’ll have the opportunity to pitch in front of a room filled with potential investors. Most provide some seed money in exchange for equity, free office space for the duration of the program, and other perks, including free legal advice/banking. Many also provide mentors – subject matter experts who’ll help you if you’re stuck, or introduce you to potential partners/investors you need to meet.
Don’t confuse accelerators with incubators. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, there is a difference and we’ve covered that in this publication before.
Not all accelerators are the same. Some focus on a very specific vertical. Others prefer to focus on certain types of companies. Check them out. Talk to people who’ve been through the program of an accelerator that might have struck your fancy. Will going through one of these programs help you to shape your startup/move your company to the next level? Considering that there seem to be more and more of them cropping up all the time, they must be doing something right. Is an accelerator right for your company and if so, which one?
Click here to see the list of some of the current NYC-based accelerator programs in no particular order