Accellerators and Incubators are programs that are designed to help companies develop and become profitable.
These programmes have to be applied for, and they usually offer starting out companies office space, business mentoring and a small amount of early stage/seed capital between £10,000-£20,000, in return for about 5-8% equity (shares) in their start up.
These programmes are usually funded by:
- Universities and business school
- Corporate companies
- Private investors
- VC firms
Incubators and Accelerators are different types of programmes:
- Incubators: in short provide resources and services to help improve the odds of success for start-ups. They provide guidance and advice to help start-ups find a saleable business model. They don’t have a structured program and no specific timeframes/goals, and are more like a test bed for experimentation, but ask for more share ownership than accelerators. These startups usually cowork - share office space in an open office plan with other startups. If the incubator is sponsored by a particular type of company they may only accept applications from startups in the same industry, but are generally less selective than accelerators. Examples of incubators that exist include TechStars, Google Campus, Innovation Warehouse, TechHub and BaseCamp.
- Accelerators: provide a structured program in a short period of time (usually 3-4months) to already existing companies with solid ideas, usually with the goal of preparing them for raising larger amounts of financing for their business. They provide mentorship and connect startups with a large network of entrepreneurs and investors, and sometimes provide small amounts of funding. Accelerators are more likely than incubators to take a share of your company and are more selective about who they accept onto the programme. Examples include Seedcamp, Startup Bootcamp and Wayra.