Accelerator programs are an incredibly efficient way to help your business get off the ground but not every entrepreneur is fit for it. Increasingly popular among startups as a mean to receive funding, high performing programs put less emphasis on finances and more on rethinking every angle of the business to give it the best chances of success in the marketplace, making them fit for seasoned entrepreneurs as well first-time founders. We have plenty of successes at Altima with startups and small business owners who achieve market fit and really accelerate their companies.
Here is a breakdown of the key must-haves for entrepreneurs to join an accelerator:
1. You want to be mentored
One of the greatest benefit of an accelerator is that you will be matched with top mentors but also be given access to a large network of top executives, experts and entrepreneurs. Sharing their experience and acting as a sounding-board can really improve your critical thinking and decision-making process.
You believe mentors can provide you valuable feedback and support your entrepreneurial and leadership development.
2. You want to grow your business
Of course, you want to grow your business! But what I mean is that you are ready to get outside of your comfort zone. Business-minded experts and mentors will challenge every angle of your business to give it the best chance to succeed. You will be constantly pushed to think about improving and growing your company, and connecting at a deeper level with customers. The focus will be on solving real customer problems, while reducing non-essential tasks.
You are open and willing to take a fresh look at your business. That’s how breakthroughs are achieved.
3. You are clear on your abilities
Self-awareness is one of the most essential skills for entrepreneurial success. How we behave and respond to other people, situations and circumstances is governed by our internal mental processes. Self-awareness is the conscious awareness of your own character, which is key to entrepreneurial success.
You are confident in your abilities and understand where you shine, and where your insecurities are.
4. You are clear on your expectations
They are many very good reasons to join an accelerator program: you believe you have potentially a great business and want to accelerate validation; you want to look at what you could do better, what time and money-wasting bad habits you could stop; whatever the case may be. The important thing is that you know exactly what you want out of it.
You are clear on what you want to accomplish within the program timeframe. You have specific expectations and understand what you are willing to sacrifice for them.
5. You have the entrepreneurial spirit
Creating and/or scaling a business is typically pretty intense. Adding to it an accelerator environment where so much is accomplished is such short amount of time, you have to be really passionate about creating something unique, making a difference and driving economic growth.
You are optimistic about the future and possess the entrepreneurial grit to sustain you through your journey.
If you have specific questions about your company and whether you would benefit from an accelerator, feel free to leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you a woman entrepreneur? Arizona Prosperity Initiative Accelerator?—?API10X Female Entrepreneurs?—?aims to disrupt gender inequality and empower female-led companies to matter. Success is not a measure of worthiness but impact. Apply today.
Chair of the Mentorship Committee and Director of the Board?—?Girls in Tech?—?Phoenix. Venture Devils Mentor at Arizona State University and Commercial Reviewer at National Science Foundation SBIR/STTR grants.