Problems with Traditional Startup Accelerators (for Investors)

Traditional startup accelerators tend to:

  1. Focus on starting, running, and growing a new business before there is strong validation of the problem/solution and business model, most often leading to unsuccessful outcomes,
  2. Have to pick a cohort from a usually very large number of applicants, often with limited real data, and so possibly miss out on the applicants that could be the most successful,
  3. Have a set start and finish date and limited duration, which may not fit the schedule of applicants or provide enough time to achieve success, especially given the need to pivot,
  4. Have a linear program with a specific sequence of activities and tasks, which doesn’t easily allow for major pivots, teams that are at different stages, or the need to start again, and
  5. Provide investment upfront, when little progress has been made, and investors / funding panels often have little say in how the funds will be used (outside of certain exclusions).