Problems with Traditional Startup Accelerators (for Startup Explorers)
A startup accelerator can help with some of the challenges startups face. However, traditional startup accelerators often have the following limitations:
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. Pick a cohort from usually a very large number of applicants, often using limited real data and a pitch, and so possibly miss out on the applicants that could be the most successful.
3. Only be available in face-to-face format in particular geographic locations, therefore limiting a greater diversity of participants.
4. Have a set start and finish date and limited duration, which may not fit the schedule of applicants or provide enough time to find success, especially given the need to pivot.
5. Have a linear program with a specific sequence of activities and tasks, which doesn’t allow for major pivots, teams that are at different stages, or the need to start again.
6. Provide investment upfront (in some cases) 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).