How do startup accelerators work? Explained

About 305 million startups are established annually of which more than 90% fail in the first few years. Cash flow problems, poor business plans, lack of professional network, weak foundational partnerships, wrong recruitment practices, bad market timing, and failure to find a profitable growth model are all reasons for failure. Joining a startup accelerator program can help to avoid most of these risks, however, many start-up companies still do not have enough information about this possibility. In our article below, we provide insight into startup accelerators and how these programs actually work. In addition, if you, as a business owner, are hesitating about whether joining a startup accelerator program could be a beneficial step for you, then read on, because you may get an answer to your question.Copy HTMLCopy text

What do startup accelerators offer businesses? 

startup accelerator is a fast pace business growth program that can cover years of development in a few months. Businesses that joined a startup accelerator can benefit from the program in many ways, such as building essential partnerships, receiving hands-on business and management trainings, and getting access to professional mentorship as well as potential investors. Ideally, by the end of the program, the participants are able to level up their businesses to be investment ready. 

There are numerous startup accelerators that support various types of businesses with different targeted markets. If you are a startup owner, it is important to do detailed research on the available programs to choose the most suitable and beneficial one for your company.

Startup accelerator program: what does it look like?

As the first step of a startup accelerator program, organizers announce the opportunity for the businesses and select the participants for the given startup cohort based on various criteria. The phase of the process usually consists of 3 steps:

  • Application: by submitting the questionnaire on the accelerator’s website, startups can indicate their intention to participate in the project.
  • Interview: a rapid interview between the applicants and the accelerator program facilitators. Due diligence is also a step before the selection.
  • Selection: a cohort of startups gets selected by the accelerator company that participates in the program.

What is included in the program?

Startup accelerator programs have a predetermined duration, which is typically 3 months. It is a highly intensive learning and development period that requires full commitment and focus from business owners. 

The exact program may vary from project to project, but usually includes the following:

  • Trainings & Workshops: group or one-on-one professional, practical training sessions, workshops, and seminars.
  • Coworking & Mentoring: the program provides an opportunity to work together with other participants, exchange ideas, and take advantage of dedicated mentor meetings.
  • Networking: plenty of possibilities for professional networking between fellow early-stage business owners and experienced professionals to build beneficial relationships that do not end with the project.
  • Demo day: a startup accelerator program concludes with a pitch day. After expanding their businesses, each startup owner is given the opportunity to present their venture to potential investors.

Is joining a startup accelerator program a good idea for your business?

Joining a startup accelerator program comes with numerous advantages that include strategic support, individualized trainings, mentoring, networking opportunities, and investor access. 

If you are unsure whether joining an accelerator program is a good step for your startup, answer our questions below:

  • Does your business already have a product  with market traction or a validated prototype?
  • Do you struggle to build a greater network that would allow you to grow your business?
  • Are you looking for opportunities to expand your industry knowledge?
  • Are you looking to expand to new markets or strengthen your position in the existing one?
  • Would you like to acquire extensive practical knowledge in the shortest possible time that is essential for the future success of your start-up?
  • Do you need to raise venture capital funds?
  • Are you able to commit to a several-month fast-phase learning process provided by a startup accelerator program? 

If most of your answers are yes, you should consider joining an accelerator program tailored to the product or service of the start-up business.


Starting a business is difficult, and growing one is even more challenging, but the good news is that entrepreneurs do not have to navigate the early phases of their business by themselves. If your company already has a product or a prototype and you’re looking for help to launch or scale it successfully on the market, then joining a startup accelerator program might be exactly what you need to do. Startup accelerators provide businesses with vital resources and support to jumpstart their development. 

Startup accelerator programs are intensive learning processes lasting several months, which require a serious commitment. By finding the right program you will be able overcome the obstacles, scale your business and attract investors.

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