Authors: Richard Busulwa, Naomi Birdthistle, Steve Dunn
The must – read guidebook for entrepreneurs looking to get into accelerator programs and to build and scale their startups with speed
Published by Wiley and available at:
Accelerator programs have become one of the most powerful and valuable resources for entrepreneurs seeking to learn rapidly, build powerful networks, raise capital, build their startups and do this at speed and scale. In recent years, the number of accelerator programs around the world has grown at an incredible rate, propelling startups such as AirBnB, Uber, DropBox, Reddit, and others — many to billion-dollar valuations.
The number of accelerators, the differences in accelerator program offerings and the unique benefits and costs of different accelerator locations makes choosing the right accelerator a challenge. Selecting the wrong accelerator, failing to be accepted in the right one, or not fully taking advantage of all the accelerator has to offer can be costly, sometimes fatal. With the stakes so high, entrepreneurs need to understand all their options, choose carefully and do the right things to maximize their chances of success.
Startup Accelerators is the go to guide for any entrepreneur, providing a firsthand look into the acceptance criteria and inner workings of different accelerator programs. Written by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, this indispensable resource explains what different accelerator programs offer, how to get accepted, what to do during the program, how to raise money during accelerators, what to do after the program ends, and much more. Packed with real-world case studies and advice from leading experts on startup accelerator programs, this one-stop resource provides step-by-step guidance on the entire accelerator process.
Reveals how accelerators help founders navigate different challenges in the startup journey
Describes the differences in the benefits and costs of different accelerator programs
Explains how to prepare accelerator applications
Discloses what actions to take during an accelerator to make the most of it
Depicts case studies of entrepreneurs’ accelerator applications, experiences and outcomes across different accelerators
Features interviews with accelerator program managers, founders who went through accelerators, and investors in companies going through or having gone through accelerators
Includes insightful data and reflections from entrepreneurship education researchers and academics
Startup Accelerators: A Field Guide will prove to be invaluable for startup founders considering or going through accelerators, as well as aspiring entrepreneurs, educators, and other startup accelerator stakeholders.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
About the Authors
About the Website
Chapter 1 The Emergence of Startup Accelerators
Chapter 2 What Happens in an Accelerator
Accelerator Coworking Spaces
Accelerator Program Managers
Accelerator Weekly Check - In Sessions
Case Study 1: LEAPIN Digital Keys and the H-Farm Deutsche Bank IoT Accelerator Program (Italy)
Chapter 3 Is Your Startup Ready for An Accelerator
What it Takes to Get into an Accelerator
Accelerator Acceptance Criteria
Common Accelerator Turnoffs
When are you Ready for an Accelerator?
Can you be too Early or too Late for an Accelerator?
What if you are not Ready?
Case Study 2: BroZone Inc and the Founders Frontier Accelerator* [USA]
Chapter 4 How to Prepare the Accelerator Application
Accelerator Acceptance Criteria vs. The Accelerator Application
The Accelerator Application Process
The Accelerator Application Questionnaire
Company Overview Section
The Founders / Team Section
The Product / Idea Section
The Progress / Traction Section
The Equity Section
Other Common Accelerator Specific Criterion
How Accelerator Applications are Evaluated
Case Study 3: LEAPIN Digital Keys’ Journey Through 3 Different Accelerator Applications [Italy, USA and Germany]
Chapter 5 How to Handle the Accelerator Interview
What is an Accelerator Interview and Why is it Important?
The Interview Process and Interview Questions
Accelerator Interview Questions
What can go Wrong in the Accelerator Interview?
Common Tips and Traps
Case Study 4: Listen Notes’ Y Combinator Interview [USA]
Chapter 6 Should you Give up Equity to Get into an Accelerator
Equity as a prerequisite to Getting into an Accelerator
What else Founders Give up in Accelerator Term Sheets
Key Elements of Accelerator Term Sheets
Types of Securities (or Types of Shares)
Board of Directors
Veto Rights or Protective Provisions
Negotiating Accelerator Term Sheets
Case Study 5: Impact of Signing Multiple Accelerator Agreements on a Startup’s capital raising rounds
Chapter 7 Choosing an Accelerator Program
Significance of the Decision to Participate in or Forego Accelerator Programs
Significance of the Accelerator Choice Decision
What makes choosing an Accelerator so Challenging?
What makes good accelerator?
What makes an Accelerator Right for a Startup?
How to Choose the Right Accelerator
Case Study 6: An Unexpected Accelerator Experience
Chapter 8 How to Get the Most out of an Accelerator
Clarify Priorities and Plan your Time
Show that you are committed
Get Customer Discovery and Customer Validation Right
Get Strategy Right
Get Legal Right
Get Investment Ready or Raise Investment
Perfect your pitching, storytelling and business communication
Building your Network within the Network
Resolve any difficult issues
Case Study 7: One Co-founder’s Approach to Making the Most of the Techstars Accelerator Experience
Chapter 9 What to Expect After the Accelerator Ends
What Happens After the Accelerator Ends?
The need to maintain momentum
What to do After the Accelerator
Appendices: Founder Resource Directory
Founder Accelerator Experience Reflections
Founder Reflection #1 [Oceania]
Founder Reflection #2 [Europe]
Founder Reflection #3 [Asia, Europe]
Additional Founder Reflections [USA]
Accelerator Program Manager and Entrepreneurship Educator Reflections
Accelerator Program Manager Reflection #1
Accelerator Program Manager Reflection #2
Entrepreneurship Educator Reflection #1
Entrepreneurship Educator Reflection #2
Resources to Help Founders Choose the Right Accelerator
Resources to Help Founders Prepare Accelerator Applications and Plan for the Start of an Accelerator
Resources to Help Founders Navigate Key Stages of the Accelerator Experience
Examples of Leading Accelerators Globally by Region
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Wiley; 2 edition (Available; January 29, 2020)
About the Authors
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RICHARD BUSULWA (PhD, MBA, M.Innov) is a researcher in the Business School at Swinburne University of Technology, home to the Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship. His entrepreneurship research focuses on startup evolution, entrepreneurial learning, entrepreneurial well-being and strategy for startups. He is co- author of Strategy Execution and Complexity: Thriving in the Era of Disruption. Richard is a startup co-founder and seed investor in cloud, IoT, Ai, blockchain, property and niche professional service firms.
NAOMI BIRDTHISTLE (PhD, MBS., B.A (Hons)) is Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation at Griffith University and is a visiting academic to Aalto University-Mikkeli campus. Naomi has published research on entrepreneurship education, entrepreneurial ecosystems, and family business management issues. Her research has received numerous awards including Emerald Literati awards, a best Doctoral Dissertation Award from the Family Firm Institute, and the Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) best paper in a conference track. Naomi has run her own consulting business and has worked in her family business in Ireland.
STEVE DUNN (MBA, B.A.) is CEO and cofounder of LEAPIN Digital Keys, a startup that delivers NB IoT smart access control solutions. Since its founding, Steve has led the startup through a number of different accelerators within Asia Pacific, USA and Europe. He has also led the startup through several iterations and pivots with a variety of IoT technologies, to finally find product / market fit. Steve is a mentor and coach in university-based accelerators and incubators.
WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW TO GET INTO ACCELERATORS?
Read Startup Accelerators: A Field Guide Sample Chapters at Amazon.com
Reviews for Startup Accelerators
"This book provides insight into what an accelerator is, how it can help your startup, and how you get into one. It helps to demystify the process and answers many lingering questions a young startup entrepreneur may have. A good read for sure!"
―Jindou Lee, 500 Startups Accelerator Alumni; Co-Founder, HappyCo
"Accelerators are a proven model for accelerating startup development―this book guides the startup all the way from accelerator application right through to demo day and helping raise funding after the program has finished."
―Al Pappas, Accelerator Mentor; Former CIO, Adobe Inc.
"Nicely structured, balancing the theoretical and practical with real world examples from the co-author. As a business person who experienced a start-up in an accelerator in their earliest days, and also as a mentor, I firmly recommended this as a condensed guidebook to the process."
―Paul Cummins LL B (Hons), Lawyer; Startup Mentor
"If you're weighing up the options for yourself, or just need a comprehensive breakdown of how accelerators work, this is the book for you".
―Murray Galbraith, Head of Innovation, Cohort; Entrepreneur in Residence, Gold Coast (AUS) Health and Knowledge Precinct