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Entrepreneurism in the time of Incubators and accelerators

Periodically an article will occur that highlights the success of incubators or accelerators. Perhaps what most wannabe entrepreneurs overlook when they read these articles is that it might be pertinent to their success.

Nothing succeeds better than having resources, advice, and expertise to nurture along an idea and launch a business. Everyone of us, as entrepreneurs, could use as many helping hands as we can either afford or gain access to.

For the last twenty or so years incubators and their activities garnered all the attention in the business and financial press. then about ten years ago a few bands of entrepreneurial folks got together to create environments for fast track folks with ideas with the goal of shortening the development times, and reducing the capital requirements by providing a common shared infrastructure. Incubators focused on the capital intensive long development cycle ideas, and by natural selection the accelerators focused on doing just that, getting ideas to market faster.

The boom in biosciences attracted much of the incubator finance and expertise while the ever growing numbers of accelerators attracted expertise, financial resources, and people with ideas that fit the fast track model, most notably Internet-based ideas. Venture capitalists funded some incubators, but few focused on investing in the types of ventures that emerged from accelerators.

Yet interestingly enough, even though the data to back this up is sketchy and just emerging, the success rates are higher in the accelerators versus the incubators. The rate of return on investments is clearly a winning model favoring the entrepreneur. Clearly the risk is greater for those who fund the incubators, and it would appear the gains and return on investment worthy of taking those risks, but when compared to the ability to invest in fast tracked ideas changed the playing field tilts in favor of the accelerators.

So for any wannabe entrepreneur, you need to explore the accelerator option, especially if your idea has something to do with the Internet, to gain access to advice, expertise, coaching, and guidance, and some funding, but more importantly it seems for most entrepreneurs, you find yourself in the midst of other like minded folks who want to get their idea to market in the most cost effective manner, and significantly increase their chances for success.

The future of entrepreneurism depends heavily upon the now rapidly developing environment of the accelerator. So if you want to increase your chances of success get thee to an accelerator and pitch them on your idea.

Make sure to do your web search Googling both business accelerators and business incubators to learn how to compare the two in greater detail. In most major cities, including Raleigh, there are several of each and we will be profiling them in the next few article installments so stay tuned.

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