Why Accelerators may not get your startup there except…
Last Friday, as I pondered on the advisory make-up and early investors for my venture, I decided to reconnect with an old contact, a mentor who gave me my very first access to a computer machine many years ago, he is a seasoned manager and entrepreneur, highly experienced in strategic management and financing with solid experience both in the United Kingdom and Nigeria, fortunately he was in-country so we met up.
As I shared the vision for my venture, I observed his genuine interest and authentic disposition of wanting me to succeed with it, it was clear to me, I need him on my team, I then began to understand the key difference between taking accelerator investment and going with an Angel investor, my awakening is what I seek to share in this post.
Subconsciously, I have always been averse to accelerators for no particular reasons, I guess to me accelerators somewhat feels akin to leaving a new born baby in the care of the hospital after giving birth just because qualified nurses, doctors and dieticians are on hand to give the baby whatever is required for growth. Not so, ventures require nurturing, and shaping.
Dealing with some of the experienced trusted potential angel investors from my inner circles, I realized funding and incubation from an accelerator is not all there is, you need trusted individuals with the right intentions and motivations to help you through the early stages of your enterprise.
Yes an accelerator can expose you to a wide network of partners, however there is heightened likelihood of being introduced to entities solely driven by profit that may be detrimental to the business too early on in the journey.
Now not to discredit accelerators in totality but we all know the primary motive for most accelerators is profits and a piece of your pie. Most truly do not care about the growth cycle of the venture, neither have they caught the vision, how can they then stir you to success when their primary and only motive is profits?
On the other hand, you have a better chance at success having an angel investor carefully listen and understand the venture, in the real sense of it, an angel investor usually only invests when he strongly believes in the vision. From this standpoint, he is able to think long term and give deeper advisory insights from a broader perspective than an accelerator that squeezed out 10,000 dollars and are eager to recoup their funds lest they go under.
Now there are exceptions, go with an accelerator only if you have established a good personal and working relationship with its owner, this way you can deduce first hand if he or she believes in the vision and has the ventures best interest at heart.