Accelerators have revolutionized the way early stage investors support startups. They combine investment capital with intensive mentorship within a 13 week program. Can accelerators be equally as valuable for corporates?
In late 2011, Techstars launched the world’s first corporate accelerator with Microsoft, highlighting the benefits of such programs to both startups and corporations. Today, we run corporate accelerators on behalf of Disney, Barclays, Kaplan, Sprint, and R/GA.
In the intervening period, a wide variety of corporations have launched accelerators in multiple formats. We are huge supporters of major companies engaging with startups but there is a fine line that needs to be walked to ensure that both corporates and startups benefit, to neither’s detriment. Jon Bradford, our Managing Director in London, has summarized some of the key dynamics that a startup should consider when selecting a corporate accelerator.
One of the foremost experts on accelerators on this planet, Jon Bradford has worked with both tiny private and huge corporation-backed startup accelerators. This op-ed is about the latter ones.