Most of us know by now about all the great programs and resources various startup accelerators or incubators offer. My question is, does it always makes sense to apply to one of these programs? is there a reason not to apply? and from the many options, does anyone have feedback based on personal experience?
These are the programs that I know about that are interesting to me:
Do not apply if you have the following:
Otherwise, in 99.9% of the cases you should apply and it will be well worth it.
I don't think it ALWAYS makes sense to use an incubator. It depends entirely on what your goals are. For instance, do you want to get VC finance eventually? Do you want to grow rapidly? Do you need access to resources or people you don't yet have? Do you want to run your business part-time while studying or working elsewhere?
The answers to these types of questions will tell you whether incubators would be useful in your particular situation.
If you are very clear about what you want to achieve, then you will more easily be able to make a decision about which of these incubators, if any, would help you meet your goals.
Hello fellow Austinite. I would also suggest Tech Ranch Austin as a good group to add to your list and would recommend them highly. I met with Kevin and Jonas and got wonderful feedback on my ideas. I ended up not following up on it, but a colleague is currently working with them (on Zehicle) and has nothing but good things to say about the community they have built.
I think acceptance to one of these programs can provide great mentorship opportunities.
Don't do it for money. None of those is a good funding solution. If you need a quick access to $20K -- get a loan from a bank. The terms and rates are much better.
Thanks for speaking fondly of Tech Ranch Austin! We're always interested in engaging entrepreneurs, even at very early stages, with their ventures. We consider the door open to all entrepreneurs. In order to serve the community we provide education and tools designed to get you to CUSTOMERS quickly, we also have great mentorship from seasoned entrepreneurs, and our community is what you need to leverage when resources are strapped.
Come see us at Campfire, www.techranchaustin.com/campfire, every other Friday afternoon.
Coming up October 14 we're hosting the first Tech Ranch Venture Pitch where 10 companies we've been incubating from our Venture Forth program are going to pitch customers and investors. There are still a few seats left for entrepreneurs who would like to join us.
RSVP here: http://venturepitch.eventbrite.com Thanks guys, Talk to you soon.