We've compared these 2 types of startup programs
Startups accelerators and incubators are both designed to support early-stage companies, but they operate differently and offer distinct resources and benefits.
Here are some key differences:
|Startup Accelerator||Startup Incubator|
|Time Frame||Accelerators typically operate within a set, relatively short time frame - usually around three to six months. This period is intensive and highly structured, ending with a "Demo Day" or presentation to potential investors.||Incubators don't usually have a specific timeframe and offer a more flexible, long-term relationship, often taking years to nurture a startup to a sustainable stage.|
|Stage of Business||Accelerators are often aimed at slightly more mature startups that have a defined business model and are ready to scale.||Incubators are usually designed for startups in the earliest stages of their development and can even support entrepreneurs who are still refining their business idea.|
|Equity||Accelerators typically provide seed funding in exchange for a small portion of equity in the startup.||Incubators may not always provide funding and when they do, it is less often in exchange for equity.|
|Space||Accelerators may provide workspace, but the focus is more on the rapid-growth process rather than the provision of physical space.||Incubators often provide physical workspace for startups, creating an environment where entrepreneurs can work and interact with each other.|
|Mentorship and Curriculum||Accelerators provide a specific curriculum and intensive mentoring for startups to help them speed up their growth. They often have a roster of experienced business mentors who provide guidance and networking opportunities.||While incubators also offer mentorship, they generally don't have a set curriculum, focusing more on providing resources and support services over a longer timeframe.|
|Cohort-Based vs Individual||Accelerators generally operate on a cohort-based system, where a group of startups are selected to participate in the program at the same time. This encourages networking and peer-to-peer learning.||Incubators often work with startups individually, not based on a cohort system, and thus may be less focused on creating a community among participating startups.|
|Where to find them?||List of startup accelerators in the UK|
While these are general differences, it's important to note that the lines can sometimes blur, with some incubators offering accelerator-like programs and vice versa. Each startup should consider its specific needs when deciding whether to apply to an accelerator or incubator program.