5 reasons to apply for an acceleration program

by Tanja

Startup Know-How

3. September 2018

According to Forbes magazine, 90% of startups fail. All for different reasons. Fact is, we can’t save you all, but let’s be honest: Startup incubators and accelerator programs (yes, of course, we are speaking of Startup Live programs here!) are offering a lot of useful opportunities that will prevent you from failure and support you on your exciting, but risky entrepreneurial way.

  1. Get the knowledge served on a silver plate
    When you are just in the beginning, there is this idea in your mind you can’t stop thinking about. But actually, you have no clue where to start. During a Startup Live Program we’ll teach you how to craft a solid business model, how to talk to your potential customers and why Product/Market fit is important. Our contributing mentors are either experienced business (wo)men or experts who not only teach you the essentials but share industry insights and help you fix the flaws.
  2. Been there, done that
    During mentoring + expert sessions as well as in keynotes and masterclasses, experienced founders will tell you about typical mistakes in business development, pitching, dealing with customers and even small, but important things like startups’ email addresses (don’t know what we are talking about – join the next program!). This will save you a lot of time and give you useful insights which can give you an (unfair) advantage over your competitors.
  3. Speaking of… Know your rivals – learn from them
    It is likely you will find someone from the same segment at a competition. Even people with the exact same idea. Or people who might copy your idea within a snap. But it is more important to see what you can learn from them, how you might even cooperate or simply – what mistakes you can avoid and how to be better. If there are no similar projects speak with other participants and mentors about potential competition. Important rule: Always focus on your customers, not your competitors (but the jury will want to know, so be prepared!).
  4. Learn to pitch aka your first Pitchgasm™*
    It might be scary to talk about your idea and even more in front of a big audience and investors. But you are losing nothing. Later on, you will have to pitch your idea to investors with money at stake, so you will already be much more prepared and self-confident.
  5. Networking
    One of the hugest advantages of startup acceleration programs are people. Usually, the brightest minds in the startup scene are gathered together during our intense Startup Live Programs. You’ll have the chance to find passionate team members, top-notch mentors, future business partners and even potential investors. During only one weekend you will become family and most of the participants will stay in touch with each other and with those they meet over the days (and nights).

Afraid that someone might steal your idea? People are often telling us, that they are scared of pitching their idea to a broader audience as someone could just copy it.

First rule: An idea is worth nothing, execution is everything.

BUT (yes, there is always a but), if you developed an innovative product (or you’re about to do), there is actually something you can do to protect it (not pitching and talking about your idea is not the solution)!

You can proof the ownership of your work and get a priority date (an internationally valid “date of birth”) for your patent by filing a provisional application to protect your innovation. This buys you some time to research and develop your patent but protects you from copycats. The Austrian Patent Office supports you along this process and even further.

*Not a real trademark, but the term was officially invented by the legendary pitch trainer and awesome Startup Live Managing Partner Georg.