Five reasons your Start-up should apply for an Accelerator program today!
By Alon Zlatkin, CEO of Dogiz.
Everybody knows that Israel is the next silicon valley and if one is thinking of opening a startup, this is the place to be. However, not everybody realises just how crowded the market is, and that in order to actually benefit from what the startup nation has to offer, one needs to compete with thousands of other startups. But there is a shortcut of course, you can accelerate your business three times as fast as other startups if you enter an accelerator program.
So what exactly do you gain from a Start-Up accelerator?
Time is the most expensive resource a startup has. A common myth among founders is that they can work on developing their idea for as long as they want, but the truth is – an average startup only lasts for 18 months. If during this time nothing serious happens (no investment, no revenue flow, no significant traction) founders often burn out or lose enthusiasm etc. What an accelerator instills in you the true value of time. You don’t get more time, but you learn to utilize your time much more efficiently. In a world with ever increasing competition, ensuring you maximize the short time you have, is of paramount importance if you want your business to succeed.
They say everybody in Austin, Texas has their own band and everybody is also playing in someone else’s band. The same can be said about startups in Israel. This creates a great spirit and warm ecosystem but also enhances competition. Regardless of your industry, in the end you are competing with every other startup for the attention of the same people: investors, partners, consultants etc. Of course if you a serial entrepreneur, you may have it all already, but if this is your first start up or you emigrated from a different country, than networking and forging the necessary connections can be extremely time consuming. What is great about being in an accelerator is that most of the people you need, will come to you by themselves. The majority of accelerators have their own large eco-systems which can help make these necessary introductions. Of course you will still have to hunt down many of these investors by yourself, but often just getting your foot in the door can be one of the hardest challenges first-time entrepreneurs face.
Startups are not only short on time, but also money. While founders can work without being paid, there are still expenses for server hosting, legal services, accounting, bookkeeping etc. Since there is a large ecosystem in Israel, there are a tonne of service providers who are ready to defer their fees (or even provide some service time for free). However, the amount of offers and suppliers is so vast, that one needs to spend a great amount of time researching these different service providers. Accelerators often serve as filters for these service suppliers, plus they often receive special offers or packages. Additionally, you have the chance to get valuable feedback on the experiences of other companies from your accelerator, on any of the many service providers. These honest reviews are normally hard – if not impossible – to google.
They say that developing a startup is like a rollercoaster ride. There are many ups and downs on a start-up’s journey.Often when you feel that you are at the very bottom it is easy to forget that there’s a way up. Being part of an open-work space and sitting next to other companies in different stages helps remind you of the importance of staying positive! Simply talking to other founders and sharing your experiences can dramatically boost your confidence. Ultimately, the accelerator itself is your main partner. Accelerators are institutions committed to helping your business succeed and when you are feeling down, they’ll do everything to help you keep your chin up.
- Office space
It is ironic that in the centre of the ‘Silicon Wadi’ offices and even desks in Tel Aviv coworking spaces can cost so much that most early stage start-ups cannot afford the rent. All the accelerators provide you with a space you can work from and what you pay for the program is still considerably less than what you’d be paying for an office.
About the author: Alon Zlatkin
After 6 years of service in the military I traveled and worked for 3 years around the globe.I recently completed my BA in Economics and Business at the IDC Herzliya.
I always had a strong desire to create something that will help people to work better and faster, or a way to integrate technology to truly make people’s lives easier.
During my studies I met people with a similar passion for entrepreneurship. When I adopted my dog Jack, an amazing german shepherd, we quickly became part of a vibrant and friendly community of dog lovers. I also learned first hand at the challenges and responsibilities urban dog owners face.
It was then that I decided to connect the love for my dog and the doggie community with my passion for inventing and entrepreneurship.
Being part of The Hive gave me access to an amazing team of mentors committed to helping us realize our vision. The Hive’s vast network in the Startup ecosystem enabled us to accelerate our business dramatically in only a few months.
P.S. At the moment the Hive by Gvahim accelerator is still accepting applications for the next wave. The Hive program is completely in English, they are mostly looking for startups from the new immigrants (but others are also welcomed to apply). No equity is taken (only in case you raised funds you should donate 3% of the sum). You pay a nominal fee of 1000 nis per month per team. Apply here till May 10th