Keep watering the plant that you have sown, don't dig the soil to check its progress. All start-ups and innovators should keep this in mind when they are launching their new products in the market. Making small progress on every step is always better than waiting for that perfect product to be made. The market is full of people and different products, and using the hit-and-trial method is one of the best ways to check the progress and the validity of the product in the market. There are various programs that one can enroll in to get a better understanding of the market and also how to make your product grow. There are two types of programs that you can enroll in, Incubator programs and Accelerator programs. Both programs aim to help you grow your company and provide the necessary tools for its growth, not only do they help in growth but also provide mentorship, networking opportunities, and funding opportunities. We at EMPL are trying to help those creators that have a revolutionary product. We provide all the facilities that are needed for the product to enter the market and have a very similar working style to the incubator and accelerator programs. The real question is which one should you enroll for? Which program would be a better fit for your company? I will be answering all these questions through the blog.
Incubators essentially provide support in the initial stages of product development. So if your product is just an idea or is in the initial phase then incubators would be a good option for you. Most incubator programs provide mentorship, legal and tax guidance, free co-working spaces, pitch practicing, and sometimes even funding opportunities. Incubator programs are for those people who are very new to the market and trying to develop their product and at the same time develop the soft skills that are needed to help in the growth of the product. These programs usually have a lengthy application process where you and your product must prove their worth and should be eligible to participate in the incubator program. The whole program is structured in such a way that there is a holistic development of you and your product. Founders are usually expected to take part in the program for a few months at the least. Incubator programs are driven towards the success of your product and if it is worth it then these incubator programs can get you in touch with investors and potential clients that could boost the development of your product. Not only that, if the program sees potential then the program itself will invest in your product in exchange for some small amount of equity. Most of the incubator programs are run by organizations that are in the market, so choosing the right incubator program is also very important. You don't want to enroll in a program that specializes in hotels when your product is about cars. Some incubator programs also help their graduates after they have left the program. They provide free office space in certain areas and also have an online platform exclusively for their students to network and connect with each other.
Now let's talk about Accelerator programs. These programs are like a step forward from incubators. If incubators are in middle school then accelerators are a high school. These programs target start-ups that are further developed than others. Meaning these start-ups have a working business up and running, A MVP( Minimum Viable Product), and a customer base. Unlike incubator programs Accelerator programs also offer mentorship, legal and tax guidance, co-working spaces, funding opportunities, and business advice.
These programs are mainly to help you scale your start-up to the next level instead of getting you off the ground like incubator programs. Unlike Incubator programs, these programs require you to give equity in your company in exchange for all the services that they provide. This is called equity seat reservation.
While making the prototype, we understand that creators need a certain level of freedom, to explore and seize the opportunities as they present themselves. Here at EMPL, we try to help these great products to be revolutionary and make a real difference. Being part of 100+ startup visions we have the right tools and facilities that you need to make your product stand out. The application for these programs is much harder than those of incubators and these programs are for a much shorter period of time compared to incubator programs. They are of shorter duration because they only focus on ramping up your sales and scaling your business. If the program is successful in doing so, they get money through the invested equity in your company, which is why the process is lengthy and stringent. If your product is not promising and they see no future in it then your chances of getting into the program are slim, on the contrary, if there is potential in the company, not only will the program invest in your company but also introduce you to other investors for the same. These programs are usually about 3-4 months long. Most of the programs are funded by the private and public organizations of the field they specialize in, so when choosing the right program look into the people they are funded by and then make a decision.
Which one to choose?
This is a question of what you want to gain from the program and what is the status of your start-up. If you are still refining the product idea then incubator programs are your go-to option. If you already have an MVP then you need to focus on the accelerator programs. Likewise, if you are ready for some capital investment in your product then you to go for an accelerator program, and if need help in getting the business off the ground then incubator programs you should go for. Most importantly you should have the basic knowledge about where your mentors have their specialization and which program can help you scale your product without giving away too much equity. One vital thing to consider is where the program is based, and which country or state this program usually happens in. Most programs will have you move to a different place for the duration of the program. You may be able to afford the program but will you be able to afford the rent in those places, For example, the program might give you free office space in Mumbai but do you think you will be able to afford the rent in Mumbai? Some programs are very well structured and keep you busy the whole day, will that be okay for you? Are you willing to give up a year for your product? Some people don't like working better in a free environment and some like the order, you need to know what you want and only then you can choose which program you want to go for. Choosing a program is not hard but choosing the right program can prove to be rather challenging. So know your priorities know your need and what you can give up to take your product from good to great.
We at Exclusive Magnesium design and manufacture parts using Magnesium Alloys & other Advanced Lightweight Materials for Mechanical Engineering teams who are obsessed with developing the next performance-leading product in their sector and category. We have been part of hundreds of product stories all over the world, ranging from Indian drone startups like IdeaForge to convertibles at Mercedes Benz.
We help mechanical teams understand how the use of such materials can unlock a new level of performance in their product to solve their end users’ problems better by saving time, effort, and money for their end users.
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