What is Startup Acceleration and why should you consider participating in one
Where it all started
With the concept being relatively new, startup acceleration as a method has been gaining popularity and legitimacy, primarily because of the relative success of companies that go through the acceleration programs. The first startup accelerator – Y Combinator opened its doors to the first cohort of startups just 16 years ago in 2005. Companies like Airbnb, Stripe, Reddit and other legendary disruptors have all started their journey with an acceleration program. Moreover, it has been reported that around a third of the companies that raise venture capital have gone through acceleration programs.
While being quite impactful in terms of fostering the creation of successful ventures and helping entrepreneurs raise capital, startup accelerators are quite a unique phenomenon. According to the Brookings Institution, there are only around 1,300 accelerators in the world, which is almost the same as the number of startups registered in a single country of Estonia – one of the smallest countries in Europe. It is fair to conclude that startup accelerators are normally quite exclusive and for the sake of statistics, it is sometimes more likely to get accepted to an Ivy League school like Harvard (~5% chance) than top tier accelerator programs (1-3% chance).
Benefits of joining startup acceleration
Startup Acceleration is an intensive educational program that supports early-stage startups in development of successful high-growth businesses through mentorship, education and partnerships, which often includes financial investment. Startup Accelerators often serve startups based on their internal objectives and requirements like industry, stage, location and sometimes even solution. It helps accelerators to specialize and be most valuable to a certain group of startups.
Any accelerator’s goal is to help develop successful startups and good accelerators would use all the resources at their disposal to help entrepreneurs achieve their goals.
Startup accelerators often:
- Provide access to experts in topics starting from business development to cybersecurity
- Facilitate meetings and partnerships with external industry players (corporates, governments, investors, and ecosystem supporters)
- Make sure startups are ready to navigate the business environment through rigorous trainings and mentorships
Why you should join Fashion for Change accelerator programme?
Fashion for Change aims to enhance circularity in the fashion industry and the main part of the project is an intensive Acceleration Program during which a unique batch of international designers, SMEs and startups scale their solutions through working with real case market challenges and learning about circularity, business development and investment readiness. We welcome teams that might cover different aspects of the value chain from resources, design, production, retail, consumption to the product’s end-of-life:
New fiber development and materials recycling;
- Design and manufacture of fashion products using sustainable, recycled, and upcycled materials;
- Retail customer services incl. repair and return;
- New clothes sharing and reselling business models;
- Software systems for on-demand fashion production.
The selected teams will be provided with:
- Financial support of 10 000 EUR per team. In addition, 5 best teams will receive another 5 000 EUR.
- Mentorship on circularity and sustainability, product/service development, and business development.
- 2 study visits focusing on manufacturing and marketing/business development.
- Networking with partners, investors, and experts.
- Support and assistance from the Consortium throughout the project.