Incubators vs Accelerators

Differences between Incubators & Accelerators

Building a startup requires knowledge and a lot of determination. (If you’d like to read more about it please check the article on Entrepreneurial behavior)
You will need to establish yourself well within your team or in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
In order to advance faster and commit fewer preventable errors, different structures have been created to help startup founders.
We often hear about incubators & accelerators, but what exactly are their roles?
What is the difference between an incubator and an accelerator?

The two words “incubator” and “accelerator” are often assumed to represent the same concept but there are some key distinctions that we have to be aware of.
Incubators “incubate” disruptive ideas with the hope of building out a business model and company while accelerators “accelerate” growth of an existing company.
So, incubators are often more focused on innovation while accelerators focus on scaling a business.


Startup incubators work with companies that are at an early stage of the process and do not operate on a set schedule.
Incubators offer startups guidance and resources, such as accounting assistance, office space and legal guidance…
Having this business infrastructure in place allows the startup to focus on what matters most: the core business (rather than the mundane, day-to-day, administrative responsibilities).A typical incubator has shared space in a coworking environment, a month-to-month lease program, and some connection to the local community.
One of the biggest benefits of being part of an incubator is the ability to tap into a strong network of business partners and mentors.

Ex: Idealab


The goal of the accelerator is to help a startup do roughly two years of business building in just a few months” said Mike Bott, general manager of the Brandery.
One of the big difference is in how the individual programs are structured.
Accelerators programs usually have a set timeframe in which individual companies spend anywhere from a few weeks to a few months working with a group of mentors to build out their business and avoid problems along the way.
Companies are given a small seed investment, and access to a large mentor network, in exchange for a small amount of equity. The mentor network, typically composed of startup executives and outside investors, is often the biggest value for prospective companies.


More about the differences between Incubators & Accelerators

Ex: Y combinator, Brandery, Techstars
This video can help you to better understand the difference (2min)  :

Key points :

Both incubators and accelerators offer a great opportunity to help young companies or startups get headed in the right direction. The choice between incubators or accelerators finally depends on the maturity of your startup & the need of the co-founders.





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