At every stage of your entrepreneurial journey you will need support. One of the hardest lessons I, as a founder, have learned is to accept guidance and support. Learning that lesson has taught me to not only accept the support, but to seek it. I encourage you to seek the support you need to strengthen your skill set, define your goals and to create meaningful growth for your business. As you go looking for resources to support your startup there are a million different options, let’s take a little time to sort through the different types of resources available so that you can make the best choice about where to get the support you need.
Seeking the right guidance as you design your unique pathway will help you achieve meaningful success. Resources that help guide you through the process of designing your pathway will focus on things such as team development, defining your value proposition, and aligning the business model that will best fit your market. All businesses need to design their pathway to scaling and growth with intention and purpose. As you identify, define and design your pathway the right guidance will help you scale to create intentional and meaningful growth for success
Finding the support you need is a part of that intentional pathway. Training, mentoring and coaching help you focus. Where you are on your unique journey will help identify which resources are the right stop on your pathway to growth.
The top three startup entrepreneur resources are:
1. INCUBATOR: If you are in the first segment of your entrepreneurial journey an incubator may be the right choice for you. Incubators are often open ended in their time engagement meaning that there is not a defined start and stopping point and they may have rolling admission. You may find that your incubator offers you additional facilities and technical equipment as well as generalized working space to hold meetings. An incubator is going to help you validate your business ideas and focus on your early stage development.
2. ACCELERATOR: As you continue to grow and mature as a business owner, accelerators are a fantastic option to get the support and knowledge you need. If you have worked through your MVP and have fully validated your business idea then an accelerator might be the right place to get the support you need to continue growing. Accelerators run for a fixed duration usually from 6 to 12 weeks and are going to be cohort based, meaning that you are building a community within your learning environment. Accelerators are often industry type specific which can help support your growth within your own industry bringing you subject matter experts and aligned mentors. As you search for the right accelerator for your growth you will want to prepare yourself for conversations about how to scale your business and how to best prepare for funding options, especially taking on outside investors.
3. BUSINESS COACHING: At any segment of your journey looking to a business coach may be a great choice. You will need to be prepared to be open minded about what your growth journey may look like and come to the sessions ready to work on both yourself as a leader and on your business’ trajectory. Business coaching is individualized and can help focus your energies as a founder.
As founders, we try to do as many things as we can in a given day. Each of these startup resources are designed to support you at different stages of growth. Take the time to carefully evaluate which resource is the right fit for the segment of the journey that you are on. Design your pathway with intent.
We accept applications to our Accelerator Programs year-round, on a rolling basis.
Our next Accelerator, Spring 2022 will take place from March 26 to June 23, 2022.
Accelerator Program is a 10-week 100% virtual program designed for early stage founders led by Women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ founders. The accelerator focuses on helping founders define, refine, and develop the core components of building a viable, scalable business model.
About the Author
Holly Burrow serves the entrepreneur community through inclusive advising, investing and ecosystem building with Impact Ventures. As a founder and advisor she has experience as a small business strategist and her commitment to agility and growth has allowed her to expand her scope and help other small business owners to impact their communities through sharing knowledge, strategic planning and connecting. Today she focuses on growing community awareness of access to capital and information to open the door for early stage start-ups to find success.