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Accelerator in innovative enterprises


Written by Christian Saublens

 

The concept

How to implement it?

Step in the RIS process

What can be expected?

A quote

References

 

 

The concept


Accelerator programmes are providing early stage funding and mentoring in return for equity to start-ups, in order to support quick growth, quickly testing the market and quick viability. Mentors are successful entrepreneurs. Schemes are delivered in a relative short period of time, for instance 14-15 weeks and not more than 6 months. Mentors are working side by side with the entrepreneurs and are focusing on critical elements needed to grow a business.

Accelerator programmes are more intensive and more face-to-face oriented than incubator programmes which often deliver on the shelf support services and office space up to 5 years.

 

How to implement it?


  •  Put in place a strong network of mentors by engaging regional successful entrepreneurs.
  • Build confidence with a community of early stage investors including business angels.
  • Organize a strong selection process of the projects entering into the scheme.
  • Define the equity reward (for instance Wayra, the London Telefonica accelerator, offers up to 40 000 £ early stage in return of a 10 % equity stake).

As most of the accelerator programmes are run by private organizations, the public sector can team up with them or cofinance their running cost or co-invest their seed capital fund.

Some enterprises are investing in their own accelerator programme. This is already widely the case of ICT players such as Microsoft, Cisco, … In 2014, the midsize French Electricfil (automotive supplier) opened in the Rhône-Alpes region an accelerator programme through which start-ups have access to mentors in the field of R&D, purchase, sales and marketing, as well as access to prototyping, testing and production facilities.

 

Step in the RIS process


Step 5: Definition of a coherent policy mix: roadmaps and action plan

 

What can be expected?


Tailored support services to potential gazelles.

 

A quote


“Apart from the advice and the seed money, the biggest benefit of the accelerator is the focus. We know that we had three months to build something that people wanted.” by Chaudhary, founder of ClassDojo ICT education

 

References


  •  These are the 15 best accelerators in the US - Techcrunch.com
  • Business incubators and accelerators: Here’s the big difference – businessnewsdaily.com
  • Electricfil veut faciliter le développement d’entreprises innovantes - Les Echos 17/12/2014, page 25
  • The Harbor accelerator – www.harborec.com
  • Business accelerators: A financial shot in the aim of start-ups – www.theguardian.com

 

Mr Christian Saublens


 

Christian Saublens has more than 30 years of working experience in European trade organizations. Since 1992 he is the Executive Manager of EURADA, the European Association of Development Agencies, a network of 145 organisations. Christian has been involved in the organization of numerous conferences and meetings dealing with all matters related to regional development. He wrote several papers and working documents on business support schemes for SMEs. He played an important role for the dissemination in European regions of concepts such as benchmarking, business angels, investment readiness, proof of concept, clusters, open innovation, financial engineering, crowdfunding, … Several times Christian has been appointed as an expert by the European Commission and the Committee of the Regions.

christian.saublens@eurada.org

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