Ep. #596 - Accelerators, Incubators? Why or Why Not?
In this episode of Startup Hustle, join Matt and Matt for Part 17 of “How to Start a Tech Company” as they discuss the similarities and the differences between startup accelerators and incubators, along with which one could best benefit a growing tech company.
Covered In This Episode
Startup founders have most likely heard about accelerators and incubators. But what are they? And will they help your tech startup scale to the next level?
Matt DeCoursey and Matt Watson are here to answer these questions. In Part 17 of “How to Start a Tech Company,” they talk about accelerators and incubators. The Matts discuss the differences between the two types of organizations. They also share what accelerators and incubators are looking for from a startup. Aside from that, Matt and Matt tell the listeners the benefits that startups stand to gain from these organizations and which might be the best fit for different startups.
Get to know more about accelerators and incubators in this Startup Hustle episode.
Missed the previous episode? Click here to listen to the 16th episode of the “How to Start a Tech Company” series. Or join the Matts in the 18th episode here.
- Welcome to the 17th episode (0:09)
- The difference between accelerators and incubators (2:07)
- Incubator and Accelerator funding (7:55)
- Investment capital (13:45)
- What are incubators looking for? (16:52)
- What are accelerators looking for? (22:35)
- Founder’s freestyle? (28:26)
- Wrapping up (32:48)
But we’ve I think we would be remiss if we didn’t, once again, remind people that when you share a cap table with someone and you partner with them, you’re going to be endowed with them for a while. So make sure you know what you’re getting into. Make sure you know how you’re getting into it, and make sure you know what your expectations are both for you.Matt DeCoursey
One of the biggest values of all of these programs is networking and connections, right? I mean, imagine going through Y Combinator, and they’re like, you guys have created a great product. We’re gonna go to our 300 Alumni companies and tell them how great this is. And all the previous founders and a good chunk of them will probably use your product, right? Like, the networking, the mentors, and all that kind of stuff that you get out of this far outweighs everything else.Matt Watson
If you don’t have a lot of experience being in business or doing a startup, I think that an incubator can be a great thing for you. I think that it’s very easy to forget, miss, and get overwhelmed with a lot of the stuff that comes with starting a business.Matt DeCoursey
If you have the right kind of company and product where an accelerator makes sense, I think they’re usually valuable. The thing you got to remember is that there are competitions, right? Like there are only so many companies that get in. And if you get in, that’s a big stamp of approval, but you got to be one of the top candidates. I think it’s definitely something to consider, especially for the networking connections. Industry connections are super valuable.Matt Watson
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Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
Matt DeCoursey 0:00
And we’re back. Back for another episode of Startup Hustle, Matt DeCoursey, here with Matt Watson. Hi, Matt.
Matt Watson 0:06
What’s going on, man?
Matt DeCoursey 0:09
17, baby, part 17 of our 52-part series about how to start a tech company. How do you feel about that?
Matt Watson 0:17
You know, I don’t know if I’ve ever been held accountable in my life to do something 17 times in a row and show up. So this is pretty good.
Matt DeCoursey 0:25
You got 35 more of those, dude. Well, I guess we did more.
Matt Watson 0:29
We are a little behind. So I guess my record is not quite true.
Matt DeCoursey 0:31
Our mission statement on Startup Hustle has been to tell the real truth of entrepreneurship. And I think that nothing probably does it better than being three weeks behind on our 52 part series for 2021. That’s because yes, things do take longer and usually cost more than you will expect them to. So that said, we’re going to talk about accelerators and incubators and the why and why not of that. Before we get into that. I do want to let you know Matt that today’s episode Startup Hustle sponsored by Gusto. Gusto is a simple online payroll and benefit benefits platform that’s built for small businesses. Gusto automatically files your payroll taxes and direct li deposits your team’s pay. Plus, you can offer all kinds of benefits like 401k, health insurance, workers comp, and more. And because your Startup Hustle listener, you get three months for free once you run your first payroll Gusto.com forward slash Startup Hustle once again, Gusto.com Ford slash Startup Hustle link in the show notes. And don’t forget to use the link in the show notes. Because we want to keep getting paid, right?
Matt Watson 1:39
You do? Do you think they’ve worked on the idea of paying people with the money again, yet?
Matt DeCoursey 1:45
I ran it by them. I’m not sure how they feel about it. So it’s possible. It’s possible still like alright, so Matt, have you ever participated in a startup accelerator or an incubator?
Matt Watson 1:58
Nope. I’ve been a mentor. I’ve presented a couple of times. But my company that I’ve liked been part of have not.
Matt DeCoursey 2:07
Yeah, I haven’t either. But I’ve been like I haven’t as a company. I’ve done exactly. As you mentioned, I’ve participated with companies. The business, we own together Full Scale has provided services and given resources to people in specific incubators and startups. But, you know, overall, we’re going to do our best to give our our input ambition there. Now, I mentioned accelerators and incubators, you know, there’s a difference between the two. And not everyone understands that.
Matt Watson 2:41
The accelerators are a little more of an assembly line right.
Matt DeCoursey 2:46
Now, and accelerators for a business that’s already having traction on something that already exists and moves and incubator, it’s just like, it sounds, it’s like hatching an egg. So you’re gonna get, you’re gonna get different, you’re gonna get different, and a different experience. And an incubator is going to look for a different stage company. I think probably the most famous incubator out there is the one that Erlich Bachman runs in his living room on the TV show Silicon Valley, right?
Matt Watson 3:19
Yes, I mean, the the reason I say assembly line about accelerators is because they’re usually a time thing, right? You come in, you’re in a spring class for 12 weeks, and you’re done. And you’re out of here. And it’s, and that’s why I say it’s a little more of akin to an assembly line. Right. And we’re incubators are not really on a definition of time. And they can be there’s kind of different incubators that exist that kind of different things. I mean, some of them are like corporate incubators, right. That’s like, like, they’re almost incubating their own startup ideas or kind of smaller business units that they hope to spin out.
Matt DeCoursey 3:54
I think that’s an accurate and accurate answer for cuz I think it’s your right for some, and then some aren’t the case because I think some are like an assembly line. Like they do want to get you in and out. And in a, in a defined period of time, they want to see you do XY and Z and stuff like that. And some of them, like you said, are kind of like, hey, the baby’s born like a buddy of mine is having a baby any day now for like two weeks. You know, and it’s like the babies come in when the babies come in. Now, when we had our kids, I knew that we were doing that at 9am on a Tuesday. Because we scheduled it
Matt Watson 4:30
Yeah, so yeah. Well, that’s great.
Matt DeCoursey 4:34
Yeah, it was it was also just because the doc because I’m big and are my children are big and they said you need to have a C section or this baby might get stuck on the way out. So yeah, struggles real there. So Matt, I happen to have the definition of a startup accelerator and an incubator. Let’s see if we’re right. All right, on this round of is Matt Right. We’re gonna see him wins here. The definition of a startup accelerators, startup accelerators, also known as seed accelerators, our fixed term cohort based programs that include mentorship and educational components and culminate in a public pitch or Demo Day type event. Assembly. I think you’re right on that. I think neither one of us mentioned the pitch day or the demo day, but yeah, I think we were both kind of accurate on that. All right, let’s on on for round two. Of as Matt, right. I, you know, one thing, Matt is usually right on this show, and that’s a good thing for everyone to remember. So I asked people all the time, I’m like, Who do you who’s your favorite host when I’m on the show when Watson and I do a series? And they usually just say, Matt, and I’m like, Yeah, I agree.
Matt Watson 5:47
I agree, Matt is awesome. So I know,
Matt DeCoursey 5:50
I know, I’m a big fan of Matt. So the definition of a startup incubator. A startup incubator is a collaborative program whose purpose is to help new startups that are at a very early stage to grow and succeed. incubators are designed to help entrepreneurs deal with most of the problems associated with launch. So yeah, it is it’s like coming out of the egg. So now, there’s there is, there is a wild difference in in the why, and the how on some levels. So you know, some of these, some of these incubators, some of these accelerators, they have a different reason for existence, some of them are functions of economic development, in cities and governments, some of them are corporate, some of them are just literally like, kind of like Goodwill, you know, and then some of them want to own a part of your company. So
Matt Watson 6:50
some of them are more like, we want to get 5% ownership of every company, we can just keep bringing them through.
Matt DeCoursey 6:57
Right. And that is definitely an assembly line. Now, that might make sense for you. And it might not. But we’ve I think we would be remiss if we didn’t once again, remind people that when you share a cap table with someone and you partner with them, you’re going to be endowed with them for a while. So make sure you know what you’re getting into. Make sure you know how you’re getting into it, and make sure you know what your expectations are both for you. And then I mean, is that is that good advice?
Matt Watson 7:27
I mean, you definitely want to be careful with anybody you’re getting into bed with and giving them part of your, your company, that’s for sure.
Matt DeCoursey 7:33
Yeah, and you know, we’ve mentioned this before, you know, it’s easier to get rid of your spouse than it is to get rid of your business partner. Just because, you know, I mean, that’s like the way it goes. And I don’t know, we’ve both had good business partners, bad business partners. And when you get the ladder,
Matt Watson 7:51
that sucks. Sorry, you’re stuck with me.
Matt DeCoursey 7:55
I know. I’m out. I’ve been telling people that since we now it’s all good. All right. So some key differences. You know, you talked about we talked about funding. So incubators are usually nonprofit organizations, like our research found that that is usually a product of some kind of economic development. And when we say that, that’s like cities, like they get money, they get funding. We see this a lot in our hometown of Kansas City, we have organizations like Digital Sandbox. So Digital Sandbox is gives $20,000 grants to companies to just try to help them get it get them started. And that’s not necessarily an incubator, but more of a boost. Like what what incubators come to mind. What do you think about? Well, I’m
Matt Watson 8:40
thinking of here in Kansas City, we have the economic center of Johnson County.
Matt DeCoursey 8:44
And oh, sure. EC JC
Matt Watson 8:47
Yeah. And so I’m not exactly sure everything they do, but it seems like you go in there. And there’s, you know, a few little younger businesses that are kind of working out of there that, you know, I think, Drew are incubating there, I think. Yeah.
Matt DeCoursey 9:00
And that is exactly what they’re doing. And then they evolved. So now they have a fund and called the fountain Innovation Fund. So Maggie Kenefick, the lady that runs that. It has been on the podcast before. And so that’s that that is a feeder program and possibly into that fund, but yeah, it has evolved. So I think that’s pretty cool. So all right. So next thing was some some differences duration, much like you mentioned, accelerators almost always have a fixed timeline. Yep. So now an accelerator in theory is to do exactly what it says like to accelerate the growth, not necessarily get you out of the egg. Okay, next program goals. Accelerators aim to help new startups scale their business, just exactly like what I just said. Now, accelerators are more common though I think TechStars is probably one of the more well known,
Matt Watson 9:56
well, why Y Combinator has to be the most famous
Matt DeCoursey 10:00
Yes, true, true. True,
Matt Watson 10:02
I think you have different kinds of accelerators. I think you have some that are super, super early stage. And then you have some that are more like about scaling, right? I think you get some that they they get people like in their real infancy and try and help figure out what exactly the ideas and the product market fit. And maybe they need to pivot and all that kind of stuff and help kind of mature the overall idea. And then you have some others that are definitely more like they’re kind of past those stages. And they’re just trying to figure out how to get from having a few customers to really nailing product market fit and really scaling. And there’s so many different people to plan this, right, because you also have things like, almost like pipeline and other things here in Kansas City two, that are all sort of related. They’re like different flavors of these things. But
Matt DeCoursey 10:51
So Matt, Matt’s referring to pipeline, and Melissa Benson has actually been a guest on the show. And she hosted, she was a guest host and interviewed some of the pipeline, entrepreneurship mentees. So that is, I’m not gonna call that an incubator or an accelerator, but it kind of is though. It doesn’t have it doesn’t have the same format. It’s more for the entrepreneur than it is for the company. And what’s more, yeah, but it’s still about scaling and growing and refining the skill set. So when it comes to what they provide incubators, that are typically going to be a little more of that of that relaxed, collaborative working environment and accelerators offer personalized guidance and consultation. Now we use the word cohort. Not everyone’s gonna know what that is like the word cohort, I still think it’s weird. I don’t know why I just think the word cohorts weird. But when when accelerators refer to those involved, they’ll they’ll refer to their cohort. And that those are those are the businesses that are involved spring class 21. Right, or in our case, so when we worked with Launch KC, a local accelerator, that is a division of economic development, they did it by industry, so that we have clean tech, health tech, insure tech. And those cohorts are very genre specific. Now, that’s good, though, because they also aligned those companies with very, very well aligned corporate partners that made a small investment and had and then had a vested interest and the success of those programs and companies and I think for when it comes to accelerators, that’s quite possibly the investment capital, the street cred from being picked and involved. Because look, a lot of people that make investments in whatever they’re frickin lazy man, they, they look at that, okay, you’re gonna go through a vetting process to get into an accelerator. So there are people that say, Okay, if TechStars or y comm educate you get into either one of those two, if you don’t raise money after, you should ask yourself, why? Because they put they give you a pretty big vetting process on that. What’s your opinion on on all the stuff that I just said, Matt?
Matt Watson 13:07
Well, I think for sure, most of the companies that go through these accelerators get a little bit of capital, but most of them usually exit with a little more capital, and usually kind of set up with a lot of follow on capital. Because, you know, say angel investors or whatever, maybe like us, you know, follow them and say, hey, you know, usually, there’s a lot of great companies that come out of this program. And I’m, I’m gonna bet on them because they have a winning track record, like Y Combinator or something, right? You just like, okay, 70% of these are wildly successful later. So we’re gonna bet on all these horses, if they made it through Y Combinator and Y Combinator gave them their stamp of approval.
Matt DeCoursey 13:45
Yeah, and that’s a the vetting process and that stamp of approval, but also those organizations do a really good job at what they do. They teach you stuff, you learn stuff, they, they tell you how to identify a product, proper product market fit, and how to scale and stuff like that. And there’s something to be said with that. Now, Matt, you know, I like creating hype. And I think if you get into any of these things, that it’s like a boy scout or boy scout or girl scout badge, you should be holding that up and going, Hey, look, they like us. You should too. Yep. So all right. Now, what about investment capital?
Matt Watson 14:24
I mean, some of them it’s like a nominal like, hey, we’ll give you five grand. And you sleep in your car for the next 12 weeks whether going through our incubator or accelerator.
Matt DeCoursey 14:35
I think accelerators in 2020 and 2021 changed dramatically because prior to the pandemic, you could probably almost count in many cases on being required to be in a specific location or city. And you know, like well, so Roy from healthy hip hop was in Atlanta when the at the Tech Stars version down there and he had to come back from that and then the Did the rest virtually. And I bet that’s a different experience, which probably, in my opinion, is not as good. Because I think when you’re in those close quarters with other people and the collisions occur, and some of that it could probably be better than just being on Zoom.
Matt Watson 15:17
One of the biggest values of all of these programs is the networking and connections, right? I mean, imagine going through Y Combinator, and they’re like, oh, you know what, you guys have created a great product, we’re gonna go to our 300 Alumni companies, and tell them how great this is. And all the previous founders of a good chunk of them will probably use your product, that’d be really cool. Right? Like, the networking and the mentors and all that kind of stuff that you get out of this probably far outweighs everything else.
Matt DeCoursey 15:47
Well, and you know, Matt, that’s something you and I could talk about, because you and I have both won different awards or accolades, like you’ve won way more than me, but, you know, earlier this year, Forbes put me on a list and that and that I have met 15 other people that are on that list, just for that reason. Yeah. You know, like them reaching out to me or them or whoever. And, you know, there’s that camaraderie, there’s that association. And that’s my point with the boy scout badge, girl scout badge and the hype. Now investment capital is good, but I don’t think you should expect to see a ton of it from an incubator or an accelerator, especially an incubator, an incubator may just give you that kind of subsistence something or nothing. And Silicon Valley what you got a bedroom and Erlich Bachmann’s house.
Matt Watson 16:38
Did you wouldn’t I mean, so at Netro like, talk to some of our employees who live out there, and it’s insane what their house cost.
Matt DeCoursey 16:44
It’s an asset, maybe that’s worth more than the investment check.
Matt Watson 16:48
Oh, yeah. A shitty house is like a couple million dollars.
Matt DeCoursey 16:52
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Matt Watson 17:47
Well, I think first of all, I think, you know, all these things are a little different, right? I don’t know, I don’t think there’s like hard and set rules of any of this. And depending on where you’re at and where you’re going. It’s gonna be a little different. But I think incubators are a lot of times a little more early stage. They’ve got a great idea. Maybe they’ve made some progress, but they really need some help incubating the idea. I think that’s the big thing, right? Is there not really ready to accelerate, they need to incubate the idea and kind of finalize it a little more and figure out exactly which way it’s gonna go.
Matt DeCoursey 18:19
I think when it comes to an incubator, some of them are maybe even looking for someone who will participate. Well, you know, like, on some levels.
Matt Watson 18:28
And so actually, I was gonna mention, I want to make sure I mentioned this. I think, a lot of corporate I think incubators are I don’t know how many of them are out there. But it seems like there should be one way more. And so take, for example, I’m the Chief Technology Officer of Metro. And, you know, from a product roadmap theme, there’s like 1000, things we’d love to do. And it’d be great if we can incubate some of those ideas. It’s like, hey, go get a team of two or three smart people will give you some resources to help do this. Now you guys go build this thing. And then if you’re successful with it, we’ll roll it back into the company, or we’ll roll it out to be a different, you know, business unit or whatever. But I think I don’t know how many corporate incubators exist out there, but it still sure seems like there should be a lot more of them.
Matt DeCoursey 19:11
And my point with that is for a lot of incubator spaces, it is a numbers game. And you know, we have a guest on on the show, from the hustle fund and they they pride themselves on making their like their motto something like making investments in it ridiculously early, but it’s a numbers thing. Now look, they still have to pick winners because incubating shitty ideas with founders that are no good isn’t going to do anything. So I think we could say for starters, and thank you incubators and accelerators, much like investors are primarily going to look for people that they think are winners First off, because if that doesn’t exist, the idea could be great and nothing’s gonna happen afterwards. So
Matt Watson 19:57
that reminds me. You think I’m a winner, right? Yeah. Okay, so I have this idea still about delivering Amazon packages and picking up trash at the same time, right? Like emptying the truck and filling up the truck. Do you think we can incubate that idea? Now, you said I was a winner.
Matt DeCoursey 20:20
It doesn’t mean that’s a good idea. Those are two different topics. But that, honestly, I bet you could get someone to. Because you’re you, like Lucky that two fat exits before you’re 40. Like, look, man in for the eyes of many investors, if someone’s going to pull that off, it could be you doesn’t mean
Matt Watson 20:45
I pick on trash. And I deliver new Amazon stuff, like I get the empty boxes. And I’m telling you,
Matt DeCoursey 20:53
so you can use this for a future round of things VCs have said to me, Matt, I really like you. I like the idea. If you could get back to me when you have a little bit of traction, I might be interested, it’s just a little, it’s a little early for him. It’s a little early for me still. Okay. So, you know, look to the founding team as who the founders are, what their backgrounds are, what you bring to the table, I think is going to be probably the big thing. In some cases, when it comes to an accelerator, you can’t put a square peg in a round hole, you know, the meaning like they just might not be a good fit, you weren’t going to get into the health tech incubator. When you own stack a phi and application performance management platform. They weren’t related. So in some cases, it’s got to be a good fit. But, you know, in some cases, like I said, in incubators, because they’re not for everyone. They it could be a numbers game. But you know, another thing too, is like, I think in both categories, they Well, I think you got to have a good idea. But I don’t think all of them are hypersensitive about the idea. Now, the idea that you’re going to go to an incubator, and you’re gonna be like, You know what, I’m going to start a new search engine, and I’m going to compete with Google. That’s not a great idea. Right, but Well, I
Matt Watson 22:17
think a good portion of people that go through these accelerators, you know, may pivot along the way, and they could be very small pivots, and not necessarily big pivots. Right. But I think that’s part of what the accelerators help with, right, is just helping validate market ideas and tweaking the business plan a little bit.
Matt DeCoursey 22:35
Yeah, so you know, accelerators are gonna want to see you’ve already got an MVP that you’ve already got something, you need to have something tangible. Because they want to accelerate that progress, not put you through the, quote, assembly line. So you can assemble something and then see it because you technically need that stuff after you’ve made it to that point, but that’s back to my point with the whole, like, stage fit all of it, they’re gonna want to see, they’re gonna want to see you have a more refined plan. Well, and their
Matt Watson 23:08
goal is to get you to Demo Day and get investors. Right. I mean, there’s a product at the end of this assembly line at the end of the assembly line, it’s you on a stage at Demo Day, and you better be raising money.
Matt DeCoursey 23:21
Most of the time. Yeah, so and that’s, that’s something that I think is once again, the for those that accelerate it, that we’re involved in accelerators, and early 2021. And pretty much anytime and 2020 probably got shorted out of that experience in some regards, because, you know, some of the things and and as you know, over the last few years, I’ve really started getting pickier about what kind of shit that I spend my personal time going to meaning evenings or weekends. But I used to always go to go to Demo Day, because that was like the big splash. Those were the events then you know, for some of the things that we saw here locally that would have five or 600 people out them sometimes or at least several 100 and then all the sudden they turn into like Okay, now we’re gonna do the entire cohort in less than 15 minutes we even did one for Launch KC where we did a with start this Startup Hustle did it for them and we did all a company’s in less than 30 minutes. It has that experience of demonstrating online as opposed to like actually being at the event and like getting, you know, as they pressing the flash mat, shaking hands, kissing babies and like shaking babies and kissing hands isn’t so simple like that. But those were great networking opportunities. And here’s the thing, I think you’re gonna see a lot of that return. I think I think you see that I think that becomes a 2022 thing. Again, I think that’s something that that people can look for. So you know that we set accelerators, incubators Why or why not? Like, would you like would you? Now like you right now, would you? Would you run a new business idea yourself through an incubator?
Matt Watson 25:14
Matt DeCoursey 25:16
I don’t know if I would either. But we’re also you turned 47 done? Yeah.
Matt Watson 25:22
Yep, I’m getting close a few more weeks. And I’m in my
Matt DeCoursey 25:25
mid 40s. And some of that is also, you know, we both have the resources to get ourselves or idea or find someone else to help with that that might not be as essential Now that said, Would you participate? If you had anything? Would you participate in an accelerator?
Matt Watson 25:45
Yeah, I think so. Sure.
Matt DeCoursey 25:47
I think I would, too. Yep. I think I would, too. And I think that I think that one of the Do you remember a few years ago when Darryl Hall invited us to come participate, and in that feedback panel on a training program they have, and on the way there you and I were both like, God, I don’t know if we have time for this. This is two days, I’ve got so much shit to do. Do we already know all this stuff. And then we both laughed after that first day and looked at, we got my truck. And we were, I mean, we gotta go to stuff like this more often. And I think that that’s a lot of it. I think the a lot of these accelerators, I think if you can get yourself into I mean, I’ve seen some very sophisticated founders and business people that had been guests on this show that were just in the air as a part of the accelerators that were here. And they did. And I asked them all I’m like, Why did you do the program? They said, Well, you know, the $50,000 check, didn’t really do a whole lot for the business. But getting involved with Black and Veatch or new Tara capital, or whomever, and then the other companies as well. And all the people that they’re going to introduce us to was invaluable.
Matt Watson 26:57
Matt DeCoursey 26:58
So all right. So you know, when it comes to all this stuff, I mean, really, in the end, I think it’s a case by case basis, I think that if if, if you don’t have a lot of experience, being in business or doing a startup, I think that an incubator can be a great thing for you. I think that it’s very easy to forget, miss, and get overwhelmed with a lot of the stuff that comes with starting a business. So but yeah, I think it’s case by case. Now, before we get into the founders freestyle, and you know, we’re gonna, this isn’t going to be as long of an episode as we’re used to, because, because I just want to tell you, we’ve done a lot of past episodes on accelerators, incubators, and a lot of specificity and to the different kinds of them getting ready getting nm, all of them look through our feed, and you’ll see a whole lot of them. You know, so before we do the founders freestyle, just a quick reminder that once again, today’s episode of Startup Hustle is brought to you by gusto. If you run a startup, give gussto a shot, deposit paychecks, file payroll taxes automatically get employee health benefits, benefits, onboarding, expert HR and more. You even get three free months when you go to gusto.com forward slash Startup Hustle gussto.com forward slash Startup Hustle. I feel like we got to make a song gusto.com No, I don’t know. We did it with SVB. Right. Yeah. Now when it comes to like, based on what we talked about, and just your experience and everything, I mean, what’s the best advice that you’ve got for founders when it comes to accelerators, incubators? Why or why not?
Matt Watson 28:36
I think if you have the right kind of company and product where an accelerator makes sense, I think they’re usually valuable. A great example of that was the ones who are in launch Casey, where you got to work with, you know, Black and Veatch or, or different companies that could help get you in front of potential customers get your product to market even and beta tested or whatever. Super, super valuable. The thing you got to remember there are competition, right? Like there’s only so many companies that get in. And if you get in like you really that’s a big stamp of approval, but you got to be one of the top candidates to get through. But I think it’s something you can do, I think it’s definitely something to consider, especially if the networking connections and stuff like that. industry connections are super valuable.
Matt DeCoursey 29:18
Yeah, I agree with you. And you know, one of the things that we didn’t really spend much time talking about, so I’ll just give a quick reminder, there are a lot of episodes in our feed about, about accelerators, about incubators about preparing for them. And one thing we didn’t talk about a whole lot in this episode that is really important is you do have to have your shit together. You got to be ready, like these are competitive things to get into. And quite honestly, if it’s not competitive, you might want to ask yourself, Is this even worth getting in? Because the good incubators, the good, the good accelerators, they really are competitive. I mean hundreds if not 1000s of people apply for things like Y Combinator and TechStars and get turned down. You know, because there’s only five numbers of seats and finite numbers of spaces, I think if you’re gonna, you need to really know what you’re getting yourself into. Because if you’re not going to participate and learn and value it, then it’s a waste of your time. Right? Like, you’re gonna, it’s gonna be work, you’re gonna have to participate in things, you’re going to have to do stuff, you’re going to have, you have a level of accountability and reporting, you don’t just get to say you’re in the accelerator, ignore everything that they do, and then carry the badge around. Like, I mean, this is kind of like taking a class in college, or something, I mean, there’s going to be some subject matter some things that you’re going to need to go go through, and they’re going to want you to be a good citizen and a participant. Now, when I say know what you’re getting into, make sure that you can manage that admits the other things that occur in life, and not just your business. Like, you know, that was one of the things with YC with Y Combinator is, you know, they used to meet you, it says right on their website, like if you can’t come to California for two months, don’t even apply. Now, I don’t know if those rules have changed. But at one point, that was the thing, that was the rule. And that just wouldn’t have made sense for everyone. You know, like, if you’re a single parent, or you have something like you might not be able to drop everything you’re doing and go to California for two months. A lot of these things do require you to go be somewhere or do something and just make sure that you have the time and commitment for that. Because I think one of the worst things you can do for your business or your own personal brand is get accepted into something, or they’re going to hype you up. And then for some reason, you’re not there at graduation. Yes, that isn’t going to look good at all. And that happens a lot. That happens a whole lot. So make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. Like, just like we mentioned, when it comes to finding VCs, just go to Google, and Google startup accelerators. There’s like, literally like a million responses on that. They’re everywhere. They’re all the time. They’re starting up. Like there’s, there’s, there’s an accelerator and an incubator starting somewhere on Monday. I mean, there really is they’re out there. They’re that common. And, you know, just keep trying and trying and trying. I know a lot of people that have been through TechStars and yc, and stuff like that. And they’ll usually tell you they didn’t get in the first time. So listen to what the feedback is, and understand that it’s coming from credible people that aren’t trying to tear you down. They want to build you up and see you come back and win the next time. So yeah, overall, and yes, Matt. I think the final important thing that we established and learned in this episode is, yes, I do think you’re a winner.
Matt Watson 32:48
Matt DeCoursey 32:50
All right. I’ll see you next week.
Matt Watson 32:52
Thank you. See you.