Incubators and accelerators shepherd startups to success

Infographic on entrepreneurship webchat (GIST)

Getting a startup off the ground can be a lonely affair. Maybe you’ve got a great idea the world is waiting for. But it’s not always clear what you need to make it work.

That’s why a lot of budding entrepreneurs bring their “babies” to incubators and accelerators to get the new enterprises off and running. They’re like boot camps for businesses, providing spaces for founders to network and learn from peers and mentors, acquire business savvy and find deep-pocketed investors.

Accelerators and incubators have sprung up in cities around the world. What’s the difference between the two?

Yao Huang, founder of the New York–based Hatchery, and Lesa Mitchell, managing director of Techstars Kansas City, an accelerator, will give guidance in a GIST Guru webchat February 14.

Huang founded her “venture collaboration forum” to provide help to new entrepreneurs and connect them with investors. Those embarking on this road often “need a lot of guidance and may have only a few disciplines at the ready. We help with the rest,” she says.

At Techstars, “we’re interested in supporting them for life. We look to identify companies we think can scale globally and scale fast,” says Mitchell. Both incubators and accelerators take a small piece of the enterprise in exchange for birthing it.

This latest GIST Guru webchat begins at 11 a.m. EST (16:00 UTC) February 14. Click on the link to watch the live program and ask questions.