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How Accelerators Can Support Startup Success During a Downturn
Accelerator Programs

How Accelerators Can Support Startup Success During a Downturn

Startup Accelerators are uniquely placed to support Startup Founders during tough economic times.

Brian McCarthy
July 1, 2022

Rising inflation, supply challenges and higher interest rates mean that investor capital and consumer demand are drying up.

For Startups and Accelerator programs this marks the beginning of a challenging economic chapter. So how can Accelerators prepare their startups to survive & thrive during a downturn? Here are 5 things you can do right now:

Focus on Sales & Revenue

Sales & revenue have never been more important for Startups. When investment capital is limited, it’s critical that Startups can generate enough revenue to fund their survival and strengthen their investment business case.

For Accelerator programs this means supporting founders with sales & marketing training. By providing your Startups with the right frameworks and mentoring support you can increase their chances of success.

Prepare Your Founders For a Longer Fundraising Cycle

Many investors are now taking a conservative approach to where they place their capital. Angel investors may be temporarily closing their books and VC’s are likely to be taking fewer bets, until they see where the economic roller-coaster lands. We recommend preparing Founders to expect a more challenging fundraising environment. This includes longer fundraising cycles, lower valuations and increased due-diligence.

It’s not all bad news though as Startups are still successfully raising capital, just be prepared for a more involved journey and longer timeline.

Remember: Great Startups Are Born in Tough Times

With great change comes great opportunity. 

Remind your Founders that many of the most valuable and successful startups in the world were actually created during a recession. Here are 5 examples of wildly successful Startups who did just that.

  • Microsoft
  • Mailchimp
  • Uber
  • Apple
  • Slack

Connect With Your Government

Governments are working hard to keep up with rapidly changing global and local landscape.

This means that new grants and government backed programs are likely to emerge, particularly in areas such as:

  • Agriculture
  • Renewable Energy
  • Supply & Logistics
  • Health & MedTech

Connect directly with your governments, as well as local councils and municipalities to explore opportunities for collaboration and emerging grants.

Prioritise Founders Mental Health

Now is a great time to check in on your Founders mental health. Tough market conditions mean that Founders may be under huge financial and personal pressure. There are so many things that Accelerators can do including running initiatives such as:

  • Founder coffee mornings
  • Anonymous surveys of your Founder community & mental health
  • Host talks on mental health and positive coping strategies
  • Share mental health resources & support services
  • Facilitate mentoring programs where Founders can connect and share their journey.

Accelerator programs are an incredible catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurship. Despite the economic landscape there are still huge opportunities for Startups & innovation programs to make a difference!

As always, if there’s anything the Accelerator Software team can do to assist, just shout out and we’ll be happy to help!

Accelerator Software is the world's most powerful Accelerator management platform. Create an account and try it completely free :)

Brian McCarthy

Brian is the cofounder & CEO of Accelerator Software

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