These initiatives work on a variety of different models to offer the same basic proposition to entrepreneurs: affordable office space, a support network, and sometimes seed investment to bring together and nurture entrepreneurial teams until they are in a position to scale up and fend for themselves.
An accelerator’s success and reputation are dictated by the success of its startups. This in turn is dependent on the volume and quality of entrepreneurs it can attract and the accelerator’s ability to build and improve its startups’ teams during the period in which they are part of the program. Accelerators and incubators often bring in external mentors and advisors to help this process. They also help startups get access to funding by providing as many funding opportunities and angel networks as possible.
Startup Commons Platform is built with the mindset of improving team-building, tracking progress, and developing startups into viable businesses. Being viable in this sense can mean ‘investment-ready’ for those that will require investment; or simply able to grow sustainably for those that will not.
The core Team Builder module allows an accelerator to assess and evaluate a startup team throughout its program so that it can demonstrate the improvement between beginning and end, according to the accelerator’s own criteria. For instance, an accelerator can develop criteria for investment-readiness so that it can assess a startup idea, the team, and the market against these criteria when the entrepreneurs join the program at the beginning and leave at the end.
The Showcase module gives a central location where an accelerator can illustrate its startups’ successes, and the Startup Tracker module allows them to keep tabs on the progress of startups that may have applied one year and not yet quite been ready.
Through being part of the Startup Commons Platform an accelerator can also be connected with different startups ecosystems enabling its teams to access outside expertise, potential co-founders, mentors, lawyers, advisors, and investors.