Thinking of joining The Naples Accelerator, or any business accelerator?  Here are the top 5 reasons we believe participation in an accelerator can help propel your business to success!

1. Collaboration

Perhaps the most important reason to consider joining an accelerator is the unrestricted access to other like-minded professionals who are learning and growing through all the same stages you are.  Especially if you are a solopreneur, this access to other entrepreneurs can be a critical piece of havingaccess to a team of professionals to collaborate with!  Be sure to introduce yourself and your business to other members as quickly as possible after joining.  That instant access to a network of connected professionals may be an incredible source of referral business to kick start your cash flow.

2.  Investor Access

While most accelerators don’t just hand out funding to members, they generally have direct access to investors and sources that are always looking for the next big. Don’t go running into your new accelerator expecting a hand out though.  Be prepared with your business plan, financials, projections and a elevator pitch or presentation that really wows.  This access to investors is a major perk, but you have to put in the work to stand out from other members and businesses vying for the same funds.

3.  Mentor & Development Access

If you’re not quite ready to be pitching to investors, that’s ok!  Accelerators also work with resources such as your local Small Business Development Center or SCORE chapters to connect you with a mentor or advisor to work through developing your idea into rock solid business plan. These mentors are a priceless connection to business professionals who have your best interests in mind.  In addition to mentors through local and national organizations, accelerators tent to be a magnet for retired CEOS, Executive Directors and other potential mentors who want to stay connected to the business community and share their knowledge and experiences with those just getting started.

4. Save on Overhead Costs

Often times when you’re just getting started, the idea of signing a lease on office space seems daunting.  Leasing an office is a large overhead cost for a start-up. Thankfully, most accelerators charge a flat monthly fee for your membership or office type.  That means no utility bills, free wifi, often times free printing, office cleaning, building security, water, coffee, and more.  Don’t forget about the cost of office furniture too! Save big on overhead costs by letting the accelerator furnish all of those needs.  As you, your team, and your business grow you can upgrade to more space within the accelerator and eventually be more prepared to confidently secure your own office.

5.  Events & Networking

Finally, accelerators are often a community hub for lunch and learn presentations, skills development classes and after-hours networking opportunities.  Having your office be at the center of beneficial events that come right to your door is priceless.  Get involved in as many events and classes as possible to further your knowledge and introduce yourself to other members, presenters, and hopefully potentials clients or customers!  Many times there is also the possibility of hosting your own event at the accelerator facility too!

While the benefits of joining a business accelerator are endless, we think these five reasons are a great start! If you’re ready to join the Naples Accelerator, we welcome you to fill out an application or give us a call to schedule a tour.