• By German Anitua Azkarate
  • Rating:( 783 votes )

Crazy about start-up acceleration. BUT.....to accelerate, WHAT?

Suppose you are an entrepreneur, like many of those youths see today entrepreneurship as the only way out of the unemployment crisis certain countries of the world are immersed in.

What every entrepreneur is certain about is this.
1.- His/her venture must contribute with a certain and unique value proposition
2.- S/he needs to seek support along the process of turning the idea into a project and then into a firm.

Governments of almost every developed country in the world have articulated three powerful agents to assist the needs of these entrepreneurs. These three agents are as follows: The pre-incubators, the incubators and the accelerators. Three fancy words these days just a few of the governments of these developed countries have the virtue and know-how to operate effectively. However, what is interesting is to see how all started and which has become.

The USA government has been the precursor of these modern agents starting from the pre-incubators and ending, for the time being, with the accelerators. Every world country has followed since the pattern of development yet not all have achieved the same degree of effectiveness. Why is this the case?

New agents do never appear as an invention, unless if they are meant to work effectively. When the economic system of growth of a certain country reaches to a certain maturity stages it is then, and only then, that new agents appear almost spontaneously. Obviously, these new fancy words travel very fast on this world of governed by the “me too” effect. However, what is really sad is that hardly any country is ready enough to generate this new agent, unless the country runs at the evolutionary speed as the agent´s originator; the USA. Therefore, most countries tend to copy the agent, or can be called the eggshell of the agent, while the yolk and the white tend to remain a mystery for many years. In these cases the agent ends up turning to be ineffective and the word becomes a buzzword and governments move on in the search for the next new “thing”.

This has been my experience after having seen many of these three agents, and many other, operating in different world countries for the past 15 years.

After this brief introduction let me get back to the title of the article itself and to elaborate on this subject to see the effect of this actions into the existence of the entrepreneurs and their ventures.

The purpose of all these agents is to assist entrepreneurs on their ventures, while the entrepreneurs must deliver a certain degree of uniqueness on their value proposition as to be considered to participate within the programs of these agents (pre-incubators, incubators and accelerators). However, do all these agents rate de degree of value of every entrepreneur by applying any globally accepted sort of standards? To my knowledge the answer is a resounding no. Only a very few governments have set standards along the two key components any value proposition must bear in mind: The creation of value and the capture of value. These are two completely different concepts that need to be approached accordingly if we wish to assist entrepreneurs effectively.

I have seen hundreds of start-ups doing great at the stage of creating value, and however, failing dramatically at the stage of capturing any of the value created as of capturing a remarkable share of the value created to make a considerable return on the investment and make the venture profitable. Finally all comes down to the effectiveness of the designed business model that will lead to an efficient performance.

Pre-incubators are there to welcome those with the curiosity bug of entrepreneurship but still far from any idea. Pre-incubators accompany young people who see entrepreneurship as means of a sexy lifestyle to lift their veil of ingenuity and present the scheme the way it really is.

Incubators assist already prepared entrepreneurs to work with their concept of value. At this stage most mentors proclaim the canvas business model as the model to follow to build a business plan. However, vast majority fail commits the error of build a business model upon the value created rather the building a business model on how to capture the value. Obviously, there is no need to be said that all the training and tutorials received by the entrepreneurs is all useless unless value creation has been removed from the equation of the business model creation.

This is how we arrive at where most entrepreneurship schemes and initiatives fail at creating sustainable entrepreneurs.
Hence, if you have not captured any representative share of the value you have created yet, what is the point of accelerating your currently erroneous built business model? This is the key!

As I say, accelerators are the fancy word these days. However, what is the point of applying to them if I have not managed to capture any value I have created yet? If you have not managed to capture any of the value created, what on earth are you going to accelerate within an accelerator?


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