by: Paul Higgins
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Accelerators and incubators are an increasingly important and visible part of the startup ecosystem in technology hubs around the world.

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.

GrowVC Networks for accelerators and incubators 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 GrowVC network of networks an accelerator can also enable its teams to access outside expertise, potential co-founders, mentors, lawyers, advisors, and investors.

To get started with your own Network go to or get in touch with Paul at

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About the author

Paul Higgins COO of Crowd Valley. Experienced with early stage companies, expertise in b2b software business and sales in Europe, North America, and South America. Paul has 5 years’ experience working as an advisor and consultant to startups as part of Rapid Innovation Group, a specialist advisory firm on strategy and business development for technology startups worldwide, based in London. In that time he has worked with two startups that achieved 8-figure exits; he has been a regular blogger on entrepreneurship and innovation; and he has contributed to numerous business and technology publications in the UK and the US as an expert on growth-stage strategy, marketing, pricing, and business development. Previously Paul worked in technology and marketing roles at eBay, IBM, UBS, and Barclays. He has lived and worked in Portugal and speaks fluent French and Portuguese. Follow Paul on Google+ and Twitter.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012 at 4:20 pm and is filed under Business Updates, Entrepreneur Inspiration. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.