Starting a Corporate Startup Accelerator – A good\bad idea and how to make it a success

Tzahi Forbes

Startups are changing the world and corporates can no longer afford not to be part of that disruption. Setting up a corporate accelerator designed to access disruptors and drive innovation opportunities is a good idea – but only if done right.

In theory, accelerators are a great model for high touch engagement with startups. However, in practice many are short-lived and operate in a shallow or outsourced way, leading to missed opportunities.

So how do you know if a startup accelerator is right for your corporation? There are two factors to consider. The corporation’s culture must be open and willing to see, hear, and accept the startups’ perspectives. Conversely, the corporation must be willing to share, guide, and help startups.

The main factors that will determine the startup accelerator’s success are: Experienced, full-time staffing, proper funding and sponsorship by the CEO or someone on the leadership team.

At Intel Ignite, we’ve learned a few things about building successful accelerators. Our startup growth program helps turn cutting-edge ideas into industry-disrupting technologies by giving entrepreneurs the hands-on mentorship, technical support, and business acumen they need to build world-changing companies.

So how do we do it?

First: Mentorship is crucial. Internally at Intel, we’ve built a corporate-wide mentorship

Second. Go through this checklist:

  • Set a clear strategy
  • Choose the duration
  • Find the right location
  • Choose the right vertical
  • Select the right startups
  • Select the right mentors
  • Market the accelerator
  • Manage C-Suite expectations
  • Act as a startup
  • Protect the interests of both parties
  • Foster intrapreneurship, be a change agent

Click here to learn more about the checklist and our key recommendations.

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