Are corporate sponsored accelerators and enterprise development funds helping or harming our entrepreneurial ecosystem?
The latest craze for corporates is to establish accelerator or incubation programs as part of their enterprise development and supplier development initiatives. How do we as stakeholders in this ecosystem ensure that these programs are designed so that the startups and entrepreneurs truly benefit and that they continue to positively contribute to the ecosystem? How do we ensure the most promising businesses and technologies get the support that they really need, that they actually get access to customers and markets, and that they have the building blocks in place so that they are sustainable beyond these programs? While these programs can be a powerful vehicle to access innovative business solutions, many programs are marketing exercises and designed to tick boxes. How can we learn from the programs that are getting it right and how do we make sure our startups and the ecosystems benefits?