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Coworking, Incubators, & Accelerators - What's the Difference?

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As our experience with acquiring working capital evolves, from the comfort with risk on the part of VCs in your town shifting over time to the introduction of Crowdfunding as a serious source of capital, entrepreneurs everywhere are trying to understand not just how to connect, network, and collaborate, but how to develop relationships with the right investors. Incubators, accelerators, and coworking spaces are the place to start.

Finding the right fit for you as a person, your team, and your passion, is critical. To wit, the initial Boston operation of Y Combinator was closed out of frustration with New England’s typical investment style; making it difficult for Y Combinator’s consumer, web-based ventures to to receive funding.

Suggesting that where, precisely, matters more than if you get in, no?

To know where and how you fit, you have to explore your community from the 30,000 foot view and first ask why such resources exist. What role do coworking spaces, incubators, and accelerators play in your community? How do they benefit you? And why should you get involved?

Published in: Business, Economy & Finance
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Coworking, Incubators, & Accelerators - What's the Difference?

  1. 1. The Way We Work is Evolving Slide notes: http://seobrien.com Paul O'Brien; Growth Hacker @seobrien | 512-944-0007 | paul@seobrien.com
  2. 2. Paul O'Brien; Growth Hacker @seobrien | 512-944-0007 | paul@seobrien.com
  3. 3. Paul O'Brien; Growth Hacker @seobrien | 512-944-0007 | paul@seobrien.com * Via Remy Cagnol; Brief History of the Workspace
  4. 4. Paul O'Brien; Growth Hacker @seobrien | 512-944-0007 | paul@seobrien.com
  5. 5. U.S. Demand is Hottest in Austin Paul O'Brien; Growth Hacker @seobrien | 512-944-0007 | paul@seobrien.com * Via Anna Cashman; Deskmag, Nov 2012
  6. 6. 27 Paul O'Brien; Growth Hacker @seobrien | 512-944-0007 | paul@seobrien.com
  7. 7. 71 percent reported a boost in creativity since joining a shared work space and 62 percent reported that their standard of work had improved. Also 64 percent were better able to complete tasks on time and 90 percent reported an increase in self-confidence because they now worked in a supportive community. Paul O'Brien; Growth Hacker @seobrien | 512-944-0007 | paul@seobrien.com * Deskmag's 3rd annual global coworking survey; Nov. 2012
  8. 8. Coworking Space vs. Office Space Indexed demand for office space Indexed demand for coworking Paul O'Brien; Growth Hacker @seobrien | 512-944-0007 | paul@seobrien.com * Google Trends
  9. 9. Workshop Hyde Park Capital Factory Open Incubate Incubation Station Emergent Technologies Posh STAR Park Link Coworking Conjunctured Space12 DreamIt Ventures Perch Coworking Longhorn Startup Camp ATI GoLab Opportunity Space Soma Vida Chicon Collective Brainstorm Coworking Paul O'Brien; Growth Hacker @seobrien | 512-944-0007 | paul@seobrien.com IC2 Techstars Make+Shift HubAustin Center61
  10. 10. Coworking is the startup garage of the future Paul O'Brien; Growth Hacker @seobrien | 512-944-0007 | paul@seobrien.com
  11. 11. Coworking is a style of work that involves a shared working environment, often an office, and independent activity. Individuals are usually not employed by the same organization. Coworking enables a group of people who share values, and who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with like-minded, talented people, in the same space. Paul O'Brien; Growth Hacker @seobrien | 512-944-0007 | paul@seobrien.com
  12. 12. Paul O'Brien; Growth Hacker @seobrien | 512-944-0007 | paul@seobrien.com * Deskmag's 3rd annual global coworking survey; Nov. 2012
  13. 13. What makes an Incubator different? Accelerate the successful development of startup and fledgling companies by providing entrepreneurs with an array of targeted resources and services. Principal mentor provided Services developed and managed by Resources networked, vetted, and perhaps funded Space available, generally at low/no cost Working or seed capital occasionally available Paul O'Brien; Growth Hacker @seobrien | 512-944-0007 | paul@seobrien.com
  14. 14. What makes an Incubator different? 1. Cost: Incubators usually free / Coworking space is not 2. Commitment: Incubators align with a schedule 3. Guidance: Incubators provide mentors and services 4. Equity: 5-15% generally goes to an Incubator 5. Networking: Formal vs. informal 6. Staff: Coworking is casual but individuals therein prof. 7. Philosophy: Incubators & industry / Coworking & culture Paul O'Brien; Growth Hacker @seobrien | 512-944-0007 | paul@seobrien.com
  15. 15. An accelerator takes single-digit chunks of equity in externally developed ideas in return for small amounts of capital and mentorship. They’re generally truncated into a three to four month program at the end of which the start-ups 'graduate' Paul O'Brien; Growth Hacker Paul Bricault, cofounder of Amplify @seobrien | 512-944-0007 | paul@seobrien.com
  16. 16. What makes an Accelerator different? Accelerators have a stake in your success and focus your attention, and their resources, on the success of a specific objective Principal mentors provided Program developed and executed by Resources networked, vetted, and funded Space available, generally at low/no cost Capital invested Paul O'Brien; Growth Hacker @seobrien | 512-944-0007 | paul@seobrien.com
  17. 17. What makes an Accelerator different? 1. Cost: Accelerators invest 2. Commitment: Accelerators demand focus 3. Guidance: Structured program that delivers results 4. Equity: Generally less than that of an Incubator 5. Networking: Formal, programmed 6. Staff: Actively involved 7. Philosophy: Success from our respective investment Paul O'Brien; Growth Hacker @seobrien | 512-944-0007 | paul@seobrien.com
  18. 18. “If you don’t live in the Silicon Valley, you might not know why so many successful firms like Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Apple start or relocate here. The compelling reason is because of the energy and the competition that exists when so many smart and innovative people work and interact in a relatively small geographic space... Obviously having so many great firms so close together also creates intense wars for talent but that one detrimental factor is more than overcome by the positive value of the competition felt with employees from other firms. The same can be said for the increased creativity that firms find by locating in major arts and entertainment areas like New York City and Los Angeles. The same increase in innovation and ideagenerating can occur using “corporate coworking” when your employees are co-located with strangers from startups and other corporations.” - Dr John Sullivan Prof. Talent Management at San Francisco State Paul O'Brien; Growth Hacker @seobrien | 512-944-0007 | paul@seobrien.com
  19. 19. The big question is: What do you need? Entrepreneurs require space, capital, talent, mentorship, & influence Two questions that matter Do we have enough of a product or service developed to start talking? How distractible are we? Paul O'Brien; Growth Hacker @seobrien | 512-944-0007 | paul@seobrien.com
  20. 20. Evolve the way you work Incubators Substantial equity-based rent but offer complementary/discounted services Work around other entrepreneurs, but not necessarily co-work Usually an industry focus (biotech or CPG, for instance) Capital, mentorship, and influence will vary greatly Coworking spaces Cash-based rent; substantially cheaper than office space Work alongside other people and organizations Usually more peer-to-peer mentorship and greater access to talent Good co-working spaces tend to attract investors and mentors Accelerators Seed-like investment for an appropriate equity stake Program-based and time-specific A system designed to deliver necessary elements and results Usually far more organization, but once graduated, that scales back Paul O'Brien; Growth Hacker @seobrien | 512-944-0007 | paul@seobrien.com

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