“Question: “What questions should entrepreneurs ask when considering an accelerator program?”

What will I gain besides money?

“All accelerators are going to offer some amount of seed money, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Because you will be giving up some amount of equity in order to join the program, you want to make sure it’s worth it. You should look for a program that can offer you strong mentors, access to business resources, connections, important business knowledge and access to strategic partnerships.”

David Ehrenberg, Early Growth Financial Services

Questions for accelerators

Questions for accelerators

Which accelerators will teach my company?

“Accelerators are investors. Some accelerators would rather see you shut down and join another portfolio company‘s team if it becomes clear that your company can’t provide a return. A new accelerator opens every day, so it’s important to sort out the contenders from the pretenders. Look for top-notch mentors, investors and cohort companies that you can learn from.”

Heidi Allstop, Spill

Does the accelerator’s goal align with mine?

“Different startup accelerators have different opinions of what defines a successful program. Some accelerators focus on revenue generation, while others focus on a funding outcome at the end of the program. As you consider accelerator programs, be sure to understand

See all the Questions at the ChicagoTribune.com