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Accelerator vs. Incubators – What You Need to Know

Author Ella Napata |

May 4, 2023

Accelerator vs. Incubators - What You Need to Know

As the startup industry grows, founders have various opportunities to take their startups to the next level. Two options that entrepreneurs have are accelerators and incubators. 

Both offer support and provide resources that help startups reach their goals and launch their unique tech product, but entrepreneurs should be aware of key differences between the two.

This article will also elaborate on venture studios. Venture studios have different model from incubators and accelerators. This option is for startups starting from zero or pre-seed and needs an investor and strategic tech team that will get their product to launch and scalability. 

Accelerator vs. Incubators - What You Need to Know

What is an Accelerator? 

An accelerator is a program designed to accelerate the growth of early-stage startups. These programs typically last a few months and provide companies with mentorship, access to funding, and networking opportunities.

Accelerators often require a small equity stake in the companies they support, ranging from 2% to 10% of equity. An accelerator aims to help startups achieve rapid growth and prepare them for a successful exit.

Some notable accelerators in the US are Y Combinator, Techstars, 500 Startups, Seedcamp, Startupbootcamp, and Launch Factory. 

What are the Benefits of an Accelerator?

The benefits of participating in an accelerator program include access to a network of mentors and investors, which can help companies gain valuable insights and connections.

Accelerators also provide startups the resources and funding to scale their businesses quickly. 

By participating in an accelerator, startups can speed-track their growth trajectory and gain a competitive advantage in their market.

What is an Incubator?

On the other hand, an incubator is a program designed to support startups in the early stages of development. These programs can last anywhere from six months to a few years and provide startups with office space, resources, and mentorship. Unlike accelerators, incubators do not typically take an equity stake in the companies they support. 

The goal of an incubator is to provide startups with the support and resources they need to get their businesses off the ground.

Notable incubators in the US are Capital Factory, 1871, Betaworks Studios, StartX, and Techstars. 

What are the Benefits of an Incubator? 

The benefits of startups participating in an incubator program include access to office space, resources, and mentorship. 

Incubators also provide startups with a supportive community of like-minded individuals working to build their businesses. 

By participating in an incubator, startups can receive the support they need to overcome early-stage challenges and grow their businesses sustainably.

Incubator vs. Accelerators – What are the Differences? 

The main difference between an accelerator and an incubator is the stage of development of the startups they support. Accelerators focus on helping startups achieve rapid growth and prepare for a successful exit. In contrast, incubators focus on providing startups with the resources and support they need to get their businesses off the ground.

Accelerators also typically require an equity stake in the companies they support, while incubators do not. Depending on the startup stage, founders must assess which program will benefit their company the most. 

What is a Venture Studio?

Venture studios are a relatively new startup support model that differs from accelerators and incubators. While accelerators and incubators typically focus on supporting early-stage startups, venture studios work to create their startups from scratch. 

The venture studio model brings together teams of entrepreneurs, designers, and developers to create and launch multiple startups under one roof. 

This model allows venture studios to share resources and expertise across multiple startups, creating a more efficient and practical approach to launching successful startups.

Notable venture studios in the US include Atomic, Expa, Aleph One, Human Ventures, and Betaworks. 

How Does a Venture Studio Differ from Incubators or Accelerators? 

The benefits of working with a venture studio include access to a team of experts with diverse skills and experiences. 

Venture studios typically have a proven track record of launching successful startups, which can give entrepreneurs the confidence they need to pursue their ideas. 

Working with a venture studio also provides entrepreneurs access to funding, resources, and support throughout the startup journey, from ideation to launch. 

By working with a venture studio, entrepreneurs can benefit from a collaborative and supportive environment that helps them launch successful businesses.

Aleph One Venture Studios Approach 

At Aleph One, we are a venture studio that takes a unique approach to the startup model. Our team supports startups from scratch and early-stage companies that need a strategic partner to scale and grow.

We provide startups with the resources, expertise, and support they need to succeed, including capital (50K-100K) and access to a network of experienced tech leaders, engineers, designers, and developers. 

Through this approach, Aleph One aims to help startups achieve rapid growth, success, and an eventual exit. 

Aleph One’s focus on launching new startups and supporting existing ones makes it a versatile and strategic tech partner in the venture studio space.

Looking for a Strategic Partner for your Startup?  

Launching a business or introducing a new innovative product can be challenging in the startup world. However, with spaces like incubators, accelerators, and venture studios that aid startup growth and provide resources, it’s getting easier for startups to scale and grow. 

If you’re a startup looking for a strategic partner or technical team, contact Aleph One to discuss our venture studio model. 


How can startups get connected with Incubators?

Find an incubator program that aligns with your startup’s mission and goals online. There is usually an application period and cohort class, be mindful of deadlines.

How can startups participate in accelerator programs?

Accelerator programs can be found in many major cities across the US; some may be remote and have in-person workshops or meetings. Finding the one that fits your startup’s mission and goals is best.

What are the first steps to connect with venture studios?

Venture studios are an excellent option for entrepreneurs seeking a technical partner and mentorship. Startups can start pitching to different venture studios and see which ones they align with the most.

Which is best for me? Incubators, Accelerators or Venture Studios?

It all depends on what stage your startup is in. An incubator and venture studio may be the most viable option if the startup is in its early stages. If the startup wants to grow rapidly and already has an MVP, an accelerator can significantly help at this stage.

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