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Accelerators vs Incubators vs Studio

What do you need for your start-up?

Start-up Accelerator or Start-up Incubators or Start-up Studio?

Yes, they are different, and you need to choose wisely.

A common confusion amongst the founders is that they use accelerators and incubators interchangeably and most of them aren’t even aware of Start-up Studios.

This might help you understand the difference.

Start-up Accelerator

Main Objective: To accelerate the growth of a start-up. Basically, get you up to Pitch Event or Demo Day.

Who is it run by: Strategic divisions of established businesses and investment firms.

How to join: Based on the focus area and stage, you apply and hope to get drafted for the cohort.

When can you join: When you have a team, plan and MVP ready with some early traction

What do they provide > A structured training, networking, office space, and in some cases seed capital.

Relationship period: 3-4 months.

The Price Equity in your company, usually around 7%.

Example: Surge by Sequoia, Accel Atoms, Kstart by Kalaari

Start-up Incubator

Main Objective: To turn your ideas into businesses.

Who is it run by: Academic and government institutions, usually not-for-profit and run with Corporate support.

How to join: Based on the focus area and stage they announce a cohort every year.

When can you join: When you have an idea that is validated, a good story even.

What do they provide: Mentorship, networking and infrastructure (Office space + accounting, access to business loans, regulatory assistance, IP management, etc).

Relationship period: Till your company can start sustaining itself in the market

The Price: Nothing actually.

Start-up Studio

Main Objective: To convert your ideas into businesses and help you scale, playing the role of a co-founder.

Who is it run by: Serial Entrepreneurs and Corporations.

How to join: No batch system, you can set-up a call and enroll.

When can you join: Just a good idea.

What do they provide: Funding and the resources you want, HR, Technical, Strategy, everything you need to make it work.

Relationship period: Like a co-founder, till you find an exit.

The Price: A lot of equity, let’s say 30% for being like a co-founder and another 10-20% for all the resources.

Examples: T9L, Appriffy Labs, Prototyze, SAP Startup Studio.

Each of them has a different objective and your need as an entrepreneur should be aligned with theirs.

Again, choose wisely.


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