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When it comes to starting or growing a business, there are many resources available. Knowing which one is right for you can be overwhelming. If you’re feeling confused about the differences between an incubator, accelerator, and coworking space, this blog is just what you need! Keep reading to learn more.

 

Incubators

A business incubator typically provides physical space as well as services such as mentoring, workshops, access to networks, and other resources in exchange for equity. The goal of an incubator is to help early-stage companies get off the ground by giving them a place to work with peers and access key resources that can help them grow their businesses. However, not all incubators offer equity-based investments; some may provide seed grants or other forms of funding.

 

Accelerators

An accelerator is similar to an incubator in that it offers mentoring and resources for young companies in exchange for equity. However, accelerators often take a more hands-on approach than incubators do—they focus on helping high-growth companies scale quickly by providing resources such as mentorships from experienced entrepreneurs, capital investments from venture capitalists (VCs), workshops on marketing strategies, and networking opportunities with potential customers or partners. Most accelerators run programs lasting three to six months; at the end of the program, participating companies may have access to additional funding or be ready for acquisition by larger companies.

 

Coworking Spaces

Coworking spaces are shared workspaces where people rent out desks or offices on a short-term basis rather than signing long-term leases on traditional office spaces. This type of workspace offers flexibility and affordability while also providing access to amenities such as Internet connections and meeting rooms. Coworking spaces are perfect for freelancers who want a professional workspace without having to invest in setting up their own office space or signing long-term leases. Moreover, coworking spaces give members access to potential partners and clients through networking events held at the coworking facility itself.  

Read this article (Harvard Business Review, 2015) to find out more about the benefits of coworking spaces.

 

When it comes time for deciding which resource is best for your business needs there are several things you should consider including your current stage in development and budget constraints among others. Incubators provide support during early stages of development while accelerators offer more hands-on guidance towards rapid growth within the span of a few months while coworking spaces offer flexible working environments tailored towards freelancers or individuals who require short term rentals instead of long term ones. No matter what stage your business is at there’s sure to be something out there that will meet your needs!