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Startup accelerators no longer just for tech companies

Legacy companies are increasingly involved in the next generation of startups, especially in their own industry. Can startups benefit from working with a company they will ultimately compete against?

media camp

media camp

The modernization of accelerators

I’m currently obsessed with the show Shark Tank and the sharks’ capability to take a beginning entrepreneur’s dream, cultivate it, and either turn it into a profitable reality, or if it already is in production, help it reach the next level. Without the help of an investor or mentor, many business ventures can take years before they are able develop into an operating business.

Similar to Shark Tank, many companies have created accelerators, in which they accept applications from numerous entrepreneurs and select a few to come work on their ideas under the company’s guidance. And the relationships developed through the existence of accelerators can benefit both parties involved.

“Innovate or die.”

Accelerators first got their start in tech companies, as the technology industry lives by the motto “Innovate or Die.” Technology developers are always looking for the next trends in order to create cutting edge products. But now, other industries are jumping into the accelerator mix, including the media industry.

Turner Broadcasting started its media camp this past summer, giving startups the opportunity to learn how to remain successful in the ever changing media landscape. As more consumers are watching television via on-demand providers such as Hulu and through DVR services, it sometimes takes the know-how of a veteran in order for a media company to remain in business. But aside from that, can startups really benefit by working with a company they ultimately will end up competing against?

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My answer is yes, they can. New businesses face a number of challenges when entering the market, and depending on the owner’s level of experience, may crumble if they don’t know the ins and outs of the game. By working within an accelerator, they can test their products and services, get feedback from an established company and recalibrate if necessary before going to market or before the business begins to suffer.

From the parent company perspective, implementing an accelerator gives you access to up and coming techniques and strategies that will help the business stay ahead of the game, and also allows for partnerships that will create a robust network in the future.

Destiny Bennett is a journalist who has earned double communications' degrees in Journalism and Public Relations, as well as a certification in Business from The University of Texas at Austin. She has written stories for AustinWoman Magazine as well as various University of Texas publications and enjoys the art of telling a story. Her interests include finance, technology, social media...and watching HGTV religiously.

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