Incubator, accelerator, and coworking space are three common terms in the startup community. The difference between them is not always clear and the lines often blur and there can be overlapping services. Incubators are like “Start-up Hubs”, specializing in growing new and early-stage businesses. Incubators can offer expert mentorship, resources like office space, legal counsel, and sometimes even seed money – typically in exchange for a small amount of equity in tiny (or theoretical) companies.” Incubators are designed for temporary period in the life of a startup over 4 or 4 months . It can last 3-4 months, and typically ends when you’re ready to pitch your startup.
Accelerator programs are a tool for rapid-growth companies much like a business advisory service. The key difference for accelerators is in the later stage of startups that they accept. The top accelerators are highly selective; they want their members to scale and reach profitability, and meet key industry members.
A primary function of accelerators is connecting startups with mentors, guidance, resources, and funding. Since accelerators’ members already have a minimum viable product (MVP) their resources are often focused on operations and strategy, management coaching, and branding.