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Accelerators & Incubators

Accelerators, incubators and company builders are effective ways to move your startup forward and get the support you need. Here you can learn about the small but subtle differences between the three types of programmes and find the right one for you and your company.

Incubators and accelerators in Hamburg
© Mediaserver Hamburg /

What advantages do accelerator and incubator programmes offer startups?

An accelerator is a fixed-term programme aimed at developing existing, but very young startup business models in a sustainable way. Businesses that make it through the application process, which is often highly selective, can benefit from seed funding and a solid network of mentors in exchange for a small stake in the company. The focus here lies on scaling the business model.

An incubator is a programme aimed at developing and establishing new enterprises. Many of these programmes have a focus on a particular market, and it is often the case that they emerge from an established company. The focus here is on generating technical innovations.

In terms of contents, “company builder“ programmes are fairly similar to incubator programmes. Company builders provide a type of support in which the investor is actively involved in the design phase and in the birth of a company and continues to provide advisory input beyond the early stage of the business.

Last accessed: Nov 2022