Accelerators, Hubs

Rethinking Programming With The Accelerator Stack

How taking a collaborative, partnership-driven approach, can help overcome the limitations of any single accelerator’s business model

How taking a collaborative, partnership-driven approach, can help overcome the limitations of any single accelerator’s business model

by: Steve Hayton |

May 25, 2023

Estimated Reading Time:
Articles | Accelerators | Rethinking Programming With The Accelerator Stack

Max Menke, the Co-founder of GrowthX, a seed-stage venture capital fund that invests in B2B founders from rising cities, believes that the future of accelerator programs belongs to building a cohesive network of accelerator partners to work strength-to-strength and create bridges for ongoing startup growth. He calls this concept the ‘Accelerator Stack.’

One of the main issues Max has identified is the overload of information and focus on a series of objectives and KPIs within accelerator programs. The result is rushed lessons and an inability to apply the knowledge effectively. A shift toward providing real operational support, accountability, and skilled mentorship is essential for founders to grow and succeed.

Investment terms, cap tables, and the handling of the venture investments’ asset class were also highlighted as areas where some accelerators are not competent enough. These aspects might scare away potential Series A investors, limiting the future growth of the start-up.

Ditching the traditional “demo day” model in favor of a more sustainable approach that creates long-term networks of trust and support, with a focus on growth and profitability, is crucial for post-program success. Ensuring that the accelerator ecosystem is empathetic and well-suited to adapt to market changes and start-ups’ unique needs can make a significant impact on their future prospects.

This brings us to the ‘accelerator stack’ concept. By collaborating with other programs and focusing on their unique areas of expertise, accelerators can provide a holistic and consistent support system to help founders succeed in each stage of their journey. The accelerator stack aims to make accelerators more efficient, effective, and beneficial for founders and investors.

The following steps can help build an effective accelerator stack:

  1. Understand your accelerator’s strengths and position within the founder’s journey.
  2. Identify and collaborate with right partners in the ecosystem.
  3. Pay attention to regional nuances and consider international expansion for participating startups.

Companies like GrowthX, Elevate, Amplify Louisville, Alloy Development Company, and Alberta Innovates have already started applying the accelerator stack concept by providing a continuous, tailored support system to their founders, resulting in improved startup success.

The accelerator stack approach can offer better support, value, and success to founders, investors, and accelerators. It may be the perfect time to reconsider the traditional accelerator model and embrace the benefits of continuous, tailored support for start-ups.

Watch the replay of the conversation with Max by clicking here.