Editor’s note: Bill Aulet is the managing director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is the author of the recently released book, Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup.
Interest in startup accelerators and incubators has exploded in the past several years, but how effective have they been? One thing that has become clear is that “incubator” and “accelerator” refer to two very different models for startup workspaces, and the distinctions may have significant effects on startup success.
The key distinctions between incubators and accelerators are time period and structure. An incubator gives startups workspace and community at an affordable rate for an indefinite time period. Accelerators generally have workspace and a cohort that forms a community. They are run over a fixed time period with some significant degree of structure with…
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