How To Best Grow Your Business: Go It Alone, Incubate, or Accelerate

Event Info

Wed 22 Oct, 2014 at 6:15pm
Unruly HQ
42-46 Princelet Street
London, E1 5LP, UK
Cost: Free


How To Best Grow Your Business: Go It Alone, Incubate, or  Accelerate 
By Ian Merricks (Entrepreneur and Investor, Accelerator Academy) & Dr Alessandro Giudici (Cass Business School) 


Every start-up has to take a strategic decision on how to grow within a highly competitive environment: go it alone, incubate or accelerate?
In accelerators, start-ups apply to be part of a short-term program during which they have access to mentorship, office space, funding and technologies. Incubators instead usually provide mentorship, management support and office space for a longer period of time, sometimes asking for a bigger chunk of equity. 
Especially in the last years, the boundaries between accelerators and incubators have become more and more blurred. Furthermore, an increasing number of players started to populate the start-up landscape i.e. Accelerator Academy, TechStars, Seedcamp, Oxygen Accelerator etc.

The services that these organisations offer have become very specific and very differentiated to the extent that no two accelerators/incubators are the same. However, there are several downsides. Sometimes the experience of people running these services is questionable, and sometimes the services they offer do not really help the start-up to scale-up.

In this interactive session, Ian and Alessandro will explore how to best navigate the accelerator and incubator landscape, and will help you to take the best growth decision for your start-up.

Ian Merricks is Managing Partner of White Horse Capital (VC investment and M&A) and sits on the investment committees of Startup Funding Club and the Cabinet Office’s £10m Social Incubator Fund. In 2011 Ian launched the Accelerator Academy, which has supported 74 high growth tech start ups, helping to prepare the companies to raise £12m+ from private investors, seed funds, syndicates and corporates, creating £85m of value. Working with City University in 2014, he co-founded Fast Forward London, a pre-accelerator programme supported by the EU, to provide early stage business support from industry leaders, culminating in a pitch to 16 of the UK’s leading accelerators. He is a board advisor to the British Computer Society, Dell’s Centre for Entrepreneurs and The Entrepreneurs’ Network thinktank.

Alessandro Giudici is a Lecturer in Management at Cass Business School. He completed his award-winning PhD in Strategy and Entrepreneurship at Cranfield School of Management (UK), focusing on how network intermediaries – such as venture associations, incubators, universities-led forums and government agencies – can support entrepreneurial firms in systematically sensing and seizing new opportunities, through tailored services. Alessandro is currently integrating his research interests with a personal passion for social enterprises into a project looking at the evolution of the business model of social enterprise incubators and at their services for capability-building in social enterprises. He is also further developing an RCUK-funded pilot research into a study looking at public and private models of network intermediation for SME/start-ups services. Alessandro holds an MSc (cum laude) in Strategy and a BSc (Hons) in Management from the University of Pisa (Italy), and a Master of Research from Cranfield School of Management. Before his PhD, Alessandro gained industry background as a marketing executive in the UK fast-moving consumer goods sector.