Acceleration Prep: Why Basics Matter in the Startup World

Most aspiring entrepreneurs attempt to get into acceleration programs or secure investment for their startups. However, it’s not uncommon for startups to face rejection multiple times before finding their footing. Surprisingly, the reasons behind these rejections are often not rooted in a bad product, business plan, or idea. Instead, it boils down to a lack of understanding of the basics of investment or running a startup language investors, accelerators, and incubators use. In this article, we will explore why first-time founders with only basic knowledge of running a startup face obstacles in accessing acceleration programs and securing investments and how they can overcome these challenges to increase their chances of success.

Lack of Understanding and its Consequences

Acceleration programs are designed to fuel startup growth by offering mentorship, resources, and networking opportunities. However, these programs often pass on startups that may seem interesting but lack the necessary expertise. Newbie founders, while full of passion and innovative ideas, may require extensive care and support to make progress. Consequently, they find themselves overlooked in favor of more experienced founders who can hit the ground running.

Investors also face a similar challenge. With an inundation of pitch decks, they have limited time to sift through the sea of opportunities. Thus, they cannot afford to invest their valuable time in ill-prepared pitch decks that lack the essential information they seek. This results in deserving startups being excluded from the selection process.

For a first-time founder, rejection dampens spirits and demands additional time and effort to refine their approach. The founder must invest more resources to try elsewhere and improve their pitch deck or make several attempts to gain enough confidence and expertise in presenting the startup. This prolonged journey takes its toll on their mental and financial well-being. The root cause? Lack of deep knowledge of the basics.

Key Aspects for Startup Success

You must focus on mastering the basics to increase your chances of securing a spot in an acceleration program or attracting investors. Let’s delve into these crucial aspects:

  1. Ecosystem Knowledge and Understanding
    Startups operate within an ecosystem that includes competitors, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders. Founders must have in-depth knowledge of this ecosystem to identify opportunities, navigate challenges, and position their startups for success.
  2. Market Size Assessment and Market Understanding
    Investors and acceleration programs seek startups with a clear understanding of their target market. Founders need to assess market size, identify potential customers, understand market trends, and recognize gaps that their product or service can fill.
  3. What and Why Statements, ICPs, and User Stories
    Founders must articulate their startup’s purpose and value proposition through effective what and why statements. Additionally, they need to define their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and create persuasive user stories highlighting the benefits of their offerings. Moreover, without a very clear ICP, it is highly possible the founder is not targeting the right investor or program to get support.
  4. Ideal Acquirer Profile, Valuation, Ownership, and Cap Table
    Investors want to ensure that their investment is aligned with the startup’s long-term vision. Founders should have a clear understanding of the ideal acquirer profile, their startup’s valuation, ownership structure, cap table, and more. This demonstrates their preparedness and commitment to building a sustainable, scalable business. Similarly to the ICP, without a clear idea of who the ideal acquirer is, the product or business plan can be completely misaligned from the acquirer’s needs.
  5. Clear Exit Strategy
    Having a well-defined exit strategy is essential for attracting investors. There is no journey without a given destination. Founders must outline a plausible plan for potential acquirers or the possibility of going public. Again, this proves the founders’ alignment with the acquirers and their needs.

Overcoming the Challenges

While the challenges may seem daunting, first-time founders with basic startup knowledge can take proactive steps to overcome them:

  1. Seeking Education and Mentorship
    Founders should invest time in acquiring knowledge through workshops, courses, and networking events tailored for entrepreneurs. Engaging with experienced mentors who have successfully navigated the startup landscape can provide valuable guidance.
  2. Building Relationships and Networking
    Actively participating in startup communities, joining relevant industry events, and seeking networking opportunities can help founders make valuable connections. These relationships can open doors to potential investors and admission to acceleration programs.
  3. Iterative Improvements in Pitching and Communication Skills
    Founders should continuously refine their pitch decks and communication skills. Seeking feedback from professionals and mentors and carefully incorporating that feedback can enhance the chances of making a compelling impression on investors or program selectors.

It is difficult for many to move from the development environment into the business one. In Siinda for Startups, everyone should have free access to the basics, and everyone should be able to get an equal chance to present their product and succeed. Our platform provides founders with a free academy of micro-learning courses built with expert and serial entrepreneurs and investors to focus on the core basics every founder needs to be aware of. Moreover, the platform also offers multiple premium tools with the most advanced data for founders to help them save time with research about the ecosystem and market, investor search, or grant search, so they can focus on their business and their journey.


Securing a spot in an acceleration program or attracting investors requires more than just a great idea. It demands a foundational understanding of the basics of running a startup. First-time founders with only basic knowledge must recognize the importance of ecosystem understanding, market assessment, effective communication, and a clear exit strategy. By investing in their knowledge, building valuable relationships, and continuously refining their pitching skills, founders can unlock the doors to acceleration programs and investor success. Remember, success may not come overnight, but diligent effort and a deep understanding of the startup landscape can make all the difference in the journey toward achieving entrepreneurial greatness.

If you do not have time and resources to search for support from individual providers or forego multiple attempts before succeeding, take a few classes in our acceleration prep collection of courses that will give you the right preparation you need to succeed in your next meeting.

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