Business Incubators and Accelerators in the Front Range

You may have heard that there are a lot of business accelerators in Colorado's Front Range. Or perhaps you heard about one or more successful businesses that completed an accelerator or incubator program. As a result, you might be thinking, should I enroll in one of these programs? Is there one that's meant for my type of business?

Incubators Versus Accelerators

While both of these terms are often used interchangeably, there are differences between incubators and accelerators.

  Incubator Accelerator
Intended For Early stage start-ups Early to mid-stage start-ups 
Objective Develop and refine a high-potential business idea Learn how to quickly grow your business and prepare for investors
Requires A good idea for a business A tested, prepared business idea and a business model
Timeframe 1 to 5 years 2 to 6 months
Typical Benefits Mentoring, Education, Office/Work Space, Networking Events

Mentoring, Education, Office/Work Space, Networking Events, Access to investors,

Funding in return for a stake in the company

Cost Typically has a cost that must be paid by the start-up  Typically has a cost that must be paid by the start-up

For additional information about the difference between incubators and accelerators, I recommend the article Startup Incubator Vs. Accelerator: Which Is Right For You?, opens a new window on the Harvard Business website.

Incubators in the Front Range

Accelerators in the Front Range (by location)

Find the Right Opportunity For You

Most incubators and accelerators are intended for founders who want to create an in-demand business that they will then grow and sell (i.e. exit) for a big profit. For business owners who want to run a business long-term, there are many other options to help them grow their businesses too. Just because incubators and accelerators are seen as exciting and prestigious doesn't mean they're right for everyone. If you'd like help finding resources to grow your business, whatever path you choose, you are welcome to request an Ask a Librarian Appointment with the Business Librarian. This is open to anyone, whatever business stage they're in.