GIST Online | Incubator or Accelerator: Does Your Startup Need One


Running a startup can be a lonely affair.  In the last decade, thousands of incubators and accelerators have sprung up globally to provide a place where startups can co-locate, network with peers and mentors, and possibly receive investment.
Learn the difference between incubators and accelerators. Understand how your start up might benefit from one, and explore the benefits and pitfalls of leaving your home country to join an incubator or accelerator in another country.

Meet the Gurus
Yao Huang is founder of The Hatchery, an organization instrumental in developing the New York technology ecosystem.  She leads the enterprise incubator in innovating products with corporate partners—from ideation, development, sales, funding to exit. She is an advisor and deal maker for the governments of ten countries throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, helping foreign technology companies expand to the U.S. market. Yao was named by Forbes as one of 11 women at the center of New York’s digital scene and TechWeek’s 100 most influential people in tech. She is part of the U.S. State Department Global Entrepreneurship Program Delegations in bringing entrepreneurship and initiatives to strategic countries.

Lesa Mitchell is a Managing Director of TechStars, an accelerator providing founders a lifetime of resources and a global network to support the scale of their companies. Lesa’s career has included roles as a corporate executive, entrepreneur and consultant to multi-national corporations expanding their innovation footprints. For ten years, Lesa was VP of Innovation & Networks at the Kauffman Foundation, where she designed, implemented and scaled models focused on initiating new markets and recovering markets in support of economic growth.  She is an advisor to numerous companies focused on disintermediating global markets.  She is looking for founders like you to join the TechStars ecosystem.

The U. S. Department of State’s Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) initiative empowers young innovators through networking, skills building, mentoring, and access to financing to develop startup solutions that address economic and development challenges.

Since 2011, GIST has engaged with science and technology innovators and entrepreneurs in 135 emerging economies around the world, providing training and resources to help them build successful startups. This is done through competitions, startup boot camps, and interactive online programs, implemented by VentureWell and AAAS.


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