How Do Digital Startup Incubators Differ From Accelerators? What Is The Difference?

Startup individuals who wish to set their foot into the market turn to startup incubators and digital startup accelerators for help. Both a digital startup incubator and accelerator offer services and help to grow your business.

The terms startup accelerator and incubator are often confused by startup founders. These terms are usually taken to mean the same thing when there are many key differences between the two in reality. Startup founders should be well aware of these differences if they plan to sign up for these programs.

Digital startup accelerators and incubators guide startup founders that help them become more stable and capable. They help them prepare effective and efficient strategies, feasible business models, and techniques to make them stronger and more attractive to investors.

Both these programs offer entrepreneurs the opportunity to increase their chances of securing a venture capital firm as an investor later on. However, they do differ at some point. Have a look.

digital startup incubator vs. digital startup accelerator


A virtual incubator supports and guides digital business startup founders in their early years of starting a company. A digital startup incubator helps the startup founder come up with an idea to bring to the market. They help entrepreneurs design effective business models and tells them whether this business model is feasible or not.

However, a digital startup incubator does not offer facilities to bring the idea to reality. No digital startup fund is given to the entrepreneurs to transit their idea into the market as a functioning reality.

On the other hand, as the name suggests, digital startup accelerators enhance the growth of existing digital startup companies. They help set up digital startup companies get in touch with investors and influencers who can help take their business to the next level.

Type of environment

There is no major difference in the work environment offered by a digital startup incubator and an accelerator. Both startup incubators and accelerators offer a work environment that is encouraging and motivating. The entrepreneurs share a common workplace that allows them to access multiple resources and build strong relationships with other startup owners. Both provide mentoring and guiding facilities. 

How working with a startup incubator looks like?


A digital startup incubator program does not have any deadline. The main focus of a digital startup incubator is to stabilize the digital business startup no matter how long it takes. It is very common for digital startup incubator programs to last for two years.

Digital startup accelerators have a fixed timeline which is usually four months.  During this period, the digital agency for startups guides and mentors the entrepreneurs and provides them with a digital startup fund. Also, at the end of the session, the startup gets the chance to deal with investors.

Investment capital

Investment capital growthA digital startup incubator does not provide capital to startups. These programs usually function on the funds received by universities and different organizations.

On the other hand, digital accelerators provide a digital startup fund in exchange for a percentage of equity that is decided at the start of the program. This is why startup accelerators are more concerned with the success of a startup that they foster.

Application procedure

A digital startup incubator's main objective is to invest time and effort into growing and helping startups excel. The digital agency for startups has the task of creating jobs and getting a license for the property. A digital startup incubator supports and fosters local startups. This is why slow-growing, weak businesses are a great candidate for a startup incubator program.

Digital startup accelerators have a more strict and formal application procedure. These programs have limited slots, and the participants must apply beforehand if they wish to get in. These programs select the best and top startup applications across the country, which makes them highly competitive. Accelerators prefer businesses that have shown rapid growth and have high value in the eyes of investors.

Find out how to apply for startup incubator

Startup accelerator Vs. Digital startup incubator: Which one is best for you?

To decide which program to become a part of, look at your needs and requirements. If your startup is still in its early stages, does not require investment funds, and wants to become a part of the local community, then a digital startup incubator is your best shot.

If your startup is growing rapidly and is scalable, you can opt for a business startup accelerator. Startup accelerators accept the best startups from hundreds of applicants. The business startup accelerator will provide you with a fund to help you set firm feet in the market.

Both programs offer a magnitude of benefits but are not the same. Entrepreneurs should carefully reflect their startup’s needs and requirements before deciding whether to apply for a digital startup incubator or accelerator.