Five reasons your startup needs an accelerator program.

A startup accelerator provides access to an entire ecosystem of seed investments, mentorship, networking opportunities and education that are otherwise time-consuming for startups to seek out.

PROTO accelerator is investing in early-stage startups and providing the access they need to become established corporations. We’re highlighting five reasons startups need an accelerator program to meet their business goals.

1. Accelerators provide a culture of support.

Accelerators are designed to provide support from industry experts in areas that benefit corporations. Whether it’s law firms or CFO services, accelerators are interested in bringing early-stage startups into an already existing ecosystem, and these services are often pro bono or at a reduced price. Entrepreneurs also can learn and interact with other startups in the cohort, getting a share of their experience, direction and knowledge that can be valuable for development.

2. They develop skills and expertise.

Some well-known strategies and tools are not ideal for some areas of operations. Accelerators are experts in helping corporations find the proper road maps for their individual goals identifying the skills and advice that would be beneficial for their industry.

3. They help build relationships with investors.

Accelerators typically end programs with “demo days,” where startups present their business ideas, progress and research to a panel of investors. Completing an accelerator program increases opportunity with these investors as the new corporations have developed an enhanced business plan, marketing strategy and roadmap that will decrease investment risks.

4. They assist with access to funding

Accelerators mentor business leaders on applying for government grants. They also provide working spaces and funding in the early stages of startups to give a few months of runway while skill building and support is being acquired.

5. Businesses receive future support after “graduation.”

Mentors in accelerator programs often are willing to continue providing support and advice after completion of the program. Joining alumni groups also establishes an ecosystem of support in a particular industry.