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Startup incubators and accelerators are programs designed to support and nurture startups, helping them develop their ideas and bring their products or services to market.

While the two terms are often used interchangeably, there are some differences between incubators and accelerators – mainly to the stage of the startups they are working with.

Incubators are programs that provide resources and support to early-stage startups, often at the ideation stage. They offer a range of services, including mentoring, training, office space, and access to funding. The goal of an incubator is to help startups develop their ideas, refine their business plans, and build their teams. The Danish startup incubators are usually also connected to a fixed location such as a university, coworking space, or a science, technology and development park.

Accelerators, on the other hand, are programs that help startups to grow and scale. They typically last 3-6 months and do not require you to move into a specific location. Accelerators focus on startups that have already launched their products or services and are looking to expand. Accelerators offer similar services to incubators, but they are often more focused on helping startups to access funding and scale their businesses quickly.

Scale alongside likeminded people

Both incubators and accelerators seek to make the road to success less bumpy for the startups they accept. This is mainly done by offering mentorship and support – e.g. BioInnovation Institute, Soundtech Accelerator and Vækstfabrikkerne, who accelerate startup growth through deep industry knowledge. Startups in these programs typically work closely with experienced entrepreneurs and business leaders, who can provide guidance and advice on everything from product development to fundraising.

Another benefit of incubators and accelerators is access to resources and funding. Many programs offer office space, equipment, and access to funding and other resources, which can be invaluable for early-stage startups that may not have the resources to invest in these things themselves.

Additionally, incubators and accelerators offer a sense of community and camaraderie that can be particularly valuable when the startup life seems tough and lonely. By working alongside other like-minded entrepreneurs, startups can share ideas and experiences, and build relationships throughout their journey.

The article is part of the magazine “The Guide – A comprehensive overview of the Danish startup ecosystem”, published by Heyfunding and

Read the full magazine here: