Incubator staffing Fail?

Government and university incubators seem to be unable to hire actual entrepreneurs.

In my own state of Ohio, take a look at the staff of TechGrowth, Innovation Ctr, Tech Columbus or Jumpstart Cleveland. Very few to zero actual entrepreneurs on staff and boards, all academics, lawyers, political hacks. How ’bout yours ? @kaffegeek


  • That is exactly why I have posted the is there a place to rant about shitty accelerators.

    Accelerators that dont have experienced entrepreneurs running it tend to overpromise and underdeliver.

  • I’ve been through two accelerators, both pretty good, and I’ll agree with you a bit, and disagree a bit more.

    First, you’re 100% right about the lawyers. Lawyers are the “packing peanuts” of the accelerator world. The recipe for an accelerator event seems to be:

    1. Pick a topic.

    2. Get one interesting person.

    3. Fill the rest of the guest list with lawyers on the make from the sponsoring legal firms.

    I am almost annoyed enough about the lawyers at my current accelerator to blog post about it. Almost.

    That said, you’re dreaming about hiring successful entrepreneurs. Successful entrepreneurs do not go staff anywhere. Sometimes they found accelerators. Often, they volunteer as mentors but they never work for anybody else again. As Dharmesh Shah said, “entrepreneurship makes you unemployable”.

    Good accelerators help you with the mechanics of starting up, put you in contact with the people you need to talk to (sometimes those are successful entrepreneurs), make sure you eat at least one meal a day and that you don’t lack for moral support from others in the same boat and end up jumping off a bridge with their 20k in your pocket. And they press you hard to make progress every day. They eliminate excuses. The day to day of running an accelerator doesn’t offer the reward of entrepreneurship and rarely requires the skills of an actual entrepreneur and thus is not interesting enough to attract them.

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