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The start-up accelerator to boost the indirect sales model

If the health crisis has shaken French start-ups, it is far from having completely broken them; thus, according to an EY and France Digitale study, 70% of them declare not to have encountered financial difficulties during the containment[1]. Generally positioned in promising or innovative fields, they have often been in the front line during this period where they have demonstrated their added value, like Axiotis, for example, which has developed a saliva test for individuals.

However, the challenge for start-ups is above all to stand out from the competition. If the keys to success lie in an idea or even an innovative technology, the choice of distribution method can also make a difference. To achieve this, they can join a start-up accelerator and thus opt for a life-size test before diving into the deep end.

Is the accelerator the last step before going to market?

The indirect model is built on a tripartite relationship between the distributor, the reseller and the supplier. Each member of this ecosystem plays an important role in supporting start-ups, which all follow a set path. The steps that characterize this pathway: from the first fundraising, to the technological and financial support by Business Angels, to the integration in incubators to define their level of maturity. Many suppliers already have their own incubators, such as Microsoft, which integrate them into their ecosystem and give them the technical and financial keys to mature their offers.

The accelerator is positioned as a form of continuity of the incubator, allowing the final step to be taken with the market launch. Indeed, once these start-ups have grown sufficiently, the interest of an accelerator is to bring them closer to the indirect ecosystem, especially to resellers and integrators looking for innovative solutions.

With their knowledge of the needs of partners and resellers, and by extension of their customers, distributors are in the best position to create their own accelerator and to offer their services to these start-ups. This privileged access allows start-ups to test their offers but also to benefit from the distributor’s advice to propose the best approach: SaaS vs on-premise or both. They can also be guided on the packing of the offer, the renewal or not of the licenses, or the realization of the marketing plan… These adjustments are essential in order to meet market expectations and the needs of integrator partners in the best possible way. Finally, distributors can also help start-ups pass certifications that give them a great deal of credibility with their contacts, particularly in the field of cybersecurity.

The accelerator remains the last springboard for start-ups wishing to confront the market. Supported by distributors, they are more likely to be in tune with the market and to start out as winners. Thus, depending on the field in which they wish to position themselves, they will be very much in demand and even highly expected, especially those who, for example, provide an answer to the question of teleworking in relation to cybersecurity or those who contribute to the smart region, smart city or smart building. In this field where much remains to be done, this tripartite relationship will be the strong axis in the innovation and creation of tomorrow’s world.

[1] EY and France Digitale have published the 9th edition of their annual barometer of the economic and social performance of digital start-ups in France https://www.forbes.fr/management/malgre-la-crise-les-start-up-tiennent-le-choc/

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