Ideators, Incubators, Accelerators

I have been (after a 40-year business career) assisting a handful of ideators, incubators, and accelerators as a mentor and sitting on their investment committees and selection bodies for a decade.

I am often asked to sit in with the band more times than I can actually accommodate, but I try to keep a hand in the game. It is a wonderful learning experience and, honestly, I am amazed how often my knowledge can be a huge assist to a young entrepreneur (none of whom have ever read Drucker).

There is a lot of confusion as to the difference and purpose of each of these approaches to encouraging entrepreneurship.

Here is the way I view them:

Ideator. An ideator is where entrepreneurs go to create and test an investable idea. They consider and formulate an idea that is either:

 1. an aspirin (an antidote to the world’s pain in some meaningful fashion) or,

 2. a vitamin (an improvement in society’s health in some meaningful fashion).

The journey through the ideator ends when the entrepreneur can get knowledgeable folks to say, “Yeah, I can see that working.”

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