I think accelerator programs are great potentially for the network or for money or for structure. It depends on how structured you need things. These accelerators will give you foundation. For me personally, I'm already pretty structured so I might consider accelerators and excel, but I am also able to do it myself and be successful since I've gone through the path. Some people also can't afford the time for accelerators and can only work nights and weekends which is how I started my first company.
Fundraising! Fundraising is a TON of fun once you gain traction. Your first investors will probably just be your advisors. And honestly, my first "real" investor was just a guy who went to a Dishcrawl (food event, my first company) with his wife, realized I did startup stuff. We got together because I just wanted to soft pitch him. When we chatted he fell in love with the idea, saw that I was coachable, and helped guide me.
One thing is - you are always in charge of your own destiny so don't "rely" on someone else or some investor or lawyer to make connections for you, etc.
Also, just be around startup stuff so you have more serendipitous encounters and ideas.
TALK about your idea ALL THE TIME. I hate it when people are so scared someone will steal their idea. Your idea is not that great, and your execution is zero. So... literally... just talk about it so you can improve it and so others can help you improve it.
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