Virtual Business Accelerators – The Growing Trend

Business accelerators and incubators are a common service and term known by entrepreneurs and startups alike. By providing terrific opportunities and resources to founding teams, many seek to join one when looking to grow their business quickly and efficiently.

Virtual business accelerators

Recently, there has been an increase in a new type of business accelerators, referred to as virtual business accelerators – an online alternative to accelerators and incubators providing mentorship, venture capital, networking opportunities and access to technologies and infrastructure..

But what exactly is the difference between a typical business accelerator and a virtual one? Does either provide advantages that the other doesn’t? And why are virtual business accelerators becoming such an attractive option to both new and experiences entrepreneurs?

We take a closer look at this expanding trend.

What Is A Virtual Business Accelerator?

First, let’s dive into what exactly is a virtual business accelerator. Given an overview, virtual business accelerators are offering the same things as your typical business accelerator – however there’s a twist. With typical business accelerators, while a startup can receive a fast-track solution towards accelerating their reach, they often come with a pretty hefty fee, along with some major hand holding.

This isn’t always an attractive option, especially for more experienced entrepreneurs who might be seeking help, but are looking for a less all-encompassing hands-on support system.

Enter virtual business accelerators. With a virtual business accelerator, entrepreneurs are able to receive the type of guidance they need to get their startup off the ground, by choosing from a variety of “mix-and-match” options offered by the virtual accelerator. This allows entrepreneurs and startups to have more control over, not only what services they want help with, but also the fee they will have to pay.

Virtual business accelerators are all about giving entrepreneurs and startups the resources they need to execute their ideas, providing them with experience and virtual workplaces that will help save them time, which will lead to proper execution of their business. This can range from a number of services, including but not limited to, active mentorship, fundraising guidance, online marketing advice, or public relations assistance.

virtual business accelerator

What Can a Virtual Business Accelerator Offer My Business?

Overall, a virtual business accelerator can offer all the same things a typical accelerator can, just virtually. This can include the following:

  • Clarification and evolution if your business model,
  • support with accessing suppliers and distribution networks,
  • Digital presence development and management (website, Social media etc),
  • Revenue & profit generation,
  • Access to targeted business networking,
  • Leadership training,
  • Revenue stream creation,
  • Accounting and auditing services,
  • Company reinvigoration or reinvention,
  • Powerful marketing creation & promotion,
  • Productivity improvement,
  • Employee attraction & retention of talented individuals,
  • Financial engineering,
  • Technology performance improvement,
  • Management of team performance,
  • Research, development & technology deployment cycle,
  • Much more

Why Are More Entrepreneurs Choosing Virtual Business Accelerators?

Simply put, entrepreneurs and startups are choosing the services of a virtual business accelerator over a typical business accelerator for two main reasons: convenience and cost.

With the growing popularity of “lean startups” and many entrepreneurs building up more than one business in their career, virtual business accelerators are able to provide the exact services a startup needs to accelerate their growth, without too much hand-holding or burdening fees. This makes virtual business accelerators more accessible to more startups that might not be able to pay the traditional fees of a standard business accelerator.

Additionally, since the business accelerators are virtual, a startup or entrepreneur can join one from virtually anywhere. This opens up the possibility of connecting with the exact virtual business accelerator that is the perfect fit for the business, rather than being limited to those that are in a startup’s local area.

As like most industries, this movement to a virtual-version of an already popular service is a natural progression and we expect to see the growing popularity of them to continue to rise.

Get Your Free

Matthew Musgrove

Matthew Musgrove

Matthew is an entrepreneur and business Advisor with a passion for change management and social empowerment. With a background in business accounting and advisory, as well clinical research project management, he strives to find strategic and sustainable solutions to business problems.



Mark Van Hoff comes from background of technical & production planning, budgeting & scheduling of major live events. As the first production co-ordinator at M-NET for Outside Broadcasts, Mark has managed major local and international productions including Miss South Africa, Miss World, multiple music events and major sports events, including the PnP Cycling Tour.Mark co-founded Van-Man Productions in 1994, Page to Picture in 2000 and Move Media Networks in 2007. All three companies have achieved domestic success and have been well-regarded in the South African production industry.



Oluwaseun Adewuyi who is the Group Chief Finance Officer (CFO) at Caban, is a Certified Chartered Accountant, with Fellowship status at both the ACCA as well as the Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, a UK Based industry body with a specific focus on the management of charities, not-for-profit organisations and NGOs.. Oluwaseun comes with strong business acumen and 20+ years of progressive experience in finance and operations management within well-reputed and high growth organisations Including Next Plc and Royal Mail. He has been heavily involved in impact investment across Sub-Saharan Africa and has been instrumental in the creation of a series of community schools in West Africa. Throughout his career, he oversaw a broad range of operations, including Business Strategy and Business Reorganisation, summarising the organisation’s financial status, and coordinating the preparation of tactical plans, financial forecasts, and budgets. Adept at developing and implementing effective internal control framework to maintain sound financial accountability.

tim scholtz


Tim Scholtz, who's is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Caban Investments, is experienced in implementing corporate governance guidelines, formulating risk management structures, process and cost optimization. Tim has a strong corporate background, having worked as COO at the South African Tourism board, was COO at the Nelson Mandela foundation and as a internal audit manager at Arthur Anderson earlier in his career.

Ben Botes


Ben Botes is Entrepreneur, VC, co-Founder, Author and Academic with a strong social conscience. Ben Involved with early stage and growth firms for the past 20 years and has been Co-founder of 9 separate businesses across Africa. Ben has directly and indirectly been involved in impact investment and the support of charities and non profits for the last 30 years. Ben is a regular speaker at the African Investment Conference in London and has been featured in Wall Street for Europe, The Guardian Small Business, BBC, the Mail and Guardian in the UK and BizCommunity, Channel 3 TV, Investors Weekly, The Cape Times, Radio 702 with John Robbie and Good Hope FM in South Africa

Dave Romero


Dave Romero is a venture capitalist and entrepreneur with a passion for making an impact. A qualified Professional Accountant, Dave has been a director in multiple financial institutions and was once the youngest Chairman on the JSE, in addition to being listed as one of Business Times’ Top 100 companies and the 40th fastest-growing company in South Africa. Dave is a core founder of the Caban Group, which aims to provide a comprehensive service offering to small businesses in return for equity. With a passion for nurturing entrepreneurs, Dave can often be found outside of the boardroom – offering advice, creating innovative funding solutions and building communities through sustainable practices.



Dr Ruben Richards is a truly inspirational South African leader. Through his peace-building seminars for criminal gangs, Dr Ruben has facilitated the longest ceasefire in the history of gang warfare on the Cape Flats. In addition to being Chairman & Founder of the non-profit Ruben Richards Foundation, Dr Ruben is an ordained cleric, company director, non-executive Chairman of Visual International Limited and was once the Deputy Director-General of the now-disbanded Scorpions.