Let’s keep it simple: Incubator comes before Accelerator.
Incubator: you’ve got an idea, you need help getting it off the ground. They help really early on.
Accelerator: you’ve proven the idea, at least some, and you need help “accelerating” it.
Office space providers are unfortunately calling themselves Incubators these days. Watch out for that. A real incubator shouldn’t charge you for office and should provide you with more than meeting invites in their office space.
When we accept someone and start to provide them help with their idea, we tend to blur the line between the two, as we don’t find the definitions particularly helpful. We’re very ad hoc about how we help.
Being prescriptive about the method and ways in which we help various startups is very rigid and inefficient in startups.