A startup accelerator is an organization whose mission is to help take startups to the next level of their development. Startup accelerators help young companies properly leverage their initial successes, fine tune their business models, and meet and demo their products for potential investors.
There are more than 7,000 startup accelerators worldwide; here are some of the best.
Top Startup Accelerators for 2018:
|Startup Accelerator||Seed Money Provided||Location|
|Y Combinator||$150,000.00||Bay Area, CA|
|Tech Wildcatters||$130,000.00||Dallas, TX|
|AngelPad||$100,000.00||Silicon Valley & New York City|
|The Brandery||$100,000.00||Cincinnati, OH|
|BoomStartup||Up to $120,000.00||Salt Lake City, UT|
|Launchpad LA||$25,000.00 to $100,000.00||Los Angeles, CA|
|Entrepreneurs Roundtable Association||$100,000.00||New York City|
|MuckerLab||$21,000.00 to $150,000.00||Los Angeles, CA|
Startup Accelerator FAQs:
What does a startup accelerator program consist of?
While there are a wide variety of startup accelerator programs, the typical accelerator assumes that your company has taken its first steps. You've possibly received some initial funding, and have enjoyed some early success, so your concept has been proven to some extent.
Upon being accepted into the accelerator program you're generally required to, for at least three months, relocate to the city that's home to the accelerator. Working intensively person to person is key to achieving your next level of success. After 3 months of business development you participate in a demo that introduces your startup to potential investors.
What's the difference between a startup incubator vs. an accelerator?
A startup incubator usually accepts companies at an earlier stage of development than those accepted by a startup accelerator. Incubators may offer office space, access to business mentors, and a small amount of seed money, enough to get your concept off the ground.
A startup accelerator is typically more exclusive than an incubator, and a successful application into an accelerator program commonly involves an initial proof of concept and some early success. Startup accelerators are also more intensive than incubators, offer more investment capital (for a share in your company), and help you hone your pitch for an eventual demo to potential "heavy-hitter" investors.
I don't want to move - is there such a thing as an online startup accelerator?
The vast majority of startup accelerators require at least a temporary relocation - generally around three months - to their headquarters, and this is a good thing. To take full advantage of a startup accelerator program, you need to immerse yourself and gain the benefits of in-person interaction with more seasoned businesspeople.
In addition, a startup accelerator invests a significant amount of capital in your business and needs to be assured of your commitment to success, which is a difficult thing to convey online. Finally, the culmination of the program is the demo day, in which you present your business to potential investors. The accelerator's continued success and reputation in part depends on the investors it can attract and its ability to keep them coming back, so they need to be sure your demo is on point, which is difficult to do online.
How do I find startup accelerator jobs?
Startup accelerators are generally started by entrepreneurs who have made a name for themselves in business and are able to both attract and invest in new ventures. Additionally, they need to be able to attract top-tier talent to mentor startups, so to get a high-level job at an accelerator you'd need to be able to show a history of success.
That said, startup accelerators still need support staff, so the best way to find startup accelerator jobs is to visit their websites and look for a "Jobs" or "Careers" link, then follow the application procedures.
How Does a Startup Accelerator Work?
- Screens applicants for inclusion in program.
- Provides seed money and working space.
- Allows interaction with thought leaders to help hone your concept.
- Helps you ensure your demo is solid.
- Lets you demo your startup in front of potential investors.
Are there women's startup accelerators?
Most startup accelerators are all-inclusive and aware of the immense potential of entrepreneurs of all genders and races, and how badly they'd be missing out by even unconscious discrimination, but there are certainly some accelerators that cater especially to women. Of note is the Women's Startup Lab in Silicon Valley, CA; Aviatra Accelerators in Covington, KY; and Prosper Women Entrepreneurs in St. Louis, MO.
How do I find a startup accelerator in my area?
Since the birth of the startup accelerator concept accelerators have sprung up in most cities worldwide, and there are currently more than 7,000 operating today. You can typically just search for "[city name] startup accelerator" and end up with at least a few to choose from. To get you started, here's a list of startup accelerators and their locations:
Startup Accelerators by City:
|Y Combinator||Silicon Valley, California|
|Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE)||Portland, Oregon|
|BoomStartup||Salt Lake City, Utah|
|Impact Engine||Chicago, Illinois|
|Capital Factory||Austin, Texas|
|Venture Hive||Miami, Florida|
|Gazelle Lab||Tampa Bay, Florida|
|Launchpad LA||Los Angeles, California|
|AngelPad||New York City & San Francisco, California|
|Accelerate Baltimore||Baltimore, Maryland|
|Tech Wildcatters||Dallas, Texas|
|Startmate||Sydney & Melbourne, Australia|
|FounderFuel||Montreal, Quebec Canada|
|HIGHLINE||Toronto, Ontario Canada|
|Startup Reykjavik||Reykjavik, Iceland|