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The Best Startup Accelerators

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Startup accelerators have played a crucial role in the creation of thousands of different startups, including some familiar names like Airbnb, Dropbox, Canva, and many others.

These companies may provide a combination of capital, education, strong support networks, mentorship, growth hacking, product development support, lead generation, and co-working space. Accelerator programs typically last around three or four months.

Not all startup accelerators work the same or offer the same benefits to startups. Read on to find out more about the best startup accelerators in the industry today.

Y Combinator

Y Combinator logo

Location: Mountain View, California

Founders: Paul Graham, Jessica Livingston, Robert Morris, Trevor Blackwell

Notable Companies They’ve Helped: Airbnb, Reddit, Dropbox, Soylent, Stripe, Zapier

How It Works: Twice a year, the company invests a small amount of money in a large number of startups. They do this two batches each year, one January to March and another June to August.

Noteworthy Testimonial: “I doubt that Stripe would have worked without YC. It’s that simple. Acquiring early customers, figuring out who to hire, closing deals with banks, raising money — YC’s partners were closely involved and crucially helpful.”

Patrick Collison, Founder, Stripe (YC S09)

Link: https://www.ycombinator.com/

Techstars

Techstars logo

Location: Boulder, Colorado

Founders: David Brown, David Cohen, Brad Feld, Jared Polis

The Purpose: “ We invest in founders to help them Do More Faster“

Notable Companies They’ve Helped: Plated, Digital Ocean, and Localytics.

How It Works: Techstars is a worldwide extensive network that provides clients with a three-month program and a mentorship that is empathetic, optimistic and authentic.

Word From the Founders: “Our global ecosystem of founders, mentors, investors, and corporate partners work together to create a network of support that lasts throughout your entrepreneurial journey.” 

Link: https://www.techstars.com/

500 Startups

500 startups logo

Location: Mountain View, California

Founder: Dave McClure

Notable Companies They’ve Helped: Canva, Credit Karma, GitLab, Udemy

Noteworthy Testimonial: “Every day at 500 Startups is a master class in

how to build a kickass startup.”

How It Works: Beyond providing seed capital, 500 supports startups via their Seed Accelerator Programs which emphasize digital marketing, customer acquisition, lean startup practices, and fundraising for pre-Seed companies.

What Makes Them Different: “Diversity is not just a strategy or tactic. It’s who we are.”

Link: https://500.co/

Dreamit

Dreamit startup accelerators logo

Locations: New York, New York and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Founders: Steve Welch, David Bookspan, Mike Levinson

How It Works: Dreamit offers programs that provide startups with direct access to customers, investors, executives, and thought leaders in three verticals: Healthtech, Securetech, and Urbantech.

Notable Companies They’ve Helped: SeatGeek, LevelUp, Fohlio

Industries They Focus On: Healthcare, Physical Security, Cyber Security, Real Estate, Construction 

How They’re Different: Dreamit focuses solely on growth to create startups with market-ready products. 

Link: https://www.dreamit.com/

Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator

Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator logo

Location: New York, New York

Founders: Murat Aktihanoglu and Jonathan Axelrod

How It Works: ERA combines seed capital, hands-on help and a coworking location with an expert team to positively impact the trajectory of early-stage startups. The company runs two four-month programs each year.

What Makes Them Different: They are NYC’s largest accelerator program with a mentor network of over 500 expert investors, customer acquisition strategists, product specialists, technologists, marketers, sales execs, and more.

Companies They’ve Helped: Eventable, Dezignable, Trendalytics

Link: https://www.eranyc.com/

Plug and Play

Plug and Play startup accelerator

Locations: Sunnyvale, California with locations worldwide

Founders: Jojo Flores and Saeed Amidi

How They’re Different: Plug and Play has 26 locations around the world, each with strategic partners and focus.

Their Mission: “To make innovation open to anyone, anywhere.”

Notable Companies They’ve Helped: LendingClub, Paypal, Visual.ly, Honey, Dropbox

Word from the Founders: “Within the programs, we connect our 180 corporate partners to the startups that are directly impacting their space. These introductions help both parties thrive together through investments, pilots, acquisitions, and mutual growth.”

Link: https://www.plugandplaytechcenter.com/

MassChallenge

Mass Challenge startup accelerators logo

Locations: Boston, Massachusetts and other locations worldwide

Founder: John Hawthorne

How They’re Different: MassChallenge strengthens the global innovation ecosystem by accelerating high-potential startups across all industries, from anywhere in the world for zero-equity taken.

Notable Companies They’ve Helped: Localytics, Flywire, EverTrue

Word from the Founder: “We envision a creative and inspired society in which everyone recognizes that they can define their future and is empowered to maximize their impact. We are obsessed with helping entrepreneurs across any industry. No equity, and not-for-profit.”

Link: https://masschallenge.org/

The Brandery

The Brandery logo

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Founders: Rob McDonald, Bryan Radtke, Dave Knox, J.B. Kropp

Their Motto: Accelerating Startups by Building Powerful Brands

Word from the Company: “We believe that building your brand—and not just a product—is a way startups can be more resource efficient and increase their probability of success.”

How It Works: The Brandery runs one 16-week accelerator program per year for five companies. The participating startups each receive $100K, a year of free office space and more than $200K in additional benefits.

Noteworthy Testimonial: “In a world where the costs to build a company and the technical barriers to enter a market are decreasing rapidly, marketing and brand strategy have become critical to building enterprise value. The Brandery focuses in this area and offers a unique value to their portfolio with access to some of the best brand managers and marketing strategists in the world today.”

Link: https://www.brandery.org/

AlphaLab

Alpha Lab startup accelerator logo

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Founder: Jim Jen

Motto: “Helping great founders build great companies.”

How They’re Different: The company intentionally limits their cohorts to six to eight startups to ensure client get hands-on attention and customized assistance. 

Companies They’ve Helped: Everhire, Gridwise, Inktd, Jetpack Workflow, Music Everywhere

How It Works: AlphaLab helps early-stage tech companies quickly figure out the best way to build and grow through an immersive four-month program and funding opportunities.

Link: https://alphalab.org/

AngelPad

Angel Pad logo

Locations: New York, New York and San Francisco, California

Founders: Thomas Korte and Carine Magescas

What Makes Them Different: AngelPad has been called the “Anti-Y Combinator” due to its strategy of working with fewer teams on a yearly basis.

Their Mantra: We Are Different

How It Works: Every 6 months, the company selects around 15 teams to work with for three months, working on everything from finding product market fit, defining a target market to getting first validation for the company, as well as helping startups prepare for fundraising and investor meetings.

Link: https://angelpad.org/

BoomStartup

Boom Startup logo

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Founders: John Richards, Jon Bradshaw, Robb Kunz

How It Works: BoomStartup provides entrepreneur boot camp basics like custom accelerator plans, extensive mentoring, personalized mentorship, investor introductions, and pitch development.

Their Motto: Welcome to the future of accelerators.

Notable Companies They’ve Helped: Hootsuite, Parakeet, PocketSuite

How They’re Different: The company is a mentorship-driven seed accelerator.

Link: http://boomstartup.com/

MuckerLab

Mucker Lab logo

Location: Santa Monica, California

Founders: Erik Rannala and William Hsu

Their Motto: MuckerLab. Not your typical accelerator program.

Companies They’ve Helped: Vidme, Twenty20, The Black Tux, Hologram

How It Works: MuckerLab works with only 10-12 companies per year in annual cohorts, doing whatever is necessary, for as long as necessary, to ensure that each and every company achieves the operating milestones required for the next round of financing. 

Link: https://www.mucker.com/muckerlab-accelerator/

Alchemist Accelerator

Alchemist Accelerator logo

Location: San Francisco, California

Founder: Ravi Belani

How It Works: Alchemist Accelerator focuses on enterprise customer development, sales, market validation and a structured path to fundraising.

Companies They’ve Helped: Rigetti, Matternet, LaunchDarkly

What Makes Them Different: The company is an accelerator exclusively for startups whose revenue comes from enterprises, not consumers.

Link: https://alchemistaccelerator.com/

Tech Wildcatters

Tech Wildcatters logo

Location: Dallas, Texas

Founders: Brad Taylor, Gabriella Draney, John Reed, Jon Feld, and Shubh Agarwal

How It Works: The Tech Wildcatters 12-week accelerator program focuses on mentoring startups through the milestones that every startup must meet.

Word from the Founder: “We invest in elite startups (and their founders)… and turn them into companies.”

Companies They’ve Helped: Siftery, SD3D, TeleCalm, FanPrint, Skill Silo, Refine(RE)

Link: https://www.techwildcatters.com/ 

Capital Innovators

Capital Innovators logo

Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Founder: Judy Sindecuse

Companies They’ve Helped: Dabble, Semantix, PennHaven, Obe

Their Mantra: Innovation. Iteration. Implementation.

How It Works: Capital Innovators provides startups with the resources and connections they need to get to the next level, including $50,000 in seed funding, mentorship, access to a global startup network, connections to strategic partners and customers, and co-working office space.

Link: https://www.capitalinnovators.com/

Coplex

Coplex startup accelerator logo

Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Founders: Zach Ferres, Ilya Pozin, Nikola Mickic

How It Works: The company’s “lean startup” program is designed for founders who have strong business experience and are looking to start a software company to solve a problem in the space they know best. Coplex starts with ideas, takes concepts to revenue in as few as 8 weeks, and aims to graduate companies ready for an institutional seed investment.

Notable Companies They’ve Helped: Pluto TV, Zipsit, Qwick

Their Mantra: We are Venture Builders.

What Makes Them Different: Coplex only works with non-coding, subject-matter expert founders to co-create new software companies.

Noteworthy Testimonial: “Coplex supported the idea for Pluto TV from day one. Their lean process not only brought my venture to life, but they took all of the necessary steps to make sure it could succeed. The practices and methodologies rooted in Coplex are still part of the Pluto foundation today.”

Link: https://www.coplex.com/

SOSV

SOSV logo

Location: Princeton, New Jersey

Founder: Sean O’Sullivan

Their Mantra: Impossible Made Inevitable

Notable Companies They’ve Helped: Harmonix, Storyful, JUMP, Mapflow, Revols

What Makes Them Different: SOSV prides itself on creating real products, not just digital ones. With access to real labs and makerspaces, the company is popular with food-tech and biotech startups.

Their Motto: We help startups go further, faster.

How It Works: The company’s intensive 3-6 month programs provide startups with seed capital; mentors with deep technical and market expertise; a specialized global staff of engineers, designers, and scientists to accelerate product development; and an infrastructure of fully outfitted laboratory and maker spaces.

Link: https://sosv.com/

Launchpad LA

Launchpad LA logo

Location: Los Angeles, California

Founders: Sam Teller, Mark Suster, Adam Lilling

Companies They’ve Helped: ChowNow, Chromatik, Shopnation, Tradesy

Industries They Focus On: Technology

How It Works: Launchpad LA offers a four-month accelerator program, providing funding, an extensive network of mentors, investors and advisors, free office space, and various free perks.

Link: http://launchpad.la/

RevUp Capital

Location: Providence, Rhode Island

Founders: Allan Tear and Melissa Withers

How It Works: RevUp Capital pairs cash investment with a science-driven process to accelerate growth. The in-house integrated marketing team and fund managers work with startups to boost their bottom line. The startup accelerator doesn’t take equity. Instead, companies return investment as a small percentage of revenue over time.

Companies They’ve Helped: Wicked Good Cookies, Postfly, Birdbrain Technologies

What Makes Them Different: RevUp invests in B2B and B2C companies that are moving fast up a revenue-fueled growth curve. 

Link: https://www.revupfund.com/

UpWest Labs

Up West Labs logo

Location: Palo Alto, California

Founders: Gil Ben-Artzy and Shuly Galili

Companies They’ve Helped: SentinelOne, HoneyBook, Keywee, CyberX, Mobilize

How It Works: As an early stage fund, UpWest Labs invests in and partners with entrepreneurs to support their long-term growth. Based in California’s Silicon Valley, the company believes in the importance of breaking into and expanding in the US early on.

Word From the Founders: “We invest in fearless entrepreneurs building extraordinary companies.”

Link: http://upwestlabs.com/

Jumpstart Foundry

Jumpstart Foundry startup accelerator

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Founder: Vic Gatto

Their Mission: “To support early-stage healthcare companies and make the world better, one company at a time.”

How It Works: Jumpstart Foundry connects startups with industry stakeholders, provides consulting on strategy and marketing, and advises them on talent and growth. Along with funding, cohort members of the program also receive exclusive perks, connections, and knowledge from leading business minds in Nashville, Tennessee.

Their Motto: Strategic capital for your healthcare startup.

Link: https://www.jsf.co/

Blue Startups

Blue Startups

Location: Honolulu, Hawaii

Founders: Henk Rogers and Maya Rogers

Their Motto: Where East Meets West

What Makes Them Different: With an extensive global network, Blue Startups is a nexus of entrepreneurial activity in Hawaii, and between Asia and North America.

Industries They Focus On: Travel, Gaming, Impact and Enterprise Tech

Companies They’ve Helped: AirWander, Cultur, Immersely, FloWater, dataPlor

Link: https://www.bluestartups.com/

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