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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.
Table of Contents
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)
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.”
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.”
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.
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
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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
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