Accelerators, also known as seed accelerators, are organizations which support seed and early-stage startups through a formal, defined mentoring program from experts with experience across the startup spectrum. Typically organized as a cohort program lasting twelve to sixteen weeks, the programs end in a public pitch event or demo day presentation to investors.
Accelerators provide defined cohort programs, for entrepreneurs and startups. The programs typically last 12 to 16 weeks, although the duration may vary. They generally occur on-site at locations provided by the accelerator. Most include continuing mentorship during the course of the program led by multiple experienced mentors who have been trained for this purpose.
Most accelerators require attendees to be on-site and a few require the attendees to relocate their companies to the region in order to be accepted into the program. Most require a full-time effort by the entrepreneurial teams as opposed to the individual entrepreneur.
Accelerators are designed to address all the key issues from identification of the idea or concept, to building a prototype, conducting market surveys/tests/validating the market, building teams, creating and documenting the company infrastructure and ultimately obtaining third-party financing.
Other resources may include:
- Startup stipends which could range from $10K – $100K
- Office space during the program
- Special events and/or dinners with guest speakers
- Entertainment events
- Specified professional services from accounting, legal, marketing and other professionals are provided to participants free of charge by some accelerators and their professional partners
- Free access for defined periods to select web-hosting, software and SAAS tools supporting the development, growth, and operations of the startup
- Occasional housing for the cohort participants (but this is usually the exception)
- Post Demo-day mentoring
The culminating event is usually a Demo-day in which the entrepreneurs pitch their companies to the public and investors such as angel and VC groups. The value of the process for the entrepreneur includes a network of connections, the experience of participating in the cohort with peer companies, and recognition for having been chosen and participated in the program.
It is not typical for entrepreneurs or startups to be charged fees for these programs. Instead, the accelerators typically require equity in the startup, ranging from 6% – 10% depending on the accelerator.
A European based industry-led network that connects accelerators, entrepreneurs and policymakers to strengthen the support afforded to internet-based startups on the continent.
Business Innovation & Incubation Australia
Business Innovation & Incubation Australia, (BIIA) is an association of Australian business incubators which sets the practice standards for the incubator industry in Australia.
Canadian Association of Business Incubation
The Canadian Association of Business Incubation, (CABI) is a Canadian association dedicated to supporting the growth of new and early-stage businesses in Canada. Their mission is “to advance the success of business incubators and accelerators across Canada while enhancing the knowledge and skills of incubator and accelerator professionals and promoting a better understanding of business incubation/ acceleration’s role in economic development.”
National Business Incubation Association
The National Business Incubation Association, (NBIA) was established to advance business incubation and entrepreneurship in the United States. It is a provider of information, education, advocacy, and networking resources to its members and partners to bring excellence to the process of assisting early stage companies.
Many of these accelerators are spotlighted on our FundingSage Startup Accelerator Spotlight. Learn more about your favorite accelerator there!
Acceleration Business City
Accelerator of Merck KGaA
Blue Ridge Labs @ Robin Hood
BR Intelligence Innovation Accelerator (BRIIA)
Cherokee McDonough Challenge
Co Lab Gig Tank
Creww Japan Accelerator
F10 Fintech Incubator & Accelerator
Fintech Innovation Lab
Flat 6 Labs
Ice Lab Accelerator
Iowa Agritech Accelerator
Knoxville Entrepreneur Center
Next Media Accelerator
Northeast Indiana Innovation Center
PlayLabs @ MIT
Portland Incubator Experiment
Portland Seed Fund
Seed Fuel – Rowad
Spark labs Cultiv8
Start It @ KBC
The ARK Challenge
The Biz Foundry
The Idea Village
The Seeds Lab
The Startup Factory
Valley Venture Mentors Startup Accelerator
Vocus Upstart – Offbaorded