What Are Startup Accelerators?
Most startup accelerators support early-stage innovative startups with high growth potential. They do so by offering training, mentoring, education and, for the most part, financing, either through equity-based or equity-free funding. Accelerators run for a fixed period of time, varying from a somewhere around 6 weeks up to 12 months or more. During such a program, startups get extensive and intensive support in disciplines such as business development, product development, sales, marketing, legal and fundraising.
What Does it Take to be Part of a Startup Accelerator Program?
Startups apply to join an accelerator program. Accelerators will usually have a set of requirements they want you to meet, such as a working MVP, a well-functioning team and, to some extend, traction. Through the application process, you will be asked to submit things such as documents, video presentations and business plans. The accelerator will then assess the applications they receive, after which point interesting startups will be invited to come pitch for the accelerator team. Depending on the nature and popularity of the organization, you'll have to go through several pitch- and interview rounds before eventually being selected to join the program.
Why Should You Join a Startup Accelerator?
Joining an accelerator will set fire to your startup journey. You'll get a full eco-system of support, mentors who devote their time and attention to build and grow your venture, access to a huge network of potential investors, partners and customers that would probably take you years to build yourself. You'll get training in entrepreneurship, leadership, business operations, strategy and everything else required to build a successful business. And you'll get it from the some of the most experienced and successful entrepreneurs and business people out there. Having been part of a startup accelerator will also calm down investors you meet in the future. They know that accelerated startups know how to execute and aren't afraid to put in the hours - things all investors look for, before they pull out their wallets. Last but not least, it will get you funding. Most accelerators will invest in you, when you join their program. Anywhere from covering your expenses through the course of the program to investing a lot of dollars in exchange for equity. Always keep in mind that giving away equity means giving away control. That being said, joining the right accelerator will be worth it.
Startup Accelerators in North America
If you've heard the word Accelerator, you've heard about Y Combinator. Y Combinator has an impressive portfolio of startups turned super stars, including Dropbox, Airbnb, Gitlab and many more. If you get accepted to this program, you'll get to hang with giants. They provide you with seed funding, contribute to your expenses and mentor you all the way. Twice a year startups get the opportunity to be selected for Silicon Valley's most famous business bootcamp.
500 Startups could be added to pretty much all the geographical categories on this list. They started out in San Francisco and now have programs all around the world. Their organization is one of the strongest in the accelerator industry. They accelerate seed-stage startups and have tailored solutions, lasting anywhere from three weeks to several months.
Here's another Giant. As we write this, Techstars has 45 active accelerators globally, so we're pretty sure they have one that suits you too. All programs have a 3 months duration. In those 3 months you'll get mentorship, help getting funding, and you'll have access to Techstars' network - for life. Applications open 6 times a year.
Ready to get starstruck? New York City based Betaworks is a start-up platform who run accelerators, builds and invests, and their core belief is to experiment early and often - and it seems to work! They're behind Giphy, Dots, bitly, and Tweetdeck!
Founder Institute is the largest pre-seed accelerator. The flagship program is based in San Fransisco, but they have programs all over the world. Joining Founder Institute means getting access to +18.000 experienced expert mentors. Their four month core program follows a tested and proven structured process, during which you'll have weekly training and training to take you and your startup to the next level.
ERA provides seed capital, guidance and a New York City co-working location for early-stage startups. They also run two intensive four-month programs per year for early-stage companies to progress successfully. That's something you don't wanna miss.
If you want to join a state-of-the art tech accelerator, AngelPad is the right choice. Since 2015, AngelPad has been ranked Top U.S. Seed-Stage Accelerator by MIT. Every 6 months they accept 15 startups from their pool of applicants to join the program. If you get accepted, you'll enjoy 1:1 mentorship, access to a network of investors, a big community of like-minded, ambitious startups and a $120.000 investment from AngelPad.
406 Labs is a Gan Accelerator program focusing on technology and high-tech manufacturing startups. Joining the intensive 90-day program, you will be supported to get your MVP on the market, generate the necessary capital for growth and to hire the right people to scale your startup.
Women’s Startup Lab
This accelerator program supports women-led tech startups only. We all know, Silicon Valley is the place to be for tech entrepreneurs, so if you dream of making it big, this accelerator is for you. You'll get exclusive mentorship from the best, most experienced entrepreneurs in the industry and get access to a powerful network of entrepreneurs, business folks and investors.
Google Launchpad Accelerator
Google Launchpad Accelerator offers local programs as well as programs for minority founders all around the world. They offer equity-free support, access to Google's own entrepreneurs and a network of Silicon Valley's top experts and mentors. For three months, you'll also get an exclusive partnership with Google.
The Company Lab
Co.Lab is a non-profit accelerator program, supporting HealthTech, Consumer, and Business Application startups. You'll get expert guidance and mentoring from business and industry experts, full access to workspace and office resources, possibility for housing during the summer months and access capital upon completion of the program.
Startupbootcamp offers 20+ accelerator programs all around the world. The purpose of all of them is to support early-stage tech founders disrupt industries and change the world for the better. Their accelerator programs last 3 months, during which you'll get access to expert mentors, partners and investors. You'll get free office space, and a ton of discounts through the accelerator's partnership deals. Last, but not least, Startupbootcamp will also give you $15 dollars in cash to cover living expenses during the program.
Startup Accelerators in Europe
Platform A by Adidas
Platform A by Adidas has a split of two different tracks. You can go along the innovative Sports tech and sustainability track or the retail and e-commerce track. Either way you'll get an awesome office space at Station F.
Facebook Accelerator Paris
Ready to work with Facebook? Facebook Accelerator Paris is for the AI startups and developers of solutions with Facebook's open source tools. You can apply for a 3 months accelerator program.
Is your startup all about food? Shakeup Factory is an accelerator program that will support you if you are an entrepreneur who wants to become a leader of the food market - whether you are from the farm or the kitchen.
L’oréal Beauty Tech Atelier
L'Oréal Open Innovation is looking for innovative startups to co-create the future of beauty. They establish connections with both beauty, tech and digital startups, and they have collaborated with Station F, so you are guarenteed a luxury working space.
Four 6 months, Founders Factory helps you with everything from product design and engineering to strategic partnerships, funding and growth. You'll also get access to their global network for life and $30.000 in cash.
This extensive 9 month accelerator program focuses on building the next generation of deep tech ventures. They provide everything from weekly workshops and office space to pitch training, one-on-one mentoring and access to funding. If you're up for a trip to The Netherlands, this accelerator is definitely worth applying for.
This Swedish accelerator is named the best in the Nordic. Getting accepted into this program gives you access to a wide variety of support in e.g. business development, product development, marketing, sales and strategy. Sting will invest 400.000 Swedish Kroner ($45.000) in your startup.
StartupLab works tirelessly to strengthen Norwegian tech startups. Through their 3 months accelerator program, they support and invest in early-stage tech startups. Each startup will get two dedicated Lab mentors working as part of the startup team. You'll get access to industry experts, corporate partners, legal support and a bunch of other cool stuff. The accelerator will also invest between 1 and 3 million Norwegian Kroner in each startup ($105.000 - $315.000)
Joining the Lisbon Challenge program means becoming a part of one of Europe's most exciting and buzzing ecosystems in Portugal. During the 10 week program, you'll have access to expert mentors, who will help you validate, develop and grow your startup. They don't just accept anyone. To join, you must have a working MVP, be able to demonstrate market interest, have a team of 2-4 founders of which at least one is a technical founder, and your startup must have global potential.
Kickstart works to grow DeepTech innovation in Switzerland. They accelerate later-stage startups working in spaces such as Blockchain, Big Data and AI and in industries like EdTech, FinTech, Circular Economy and more. The Kickstart team supports selected startups in entering the Swiss and European market and accept startups from all around the world. In addition to the business development support, the accelerator contributes to cover costs during the program.
Startup Accelerators in Asia
Tribe Accelerator is Singapores first Government supported Blockchain accelerator. They offer bespoke programs for each individual startup, which can include services like business development, technical support, mentoring and access to network.
This accelerator supports tech startups in various industries through a 3 month intensive program. They provide you with mentors, a curriculum, ongoing support, perks, a huge network and investment to help you launch your business.
Open Network Lab Resi-Tech
This accelerator, based in xx, helps seed-stage tech startups with idea validation, product development and user acquisition. They give you pitch training and access to mentors to help your business development. To join, you must have a highly technical team, a business plan or well-thought out idea and demonstrate impeccable execution skills.
SOW Asia supports social entrepreneurs and startups only. With an ambition to invest in humanity, they aim to accelerate social impact startups through mentorship, consultancy, network and investment opportunities.
Novum Global Accelerator
Novum offers a 3-month accelerator program for 15 startups per batch. You'll get business mentorship, expert help, investor introductions, free workspace and much more. This accelerator program will make sure your business operations work impeccably, before they release you out into the real world.
This accelerator supports energy startups working to towards a sustainable energy future in India and the world. Through their different programs, Shell E4 supports their startups in business development and growth. They also offer a track for startups that are ready to scale and one for international startups aiming to enter the Indian market.
GnB is a global Indonesian accelerator, focused on supporting and developing early-stage startups from all backgrounds to become the technology companies of tomorrow. If you join the 3-month program, you'll get access to expert workshops, office space, investor network and individual mentoring.
This accelerator based in, you guessed it, China, supports global startups entering the Chinese market and Chinese startups expanding globally. The program is divided into 2x3 months, the first half focused on growing your startup, the second half on raising funds. Chinaccelerator invest $150.000 in your venture in exchange for 6% equity.
Startup Accelerators in Oceania
Future Minds Accelerator
Future Minds accelerate tech startups that work to prepare the next generations of Australia for the changing jobs of the 21st Century. If you're in EdTech or are building a product that help parents, teachers or the young people themselves get ready for the future, this program is for you!
Muru-D offers 6 months bespoke programs. They have 6 different programs on different Australian locations. Each program run just once a year. They invite startups from different stages and different industries to apply for their accelerator programs to create the best possible synergy among founders.
Startmate accelerate the most promising founders and startups across Australia and New Zealand. Backed by some of the best business angels and venture funds in the region, they offer state of the art programs to accelerate your business, including mentoring, office space and a trip to San Francisco. They invest $75.000 in your venture in exchange for 7.5% equity or at your latest valuation.
AngelsCube invest in early-stage startups and work with each of them to turn their idea into amazing, investor-ready products. The individually tailored programs run for 3 months and are followed by another 3 months of incubation, during which you will have access to the resources you need to sky-rocket your startup.
This accelerator specializes in commercializing innovations through business development and investment planning. They help you setting the right team to manage, operate and grow your innovation into its full business potential. If you work in the areas of materials, manufacturing technologies, 3D printing, modelling, industry 4.0 technologies, soft robotics, biological materials or similar, this is the place for you.
Kiwi FinTech Accelerator (Lightning Lab)
This accelerator for FinTech startups based in New Zealand offers a 3 months program. They have an extensive network on the NZ market, and you'll get access to potential partners, customers and investors interested in your product. Besides supporting startups, they also welcome scaleups and global businesses working in the space between technology and financial services.
Startup Accelerators in Africa
OceanHub accelerate impact-driven, ocean-protecting startups in Africa. The accelerator aims to strengthen and inspire more conscious entrepreneurs to build the products that will save our oceans. Getting accepted to the program gets you access to a huge network of ocean experts, scientists, business mentors, investors, customers and more. As a founder, you'll be supported in all aspects of building your business, including fundraising support.
DFS Lab is building the future of digital commerce in Africa. If you join this accelerator, you'll get $25.000 in funding. Throughout the program, the team of mentors will help you build a solid foundation for your startup and introduce you to their network of investors.
Growth Africa will make your startup investment ready, by supporting you through all the necessary stages of business development, while at the same time strengthening your leadership and entrepreneurial skills to make sure you are ready to scale your business into something amazing.
Led by Honeywell Group this accelerator supports startups disrupting technologies to create a better world. During the course of 4 months, Itanna will invest $30.000 in your venture, host costumized workshops with you and give you access to a network of experienced mentors and business partners.
FB Start Accelerator
This accelerator supports startups building deep-tech solutions. They offer a 6 month research and mentorship-driven program. They'll match you with relevant industry experts, provide you with a mentor and invest up to $20.000 in your startup from the beginning.
Akro doesn't "just" mentor you, they throw themselves into your startup and work alongside you and your team to accelerate your business. They've put together a 20-week program for for tech and innovation startups. The first 8 weeks are filled with workshops, mentoring and evaluation. In the first phase, they'll pick 10 most promising startups, who will move on to 12 weeks of extended acceleration.
Startup Accelerators in MENA
This is a pre-seed and seed accelerator focuses on innovative and scalable tech startups. They aim to strengthen the entrepreneurial eco-system in Jordan, by creating opportunities and offering the support you need to build and grow your business. Once accepted, you'll get an investment offer and access to their extensive 6 month acceleration program.
BeryTech aims to shape the innovation and entrepreneurial scene in the Middle East. Through their different, industry-specific accelerator programs, they make sure you get all the support you need to excel with your startup, including up to $100.000 in funding.
Twofour54 is not your regular accelerator, but nonetheless deserves a spot on the list. If you're a media company, this organization is worth knowing. Since 2004 it has worked tirelessly to strengthen Abu Dhabi's media industry, by helping media companies setting up and working effectively in the country.
GeeXelerator (Gaza Sky Geeks)
Through this accelerator program, Gaza Sky Geeks aim to support and grow entrepreneurs and startups that create sustainable value for community and customers through amazing products. They'll make sure your prototype gets tested, help you get traction, train your pitch skills and put you in front of seed investors.
AUC Venture Lab
AUC Venture Lab offers a 16 week accelerator program for early-stage startups with high growth potential. They also have a specific program for FinTech startups. Through mentorship, network and with support of corporate sponsors, they will help you get your product ready for launch.
For BioTech, AgriTech, Mining Tech, Nanotech and Material Science startups, this accelerator is the program to join. During 12 weeks, you will get world-class mentoring, access to a world of valuable resources, free workspace and access to investment opportunities. By the end of the program, the winning startups will get a shared equity-free prize of $250.000.
Startup Accelerators in South America
Startup Chile accelerates startups through training and network. Startups that join the program also get access to investors, mentors and perks as well as equity-free funding.
With their strong network of mentors, investors and business experts, Parallel18 offers training and mentoring to startups joining their accelerator. You'll be supported in all aspects of business development, access to investors and equity-free funding of $40.000.
The Yield Lab
This AgriTech accelerator offers support to entrepreneurs and startups that aim to revolutionize the agrifood industry. The Yield Lab accelerates and invests early-stage, high-impact startups and provide them with educational resources, lab access and expert mentors.
Startup Farm's Ahead program accelerates promising startups through a 6 month program. They help you validate, test, revalidate, develop and grow your startup into a real, profitable success.