Global accelerators are fueling entrepreneurs and startups with supportive ecosystems and plenty of fresh funding. These programs provide mentorship and capital in return for equity. This is put in place to help a start-up grow over a three to four month period.
Besides the investment, accelerators typically offer their startups free office space, business and management consulting, feedback on the product, and access to investors in the form of a demo day.
During demo days founders would present their pitch deck to an audience of angel investors as well as representatives from Venture Capital firms. For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel.
Staff from accelerator programs take into consideration many common themes when reviewing applications, such as addressing a large market, having a bold and crazy idea, showing some form of traction or signs that the company will be able to hit a milestone while in the program – but the most common, and debatably most important, is the team behind the company.
Getting into some of these programs is very difficult as acceptance rate can be as low as 1.5%. In such case, for every 7,000 applications there will be only 106 spots available. For comparison, Stanford has a 5.1% student acceptance rate and Harvard’s acceptance rate is around 5.9%. Rounding out the most active 20 accelerators are firms in Shenzhen, Sofia, Buenos Aires, New York, Brussels and Toronto. This shows that while Silicon Valley may be the most established VC and startup hub on the map, it now has an intense amount of competition from all types of locations around the globe.
Success Based on Number of Exits According to data from Crunchbase below are 10 accelerators based on successful number of exits.
1. Y Combinator
Y Combinator is a pioneer in the startup accelerator space. Each year the accelerator funds a group of new startups with $120k. A number that was lowered to reduce friction between founders. So far, the companies it has been involved with have a combined valuation of over $100B. Some of the most notable include: Airbnb, Dropbox, Stripe, Reddit, Twitch, Coinbase, and Weebly.
2. 500 Startups
500 Startups is a seed and early stage venture capital fund, consisting of 4 major funds and 13 micro funds which have invested in startups in at least 60 countries. Funded startups include Udemy and Credit Karma. Exits have included sales to Google and Rakuten. 500 Startups recently took in equity from Abu Dhabi Financial Group, giving the firm one of its only two board seats.
Techstars funds, mentors and accelerates startups. Its accelerator program has produced over 1,000 companies valued at over $8B. Techstars is the name behind Startup Week and Startup Weekend, which spur entrepreneurs to kick procrastination to the curb and launch new ventures in a matter of hours.
4. Plug and Play
Plug and Play Ventures has put 51% of its investments into pre-seed ventures, achieved 8 exits in 2017, invested in 262 new startups last year and holds networking events every day. The accelerator’s in-house VC is reportedly willing to write checks from $25,000 to $500,000. It’s portfolio companies have raised a combined $7B.
Although based in Boston, MassChallenge has accelerator programs around the world, with locations in Israel, the UK, Mexico and Switzerland. In the past 8 years the accelerator says its startups have created 80,000 jobs. The program appears to be heavy in Biotech and Fintech.
SOSV closed its own third round of funding for $150M in January 2017. The ‘accelerator VC’ started by Sean O’ Sullivan prides itself on creating real products, not just digital ones. With access to real labs and makerspaces it appears to be popular with food-tech and biotech startups.
Startupbootcamp runs IOT, Fintech, Insurtech and Foodtech programs around the world from Singapore to London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Dublin, Dubai and Amsterdam. To date Startupbootcamp has accelerated startups with an average funding amount of 1.168M Euros.
8) Internet Initiatives Development Funds (IIDF)
IIDF is established by the Agency for Strategic Initiatives. It is a Russian venture capital fund. This accelerator invests in tech companies in the early stages of development. IIDF facilitates startups in Retail, Adtech, CyberSecurity, BigData, IoT, and Edutech, etc. Almost, every year more than 4,500 startups participate in IIDF’s online basic programs. There are also 20,000 online attending events and hackathons provided by IIDF. Internet Initiatives Development Funds have invested in 335 companies and their total number of successful exits is 21.
Wayra is a global technology innovation hub. It was founded in 2011 in Latin America and then expanded in many countries. Wayra is financially supported by one of the largest telecommunication companies in the world called “Telefonica”.
Wayra invests around $50,000 in startups. Wayra also claims that 45% of its startups have female founders which is a good thing. Wayra invested in 960 companies and the total number of successful exits is 18.
10) Startup Chile
Start-Up Chile is a seed accelerator. It was created by the Chilean government in 2010. It is located in Santiago, Chile. Start-Up Chile provides equity-free investments to its qualified startups.
It is the most unique and active accelerator program worldwide. It provides almost $80,000 equity-free funds to its startups and $100,000 in perks.
Start-up Chile invested in 837 companies and the total number of successful exits is 16. The best of Start-Up Chile is that it provides pre-accelerator programs for startups led by female founders in the world. This program is called “The S Factory”.
Best Startup Accelerator in the World is trying to fuel up startups and entrepreneurs with plenty of funding and supportive ecosystems. These accelerators also provide mentorship and capital in return for equity. The mentorship continues for at least three to four months so that an entrepreneur or startup can get maximum support in taking their idea/business to the next level.
Accelerators not only invest in these startups/entrepreneurs, but they also provide them free office space, business and management consultancy, product feedback, and open access to different investors.
Access to different investors can be in the form of one day demo. During the demo day, founders would present their pitch to investors and representatives from Venture Capital Firms. This demo includes a detailed presentation of the startups and how they are working hard to produce something big.