In many ways, founding a startup is more challenging than starting a traditional business. Of course, entrepreneurs want to make money when they start a traditional business. However, startup founders must prove that their idea will grow into a large corporation. This is quite a bit of pressure.
For this reason, startup founders are a unique breed. Luckily, there’s also a unique source of help if you alone or you and your team are brave enough to say, “One day this concept or product will be as big as Facebook.”
There are many startup accelerators that offer startup founders access to
- Financial assistance,
- Specialized business training,
- Legal guidance, and
- much more.
Most accelerators like to focus on one type of startup. For example, some only work with tech startups. Others work with startups that have a certain structure, like team-based startups.
What to Expect
Most accelerators will offer you mentorship, workspace, operational support and access to funding via introductions to angel investors or outright payments. Program durations run anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Many programs are quite competitive and only accept 2 to 10 startups a year.
Here’s a list of great accelerators and the types of startups they work with.
Tech, Web, Mobile, and Science Accelerators
- For innovators that plan to combine technology with entertainment to create brand new experiences, Disney is interested.
- Blue Startups in Honolulu, Hawaii, works with companies focused on technology. Blue pays special attention to startups that want to do business in both the US and Asian marketplaces.
- StartFast in Syracuse, New York works with startups in the web, mobile and software industries.
- The Illumina Accelerator program is geared toward scientists in the progressive fields of genomics, clinical research and applied sciences.
- LightSpeed Innovations in Southern California works with startups in the aerospace industry.
- Luma Launch, located in Santa Monica, CA seeks to works with startups that combine content presentation with technology.
- VentureOut in New York City works with technology startups.
- The SaltMines Group in Vero Beach, Florida works with startups that have designed innovative social media products and mobile apps.
- The Yield Lab located in St. Louis, Missouri offers help to agricultural technology companies whose product offerings and business concepts encourage sustainability.
Women, Minority, Social Change and Team-Based Accelerators
- MergeLane in Colorado focuses on women-based startups and the challenges those founders face.
- Startup52 is a New York City-based accelerator program. This program only works with startups with a strong and diverse team of founders.
- Capria in Seattle, Washington looks for startups with a product or business concept that focuses on making a global impact, especially in developing countries and emerging markets.
- Cofound Harlem in New York City has the goal to launch 100 new Harlem-based, community impactful companies by 2020.
- Gener8tor has locations in Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin. The accelerator works with startups that have a strong team of founders.
- The Sixers Innovation Lab, a JV between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Kimball Office, is looking for promising startups in any industry. The Innovation Lab wants to stimulate startup community growth throughout Philadelphia and New Jersey.
- Matter in New York City and San Francisco is looking for startups that have designed a product that the accelerator can quickly bring to market.
- The Brandery in Cincinnatti, OH offers $50,000 in outright funding and works with business in the marketing, branding and design fields.
Retail and Consumer Goods
- XRC Labs in New York City is great for startups in the consumer goods and retail market.
As you can see, advancing technology and science, working with others and working towards social change can give your startup a really big foot in the door with many accelerators. However, there are accelerators that fund good startups in all industries. You just have to know where to look.
In addition, for further guidance, Startup Next is a pre-accelerator program that will help a promising startup in any industry get into a top accelerator program.