Set yourself up for success by enrolling in a startup accelerator program. Here are some of the top ones to choose from.
Succeeding in the business world is certainly challenging. Not only do you need to have a steady flow of capital to keep the business running, but you also require guidance on how to grow at a steady pace. The best way to access this guidance is by enrolling in an accelerator.
An accelerator is a three-to-six-month program where companies are provided with financial aid, mentorship and networking opportunities. These programs are meant for companies that want to fast-track growth and already have a finished product out in the market. If you are a business owner looking to enroll in an accelerator program, here are some of the top ones from across the world you should look into.
The first and possibly the most famous entry on this list is Y Combinator. Founded in 2005, Y Combinator is a U.S.-based startup fund and program. It works with startups in the software, information technology (IT) and FinTech space. The company runs its program twice a year for a period of three months. Selected startups receive funding of US$500,000 and are required to fly out to California where they closely work with mentors from the Y Combinator’s team. At the end of the program is a Demo Day, where the participants present their businesses to an invite-only audience made up of investors and media personnel. This accelerator has worked with some well-known companies such as Airbnb, Dropbox and Coinbase to name a few.
Startupbootcamp is a U.K.-based network of startup accelerators that provides investment and mentorship to companies in over 20 different industry sectors, such as Fintech, food tech and clean energy. Their accelerators are typically three-month programs where participants receive industry-specific guidance and networking opportunities.
The accelerators provide their participants with EUR15,000 (around US$16,225) as living expenses for the startup team, six months of free co-working space and around EUR500,000 (around US$541,467) in partnership deals with companies, like Amazon and Hubspot. Startupbootcamp also has a Demo Day when participants pitch their projects to a gathering of 1,000 guests to help them find further funding opportunities.
This is a Hong Kong-based global accelerator program powered by Jumpstart. The accelerator works with companies in the metaverse, blockchain-enabled technology, AR/VR, fashion tech, lifestyle and retail tech space. It is a free 12-week program (from March to June) that you can join both in person and online.
Throughout the program, participants engage with mentors who guide them on how to grow their businesses in the Asian market. The accelerator conducts weekly networking sessions, giving participants a chance to gain commercial contacts. Select teams also receive one-on-one masterclasses from industry experts. Unlike a lot of other accelerator programs, Azalvo Project doesn’t take equity from its participants upfront. Instead, it invests in the best teams at the end of the program.
The Azalvo Project is a chance to receive a lifetime of support from some of the best minds in the industry. The project has seen some major success, including Increff, an Indian-based retail tech startup that recently raised US$80 million. This accelerator is currently accepting applications through January 30, so make sure to apply as soon as possible if you are interested.
Open Network Lab
Launched in 2000, Open Network Lab was Japan’s first accelerator program that caters to startups in the pre-revenue stage both in and outside of Japan. It is a three-month program for startups working in Web3, finance and environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) spaces.
According to its website, Open Network Lab provides participants with JPY10 million (about US$78,125) in funding. It also gives them access to office space and other assets, such as recruitment tools and back-office systems. At the end of the program, around 60 investors from both local and international markets will be invited to hear the pitches of the participants. Open Network Lab itself has invested in 38 different startups so far.
Chinaaccelerator is an accelerator powered by venture capital firm SOSV. The program is meant for pre-revenue startups in the software industry. It is a three-month program and participants are required to move to Shanghai to participate in it. There they work with Chinaaccelerator’s team on product development and growth strategies.
Unlike some of the other accelerators on this list, Chinaaccelerator doesn’t end on a Demo Day, instead, it allows participants to enjoy the program’s resources until the next cohort of startups is enrolled. The program invests in 150 companies every year. In 2022, Chinaaccelerator became a part of Orbit Startups which is a cumulation of all the accelerators run by SOSV.
Enrolling in an accelerator can be extremely beneficial. According to a 2021 study on the effectiveness of accelerators, it was found that graduates of top accelerator programs raised up to 171% more funding than those that didn’t participate in any. Going through a top accelerator can give your company some legitimacy both in the eyes of investors and also your customers.
Besides the ones we mentioned on this list, there are over 3,000 accelerator programs worldwide that you can choose from, with each catering to different sectors. Make sure to carefully evaluate what these programs are offering and whether that meets your needs before you decide to register for them.
- Top 5 Fashion, Retail and Lifestyle Tech Accelerators of 2022
- Azalvo Project Powered by Jumpstart: Meet the 5 Shortlisted Startups of Cohort 2
- Why Joining an Accelerator Is a Smart Move for Your Business
- Accelerator vs Incubator: What Should Your Startup Choose?
Header image courtesy of the Azalvo Project.