Startup founders often debate whether to give up equity to join an accelerator. And even if they do apply, acceptance rates – between 1 and 3 percent – are notorious for being more competitive than Ivy League schools.
If you are one of the lucky few accepted into an accelerator, the main benefits include gaining access to a network of seasoned mentors and potential investors as well as the status recognition that comes with being selected. But, above all else, you’re supported by a group of entrepreneurs who want to see you succeed. In a recent TechCrunch article, 90 percent of entrepreneurs surveyed said they would do it over again, and “95 percent said it was worth it to give up the equity.”
For startup founders who want to go the accelerator route, here are five programs you should check out:
About: Y Combinator was founded in 2005 by Paul Graham, Robert Morris, Trevor Blackwell, and Jessica Livingston.
Investment amount: $14-20K + $80K convertible note
About: Techstars was founded in 2006 by David Cohen, Brad Feld, David Brown, and Jared Polis. Typically funds technology oriented companies that are either web-based or other software.
Investment amount: $18K + $100K convertible note
About: 500 Startups was founded in 2010 by Dave McClure, formerly of PayPal and Simply Hired.
Investment amount: $25K – $250K
About: Rock Health was founded in 2010 by Halle Tecco and Nate Gross to support startups building the next generation of technologies transforming healthcare.
Investment amount: $10-20K + $100K convertible note
About: AngelPad was founded in 2010 by ex-Googler Thomas Korte and has offices in both San Francisco (in the Spring) and New York (in the Fall).
Investment amount: $20K + $100K convertible note