October 30, 2014
Startup accelerators have been around for almost 10 years now, and the landscape is starting to change. We’re seeing more and more international accelerators, as well as programs for niche industries and niche demographics.
In Accelerate: Founder Insights into Accelerator Programs, authors Luke Deering, Matt Cartagena, and Chris Dowdeswell list over 200 programs – and provide a startup accelerator ranking of the top 30.
They define an accelerator as a program with a specific length, mentoring and networking opportunities, and free office space. So the programs they list may or may not give funding, and may or may not take equity. The ranking is based on the amount of funding raised by graduates, the value of their exits, and graduates’ assessment of the value offered by the program.
You’ll notice that there are only three international accelerators in the top 30. “The [international] programs typically tended to be a lot younger. I'm sure the top 30 in 2015 will look a lot different,” says Cartagena.
And 500 Startups, one of the most popular accelerators, only comes in 7th. So how is a founder to decide which ones to apply to?
“It’s a starting point,” says Cartagena of the ranking. “What country are you in, what vertical are you in, how much equity are you willing to give up…read some of the experiences from their graduates then make your own decision.”
This isn't the first startup accelerator ranking out there, with rankings compiled by the U.S. Seed Accelerator Rankings in 2011, 2012, and 2014. Here’s Accelerate‘s ranking of the top 30 startup accelerators:
Graphic used with permission from Accelerate
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