The Top 20 US Startup Accelerators Ranked

March 18, 2015

12:01 am

At SXSW, the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project released its 2015 ranking of the best startup accelerators, topped by AngelPad, Mucker Lab, and Techstars.

The ranking, now headed up by researchers at MIT and the University of Richmond, has been evaluating accelerator programs since 2010:

To be included, programs must have cohorts who go through the experience together, include education and mentorship, and finish with a public demo day. The researchers only looked at programs that have at least 10 graduates and were willing to provide data. Notably absent from the list are Y Combinator and Rock Health, which “now classify themselves as seed funds rather than accelerators, and asked us to respect their evolution into a new model,” the authors explain.

The ranking was based on several factors, which were adjusted to account for early- vs. later-stage accelerators:

  • The average valuation of graduated companies
  • The percentage of graduates that raise significant venture or angel funding
  • The average amount raised
  • The percentage that have had a significant exit
  • The average valuation at exit
  • The percentage of companies still operating
  • Graduates’ opinion of the accelerator, based on interviews with almost 1,000 entrepreneurs

Here's the full ranking:

1. AngelPad (San Francisco, New York City)

2. Mucker Lab (Los Angeles)

3. Techstars (various)

4. University of Chicago NVC (Chicago)

5. Alchemist (San Francisco)

6. StartX (Palo Alto)

7. Amplify LA (Los Angeles)

8. 500 Startups (Mountain View)

9. Capital Innovators (St. Louis)

10. DreamIt (various)

11. Surge (Houston) 

12. MassChallenge (Boston) 

13. Brandery (Cincinnati) 

14. Gener8tor (Madison, Milwaukee) 

15. ZeroTo510 (Memphis) 

16. AlphaLab (Pittsburgh) 

17. Blue Startups (Honolulu) 

18. ERA (New York City) 

19. Betaspring (Providence) 

20. Iron Yard (Spartanburg, Greenville) 

Image credit: Flickr / Nathan E Photography


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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact