5 Accelerator Programs to Help You Launch Your Startup

April 9, 2014

6:01 pm

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:

Y Combinator

About: Y Combinator was founded in 2005 by Paul Graham, Robert Morris, Trevor Blackwell, and Jessica Livingston.

Investment amount: $14-20K + $80K convertible note

Notable graduates: Reddit, Airbnb, Dropbox



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

Notable graduates: SendGrid, Graphic.ly, EverTrue


500 Startups

About: 500 Startups was founded in 2010 by Dave McClure, formerly of PayPal and Simply Hired.

Investment amount: $25K – $250K

Notable graduates: Chewse, LaunchRock, Visually


Rock Health 

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

Notable graduates: Omada Health, Mango Health, Zipongo



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

Notable graduates: Boxbee, Runnable, Vungle

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Dee Yong is in the operations team at Flinja, a jobs marketplace startup focused on helping people build skills and gain relevant work experience. When she’s not busy running around, Dee enjoys following the latest trends in health and wellness tech. You can learn more about Flinja at flinja.com or visit Twitter @FlinjaWorld.

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