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Which Startup Accelerator to choose

Which Startup Accelerator to choose

Which Start Accelerator to choose

There exists a number of different accelerator programs worldwide and for startups it is hard to distinguish and choose between the right one. Throughout all of our compared accelerator programs startups receive equal services under similar conditions: coaching & mentoring sessions, free office space and pre-seed investment in return for a small percentage of equity. With all of the different accelerator programs it is hard to figure out the most suitable one, where one´s time and efforts are spent best. In order to find the right accelerator, one of the most important aspects can be seen as their reputation in the industry. This factor can become of high importance for the startup since they determine in most cases the level of follow-up investment. Another important aspect to look at is laid in the quality of the participating partners and mentors. These people can be very beneficial for the future development of the startup and help them with the acquisition of their first customers and the promotion within the market. As a recommendation you can conclude that these soft factor scount at least as much in importance as the hard factors which were mentioned first.

Accelerator overview

I. 500 Startups

Website: http://500.co/

Country: United States

Founding year: 2010

1. General information

500 Startups is one of the most famous accelerator programs worldwide and focuses mainly an early-stage investments. The accelerator was founded in the year 2010 by Dave McClure, an entrepreneur and prominent angel investor based in the San Francisco area. The accelerator program invests primarily in consumer and technology startups, which are related to web infrastructure services. In particular the main focus areas include financial services, e-commerce,social platforms and healthcare .

2. Accelerator program

The accelerator program of 500 Startups is more vague and not as structure as in many other programs. In total the whole program happens within a time period of 3 months. Within the program each startup gets personal coaching and mentoring sessions from Dave McClure and the founding team of the accelerator. There exists an office space, which can only be used for scheduled mentoring sessions and not as a temporary working place. Besides the program different events like the SmashSummit, UnSexy, and GeeksOnaPlane get organised in order to get to know relevant people in the industry. As one of the most successful startups can be counted former alumni such as Sendgrid, Twilio, Wildfire and Taskrabbit.

3. Investment details

500 Startups invests in a lot of startups per year, with amounts up to 33 different investments. The accelerator provides all of the participating startups with up to $250,000 in funding depending on the particular stage of the company. Due to the relatively high amount of investment capital, compared to other programs, only 1-2% of equity are taken as a return from the startups themselves.

 

II. Angelpad

Website: http://angelpad.org/

Country: United States

Founding year: 2010

1. General information

AngelPad is a early-seed accelerator program which was launched 2010 by Thomas Korte, together with six other Ex-Google employees. The accelerator program focuses mainly on web and mobile technology startups and helps them to build better products and attract additional funding. AngelPad provides all participating startups with coaching, mentorship and the opportunity to work along with other great founders. The accelerator has a strong emphasis on the product development part and tries to get the right market fit together with the involved mentors.

2. Accelerator program

Angelpad provides coaching and mentorship sessions throughout their program of 3 months. On average up to 12 startups get accepted per year. The session are being held within the office space, directly located in San Francisco. During the program all relevant aspects of a company launch get covered, such as product development, customer acquisition, market fit and fundraising. Besides also less glamorous aspects like incorporation, immigration and the visa process get supported as well. During the program many guest speakers are involved alongside with other events such as angel days and after work gatherings. At the end of the program all startups get the chance to pitch their product, idea and vision in front of several hundred investors. Afterwards all startups become part of the AngelPad alumni network, with an active involvement of its participants.

3. Investment details

AngelPad invests in general up to $20,000 in pre-seed funding and takes between 6-8% in equity on return. The money gets used as usual to cover the living costs throughout the 3 months program. In the year 2011 the program received great public coverage after announcing that all of the participating startups got offered the option to accept $100,000 from venture capital firms after the end of the program.

III. Rockstart Accelerator

Website: http://rockstart.com/accelerator/
Country: Netherlands
Founding date: 2011

1. General information

Rockstart Accelerator is a recent accelerator program in Amsterdam, which was launched in the year 2011. The program helps the most promising teams from around the world to start their business idea and bring them it on a global scale. It provides seed investment, a mentorship based spring program of 100 days which is followed by a 3 month summer program. The focus is laid mainly on the funding stage and bringing the startups from Amsterdam to Silicon Valley. Each year the program helps selected startups to launch their products worldwide and prepare for the growth stage, followed by profitability. The selected startups will be supported by an international mentoring group of various industry experts.

2. Accelerator program

The accelerator program of Rockstart can be separated into two different parts, the spring and summer program. During the spring program all startups receive intensive coaching and mentoring sessions. Rockstart Accelerator has a big mentoring network with over 99 experts within different industries. These mentors have a great knowledge base and help the startups to create new and disruptive business models. After the initial 3 months period the startups have to pitch their products in front of over 400 well-chosen investors during Demo Day. During the exclusive event also different CEOs, mentors and the press will be present to get a clearer picture of their future potential. The second part of the accelerator program consists of a trip to Silicon valley, where the startups visit different companies and venture capitalists in order to strengthen the connection to the United States and raise funding for their future progres. Rockstart offers an alumni network with a closed interaction platform and regular events that help to remain the feeling of togetherness.

3. Investment details

Rockstart Accelerator takes up to 10 startups each year and invests 5.000€ per founder with a maximum of 15.000€. In return a 8% equity stake is taken in each company. The invested money serves the startups to cover their living costs during the program and to pay themselves suitable salaries in order to get along. Besides Rockstart Accelerator offers free office space and different deals from sponsors and partners worth approximately €250.000.

II. The Brandery

Website: http://brandery.org/

Country: United States

Founding year: 2010

1. General information

The Brandery is a seed accelerator program in Ohio (United States) and was started in the year 2010. It focuses mainly on successful and brand-driven start-ups with an international focus. The accelerator belongs to the Global Accelerator Network, which is a global initiative to combine different accelerator programs worldwide.The philosophy of the Brandery is consumer focused and they believe in the strong power of branding during all startup stages. The Brandery works with different agencies and helps the startups to discover meaningful customer insights that foster and strengthen the brand.

2. Accelerator program

The accelerator selects 10 startups each year into their program, which get coaching and four months of mentorship from the beginning on. The main focus is laid on consumer oriented startups with a strong founding team. The startups get the advantage of being in a network with different partners, such as leading branding agencies within the area. As an outcome these partners can help the startups to spread their reach and become well-known in their specific sector. At the end of the program all startups get the opportunity to pitch their idea to angel investors and venture capitalists during Demo Day.

3. Investment details

From an investment perspective the Brandery invests up to $20,000 in each startup. With the taken investment the startups can afford their accommodation and pay their own salaries during the program. As a return the Brandery takes 6% in equity, which is a common value within this field.

IV. StartupBootcamp Amsterdam

Website: http://www.startupbootcamp.org/europeans-cities/amsterdam/
Country: Netherlands
Founding date: 2010

1. General information

Startupbootcamp is global accelerator program for startups with an international mentor and alumni network in over 30 countries around the world. Startupbootcamp has a large pool of volunteers and mentors who help the startups to attract new customers, partners and investors. In addition Startupbootcamp has partnered with companies such as Vodafone, Samsung, IBM and Novartis which act as pilot customers as well as mentors. The main programs are run in big capital cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Dublin and Haifa. The accelerator program in Amsterdam started in the year 2010 and focuses its application mainly on international startups around the world.

2. Accelerator program

At Startupbootcamp Amsterdam all startup go through an accelerator program of 3 months with different coaching and mentoring sessions. At the end of this period the startups have to present their company in front of Business Angels and Venture Capitalists at Investor Demo Day. In addition to this occurrence all Startupbootcamp teams are taken on an investor tour to London and Silicon Valley each year. After the end of the program the startups get invited to the internal Alumni Growth Program consisting of a closed interaction platform where they can exchange ideas and help each other.

3. Investment details

Each program chooses up to 10 dedicated startups out of over 500 global applications. The startups receive 5,000€ per founder with a maximum pre-seed investment up to 15,000€, free office space and various deals from sponsors and partners. These kind of deals help the startups to progress faster from the beginning of their development and save costs throughout the program.

V. Barcelona Activa

Website: http://www.barcelonanetactiva.com/

Country: Spain

Founding year: 2012

 

1. General information

Barcelona Activa is a startup accelerator program in Barcelona (Spain) which is dedicated to support innovative entrepreneurs and help them to develop from idea to market phase. The accelerator program is quite new and cooperates with different private investors within the area. For the program passionate entrepreneurs get selected, which consist of a motivated management team with a technological focus. The goal of Barcelona Activa is to foster and boost entrepreneurial projects with proven business plans in the market. All business ideas have to include an innovative and disruptive idea, together with a committed management team.

2. Accelerator program

The accelerator program chooses 5 startups each year to participate in their program. The program consists of two parts. The first part is embedded in a 6 month period, where the startup get free advice and mentorship from the organisers on a regular basis. Within this timeframe the startups have to find the right market fit and develop their first prototype, which gets tested in the market. In case that the startups follow their business plans, they can extend the initial program period by an additional 6 months period. During the whole period the accelerator provides free office space directly within the business district in Barcelona. The main focus lies on web, mobile and technology oriented business ideas.

3. Investment details

Since Barcelona Activa was founded only recent time ago, little information is known about the investment size. Looking at the fact that the program is setup like most of the other accelerator programs, it most likely each startup receives funding in a range between €15,000-€20,000 in exchange for 6-8% of equity.

 

Written by Dimitri Haussmann

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