More and more often, accelerators are becoming the route of choice for many startups on the rise. Startup accelerators are development programs built to give companies the opportunity to accept initial capital and grow within a structured environment.
According to Seed Accelerator Rankings Project, only 2% of companies exiting from their top 20 ranked accelerators have emerged successfully. Although, it can take up to a decade for a startup to truly exit.
Nonetheless, accelerators like MuckerLab or Alchemist Accelerator have funded a great deal of companies that have been acquired by the household tech giants. MuckerLab’s companies have raised over $250M and the Alchemist Accelerator has invested in startups that were later acquired by Cisco and Dropbox. Here’s 5 notable accelerator programs that have made a monumental impact this year.
Techstars’ program is structured a little differently as their accelerator is mentorship driven. Although, much of their success has come from the accelerator’s versatility. Techstars has 18 programs across the U.S. and Europe. They’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to continue growing the audience and eyes on not only their company but their ventures as well. Techstars has partnered with big brands like Disney, Nike, and Sprint for the purpose of creating distinct programs focused around a distinct industry.
In 2014, the Techstars grads of the NYC program alone raised $180 million in funding. They saw a 60% increase in applications this year and they’re more than proud of the 12 startups they’ve accepted for their 2015 Winter session.
The Alchemist Accelerator recently just pulled in $2.1M in funding and rightfully so as they’ve backed over 80 startups to date. Alchemist has a big portfolio including startups like Assemblage, the real-time collaboration software, who was later acquired by Cisco. Alchemist also backed a cloud security company called Mobilespan which was later purchased by Dropbox.
Their accelerator program provides participating companies with $30,000 over a six month period. But Alchemist’s biggest moves this year may have been the personnel additions made:
The Alchemist team has added Gart Swart, former CEO at O’Desk, Steve Teig, CTO at Tabula, Steve King, former CEO at DocuSign, and Sean Byrnes, former CTO at Flurry.
MuckerLaboperates on a longer-range landscape with their program that runs just one cohort a year consisting of about ten companies. MuckerLab’s process is very selective but their approach seems to have proven fruitful because all 35 out of 35 Muckerlab startups to date have been funded.
MuckerLab focuses on companies who are involved in the innovative software-enabled world. Collectively, they’ve raised $250M in funding behind a portfolio of successful startups. MuckerLab is led by their pioneer ventures like SurfAir who’s raised over $83M in 5 rounds of funding and Twenty20, a photo marketplace, that has accumulated over $9M in funding.
AngelPad is one of the most lucrative accelerator programs existing with $200M raised and $400M in exits. The most prominent success story emerging from AngelPad’s accelerator is MoPub who was acquired by Twitter for $350M.
The most interesting strategy AngelPad operates behind is their focus on the culture of the startup world. Both AngelPad founders, Thomas Korte and Carine Magescas, have migrated to New York City and the accelerator’s base followed suit. Lorte and Magescas say that they have a particular interest in combining the startup culture of Silicon valley and that of the rising NYC market underneath AngelPad’s roof.
This Silicon Valley accelerator, founded by PayPal and Google alums, has a huge portfolio of startup exits that have grown into large acquisitions. 500 Startups is responsible for Wildfire Interactive who was acquired by Google for $350M, MakerBot who was acquired by Stratasys for $400M, and Viki who Rakuten acquired for $200M.The 500 Startups accelerator offers $125k in exchange for 5% with a $25k program fee.