In this article, we’ll list top startup accelerators from various parts of the world. They can provide aspiring businesses with financial support, industry contacts, and valuable expertise.
In the USA, there are over 200 active startup accelerators. The five largest of them have made over 2,000 investments each.
Established in 2005, it’s one of the oldest and probably the most renowned accelerators. Reddit, Dropbox, and Airbnb are among the most successful businesses that Y Combinator has funded. The total value of companies that it has supported exceeds $300 billion, and there are over 4,000 founders in its community.
Y Combinator’s headquarters is located in Silicon Valley. It can support a promising business from any industry, giving it $150,000 in exchange for 7% equity. Early-stage companies can join the Y Combinator’s biannual 3-month program. To be able to work hand in hand with the accelerator representatives, founding teams will need to temporarily move to California.
This one helped over 150 companies to take off and had $2.2 billion in funds raised. Every year since 2015, it has been occupying the top position in the rating of the best US accelerators composed by MIT/Brown University.
AngelPad was launched in 2010 and its headquarters are located in San Francisco and New York. It is not focused on any specific industry and can offer a company $120,000 for 7% equity. One of the largest businesses that it has supported is Postmates. Twice per year, AngelPad runs a 3-month program where 15 teams can participate.
Consider joining this one if you’re planning to work and live in Los Angeles. Established in 2009, Launchpad LA helps develop technology companies. It offers them $50,000 in exchange for 6% equity. In total, it has funded over 35 startups.
If you qualify for the Launchpad LA 4-month accelerator program, you’ll get access not only to funds but also free office space and precious contacts. This accelerator is famous for its flexibility. They’re looking for talented and motivated teams who come up with superb products and require a push in the right direction.
This technology-focused accelerator has been around since 2011. It’s based in Los Angeles and has supported over 70 startups. Among them, there was Bitium, later acquired by Google, and Mapsense, later acquired by Apple. In return for 10% equity, founders can expect to get $100,000 as well as access to an extensive mentor network and office space. This accelerator can support businesses located outside LA or even abroad.
This venture capital firm was launched in 2010, is based in San Francisco, and operates on a global level. Its team includes over 150 professionals who previously worked for Google, Twitter, Facebook, Apple, PayPal, and other giants.
Over the last decade, 500 Startups has supported over 2,000 technological businesses, including Udemy, Canva, and Twilio. However, it is not concentrated exclusively on technology. It has 15 thematic funds and 4 global ones. You may try to apply for its 4-month seed program in San Francisco, which will cost you $37,500. If this accelerator gets interested in your business, it can provide you with $150,000 for 6% equity.
Over 460 accelerators help startups in the UK develop their products and start generating revenue. Three of them are particularly noteworthy.
This London-based organization was launched in 2007. It has funded over 260 tech startups, most of them from Europe, but early-stage companies from other regions are allowed to apply too. The primary requirement is to offer technological solutions to complex large-scale problems that are relevant for the major part of the world’s population. Revolut and TransferWise are the most renowned fintech brands that originated from this accelerator.
Founding teams can get a £100,000 investment in return for 7.5% equity. Those who get a lead investor lined up might expect Seedcamp to provide them with an extra £2 million in seed rounds. Besides, startups benefit from insightful consultations on marketing, sales, product market fit, and establish connections on a global level.
This one is also known as Ingite100. It’s one of the official partners of Google, supported by the European Union. Ignite has been around since 2011; its headquarters is in Newcastle upon Tyne. It has funded over 150 businesses from various industries and offered numerous programs for entrepreneurs in several cities of the country.
To join this accelerator, you’ll be required to move to the UK and register your startup as a local Limited Company. You can get $20,000 in exchange for 8% equity as well as take part in the 3-months pre-accelerator program and its 6-month accelerator counterpart.
Bethnal Green Ventures
Launched in 2010 and based in London, this accelerator has funded around 100 startups. To be eligible for support, a business should belong to the technology sector and make an emphasis on social and environmental aspects. If your company strives to solve sustainability, democracy, healthcare, and education issues, you might receive £20,000 in cash for 6% equity. The intensive accelerator program takes place twice per year and grants access to life-long informational support.
Over 100 accelerators operate in Australia. We’ll discuss the characteristics of the four most prominent ones.
It was established in 2012 and has supported over 100 startups, predominantly technological (Persollo among them). To join Incubate, you need to be located in Sydney to be able to benefit from 1:1 mentorship and workshops on the campus of the University of Sydney. The accelerator program lasts for 14 weeks. The most prospective participants will get $5,000 equity-free seed funding.
This one has been around since 2012 and is based in Adelaide. Its team can boast over three decades of expertise in local and international business. The Innovyz accelerator program lasts for 13 weeks but it’s not full-time, so you won’t need to quit your job. You can apply as an individual or a company representative.
Innovyz deals primarily with startups focused on energy, manufacturing, advanced materials, and related industry fields. Its Special Projects Department helps to grow commercialization projects. One of the most well-known businesses that this accelerator has supported is Titomic. In total, they have funded over 60 startups. Even though you can get only $10,000, the assistance that you’ll benefit from will be worth $150,000.
Melbourne Accelerator Program
It was launched in 2012 in Melbourne. The program is backed by Universal Music Group, HWT, IBM, and the University of Melbourne. It has supported over 100 startups and funded over 40. One of them is the famous Jobbop marketplace that connects top tech companies with developers. A business from any industry can get $20,000 equity-free funding and an office space if its founders prove the viability of their idea.
This accelerator was founded in 2010 and has locations in Melbourne and Sydney. Its founders call themselves “industry agnostics” because they are ready to accept businesses from any sector. Startmate has funded over 80 companies, providing them with $75,000 for a 7,5% equity. It offers two 12-week accelerator programs per year and a 6-month fellowship program. Australian startup owners travel to San Francisco to benefit from private learning sessions with their foreign colleagues.
Over 200 startup accelerators operate in Canada. Here, we’ll share a brief overview of the three organizations that deserve your attention the most.
This one was registered in 2014 as Highline, a startup co-creation company. In three years, it underwent a rebranding and the word Beta was added to its name. Today, it operates as a venture builder. The Highline headquarters is in Toronto. Plus, there are branches in Vancouver and New York City.
This brand offers two accelerators: Commercial Deal and New Venture. To join them, you’ll be required to relocate to Toronto. Besides, there is a co-creation program where founders partner with enterprises to launch new companies and projects.
Highline Beta targets technological startups above all. But they might accept you if you have a brilliant business idea from another sector. You can expect to get a $50,000 investment with 10% equity.
In total, Highline Beta has funded over 60 startups. The most remarkable of them are FameBit, later acquired by Google, and Meta, later acquired by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (this Meta is a science search engine and has nothing to do with the rebranded company that owns Facebook).
Founded in 2011, this accelerator is based in Montreal. It’s focused on technology and has supported around 100 startups. It runs a 3-month mentor-driven program, and only teams of at least two people can apply for it. The program takes place in Montreal in a full-time format. FounderFuel’s Demo Day is the largest in the country. From this accelerator, founders can get 120,000 CAD investment split into two parts. First, you’ll trade 5% equity for 20,000 CAD invested upfront. Then, you’ll benefit from 100,000 CAD invested with a $3.5 million cap and 20% discount.
This Toronto-based accelerator was launched in 2012 and has funded over 20 startups since then. It supports innovative technological businesses with a $30,000 investment in exchange for a 6.5% equity. It’s involved in the MaRS investor ecosystem, thanks to which over 1,200 cleantech, fintech, health, and enterprise startups have taken off in the country.
German startups can choose from over 250 accelerators. Here, we’d like to talk about two of them that are a bit unconventional.
It was established in 2013 and has branches in Munich and Berlin. This accelerator accepts promising startups from any niche if they cater to the B2C segment. It has funded over 60 businesses that produce mass-market relevant goods or services.
ProSiebenSat.1 Accelerator can provide your company with €500,000 to €2.5 million in advertising volume to be spent on multimedia campaigns for equity TBD. To get this money, you have to prove that your startup has gained some traction and revenue. As a cherry on top, you’ll get access to the network of one of the biggest European media corporations as well as office space in Berlin.
Axel Springer Plug and Play Accelerator
Launched in 2013, this organization with an unusual name is based in Berlin. It’s a joint brainchild of Plug and Play Tech Center, a California-based international startup accelerator, and Axel Springer SE, a leader of the German print industry. Together with Porsche, they opened a new accelerator for digital business models called APX.
This company has funded over 100 startups from various industries. Usually, it offers $30,000 for 5% equity. Plus, it has started a residence for artists whose participants can make the most of creative cross-pollination.
Even though China is a huge country, there are just over 200 startup accelerators there. We’ve picked the two that seem to be the most helpful for entrepreneurs.
It was established in 2010 and its headquarters is in Shanghai. Chinaccelerator has supported over 200 businesses and has funded over 30 companies from 25 different countries. One of them is Launchpilots — an online platform that connects university students with brands and was acquired by Robin8 Inc. This organization offers a 3-month mentorship-driven program that accepts both local and foreign participants. The graduates can rely on the post-accelerator to get contacts and guidance. Chinaccelerator is one of the 6 global accelerators that are part of the venture fund SOSV. It has $500 million assets under management and gives $150,000 investment packages to startups.
This immersive accelerator program was founded in 2011 and is based in Shenzhen. Just like Chinaccelerator, HAX is also a part of the global venture capital firm SOSV. It deals with hardware startups and has provided financial support to over 200 of them. One of their biggest success stories was Riot Games, an online game developer whose owners sold it to Tencent Holdings. The size of a typical investment package is $250,000.
HAX helps companies to develop prototypes for their ideas in less than 3 months. Each month, it accepts 4–5 businesses with promising concepts and strong teams. These professionals spend 4–8 months at the HAX location in China, working on R&D and prototyping. Then, they relocate to San Francisco for three months and switch to fundraising, scaling, and business development.
A decade ago, the startup ecosystem was non-existent in Iceland. But today, startup owners from this country don’t need to go abroad to join an accelerator.
Launched in 2012, this accelerator is based in Reykjavik. It has funded around 70 startups and is ready to consider businesses from different industries. Both early and late-stage companies can apply regardless of their location.
Each year, the 10-week intensive program begins in June and finishes in August. You’ll be asked to relocate to Reykjavik where you’ll get free office space. The mentorship network of this accelerator includes over 90 professionals. Plus, you’ll be connected to investors. The sum of the financial support that Startup Reykjavik can give to a company is $23,000 in exchange for 6% equity.
While there might not be too many startup accelerators in Greece, they are vital for the national economy.
This Athens-based venture capital firm was registered in 2011. It has a €32 million fund to invest in early-stage technological startups. So far, it has supported around 10 businesses. In exchange for equity, founders can get €200,000 as pre-seed investment and €400,000 as seed investment. Plus, they benefit from an office space in Athens and exhaustive guidance on networking, coaching, talent acquisition, training, alliances, and partnerships.
The Egg acronym stands for Enter-Grow-Go. It was founded in 2013 and is based in Athens. It offers a mix of an incubator, accelerator, and coworking program. Over 100 businesses have used its coworking spaces and over 30 startups got funding.
Egg doesn’t limit itself to any particular industry. Its target audience is early-stage businesses that are planning to scale. You’ll be required to move to Athens and pay a €45 monthly fee. The accelerator needs these funds for the maintenance of its coworking space. When you graduate from the program, you can choose which charity foundation to redirect the money that you contributed.
Unlike most of its competitors, Eggs doesn’t simply offer cash in return for equity. Entrepreneurs can select from various funding models, including the EU-backed Horizon program or a €75,000 bank loan.
The alternative name of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is “the European Silicon Valley”. Over 10% of the country’s population work in the IT sector. That’s why most local startup accelerators target this niche.
Startup Wise Guys
Established in 2012 in Tallinn, this one has expanded to Lithuania and Latvia. It’s considered to be the leading B2B startup accelerator in Europe. It offers 3-month intensive programs for companies from the cybersecurity, fintech, and SaaS niches. It has funded around 150 businesses, including the UiPath AI giant and the VitalFields agtech company.
After joining Startup Wise Guys, entrepreneurs will get valuable guidance on sales, scaling, and improving the product to better meet the demands of its target audience. The mentorship network of this accelerator includes over 150 professionals. Besides, business teams will be able to attend tech summits and startup fairs. The sum of the financial support can reach €30,000 equity in investment with a follow-on possibility.
Given the compact size of this country, there is no wonder only a handful of startup accelerators operate in Latvia. Let’s have a look at the most powerful one.
This one was founded in 2014 in Riga and expanded to Latvia. Twice per year, it selects the most promising B2B and B2C startups from the hardware and IoT sector. So far, Buildit Accelerator has funded over 20 businesses from such niches as health tech, mobility, energy, smart living, and software. Startups can get up to €50,000 as a convertible loan with a discount and valuation cap.
Compared to most of its competitors, this organization offers a more intense program, which is labeled “a full-stack accelerator”. In addition to a 3-month accelerator program, you’ll get a pre-seed fund and a seed fund with a follow-on support program for over two years.
Half of the Czech Republic’s active population are entrepreneurs. Here is a concise profile of this country’s most well-known accelerator.
Founded in 2011, it is based in Prague and known as the leading accelerator for tech startups in Central Europe. It has funded over 70 early to seed-stage businesses, most of which strive to find solutions to challenging technology issues — this niche is dubbed “deep tech”. TeskaLabs, a cyber-security company, and BrandEmbassy, a digital customer service platform, originate from this accelerator.
To participate in the StartupYard’s 3-month program, you’ll be required to move to Prague. You’ll have consultations with mentors who used to work for Google, Accenture, and Vodafone. The sum of the financial support that startups receive reaches €40,000 in initial seed funding via a convertible note.
Bulgaria has been traditionally strong in IT. However, its accelerators often accept startups from other sectors.
This Sofia-based accelerator was established in 2012 and supports startups from all over the world. Its team can boast impressive tech background but calls itself “sector agnostic”. LAUNCHub has funded over 120 businesses, most of which belong to the IoT, mobile, ecommerce, health tech, SaaS, or enterprise software niches. Charlie Finance and Gtmhub are among their most prominent graduates. Normally, the amount of financial support that a startup can receive falls within the range of €300,000 to €700,000. However, teams with the most outstanding ideas can get up to €1,5 million.
Eleven Startup Accelerator
It was launched in 2012 and its headquarters is located in Sofia. Eleven Startup Accelerator has funded over 100 early-stage innovative technological startups. Most of them are from Southeast Europe but entrepreneurs from other regions can try to apply too. To join the pool, you need to have a tech idea with proof of concept and early traction. Plus, you should be ready to relocate to Sofia. First, you can get €100,000 for a 10–12% equity. Later, this amount can increase up to €5 million.
No matter where in the world you’re based, you can try to join a business accelerator to help your startup grow. Feel free to choose between local and foreign accelerators. Many of them require full-time presence and relocation while others don’t.
If you manage to prove that you have a strong team and a viable idea, you can expect to receive dozens of thousands of dollars in exchange for equity in your company. Typically, you’ll have to give to your investors less than 10% of your startup. Some of them might be ready to provide you with funds and mentorship without requesting equity.
When choosing an accelerator, check whether it supports companies from your industry. Plus, glance through the portfolio of startups that it has already funded to make sure you have a match.