14 Best Startup Accelerators

Group of entrepreneurs working together.

Startup accelerators are programs typically geared toward seed and early-stage startups. Members of these programs gain services for every stage of startup ownership, from launch to scale, and accelerators usually offer mentorship and access to investment opportunities. Startups looking for help to develop products or simply gain the tools and resources to scale their startup should look into using an accelerator program for entrepreneurs. If this sounds like you, you’re in the right place.

We’ve researched the top startup accelerators for a variety of industries, stages, and objectives, and we've listed them here for you.

Recommended: Learn how to launch your own company by reading our comprehensive guide, How to Start a Startup.


Top Startup Accelerators

If you’ve decided that a startup accelerator is the right step for your company, your first task is to find the accelerator that works best for the stage your startup is in, your industry, and your entrepreneurial objectives. With so many accelerators to choose from, we made it a little easier by rounding up the 14 best startup accelerators.

1. Y Combinator

About

Number of Investments: 4,377 

Number of Exits: 425

One of the most famous startup accelerator programs, Y Combinator boasts a roster of impressive success stories, including Airbnb, DoorDash, and Coinbase — to name just a few. Each company is given $120,000 in funding annually, with the startups accelerated by Y Combinator totaling over $100 billion in value. 

Best For:

  • High-growth startups
  • Tech startups 
  • Seed-stage startups 

Pros

  • Unparalleled resources and opportunities for eligible startups 
  • Brand exposure and association increases funding and growth opportunities 
  • A large number of investments, totaling over 1,800

Cons

  • Competitive application process

2. Techstars

About

Number of Investments: 3,569

Number of Exits: 363

Startups looking for more than just funding, meet Techstars. Members of this accelerator can expect access to capital, mentorship, and more. Techstars also hosts Startup Week and Startup Weekend, two impactful events for the startup community to accelerate their companies quickly.

Best For:

  • Tech startups 
  • High-growth startups
  • First-time entrepreneurs

Pros

  • Many options for founders to accelerate their startup, including short-term workshops
  • Access to a network of other startup founders and entrepreneurs 
  • Substantial list of successful startups have participated in the program

Cons

  • Specific to tech startups

3. 500 Startups

About

Number of Investments: 2,775 

Number of Exits: 327

With a combination of different funding opportunities, 500 Startups, the venture capital firm specializing in early- and seed-stage startup acceleration, has a lot to offer startups of varying sizes. Their success stories include Credit Karma and Udemy, with the accelerator funding startups in 60 countries worldwide.

Best For:

  • Early or seed-stage startups
  • High-growth startups
  • Tech startups

Pros

  • 500 Startups offers large funds and micro funds 
  • Services provided in 60 countries and counting 
  • Experience in scaling hugely successful startups

Cons

  • Less than 700 investments in startups

4. Plug and Play

About

Number of Investments: 1,383 

Number of Exits: 133

Plug and Play is a startup accelerator designed for technology companies. Startups that are accepted into Plug and Play can look forward to a 12-week program intended to spur innovation and connect exciting tech startups with blue-chip corporations. Since being founded in 2006, Plug and Play has raised over $9 billion for its portfolio of companies and boasts over 300 VC investors in its ecosystem. 

Best For 

  • Tech startups 
  • High-growth startups 

Pros 

  • Great for connecting with blue-chip corporate partners 
  • A responsive and helpful team
  • Accommodates startups at any stage 

Cons 

  • Only available to tech-centered startups

5. Google for Startups Accelerator

About

Number of Investments: 97 

Number of Exits:

Google for Startups Accelerator is a global program, each composed of 10 to 15 startups that work together to help each other accomplish their entrepreneurial goals. Additionally, this accelerator offers one-on-one mentors and a tailored experience for each company to ensure each startup’s individual needs are met.

Best For:

  • Technical founders 
  • Growth-oriented startups
  • Startups with scalable products 

Pros

  • Programs offered across the world 
  • Access to several valuable services 
  • Equity-free 

Cons

  • Competitive with few spots in each program

6. Alchemist Accelerator

About

Number of Investments: 566 

Number of Exits: 45

Alchemist Accelerator is a startup accelerator that supports enterprise startups — defined as startups that sell their products to other enterprises rather than individual consumers — and any startup that has adopted the enterprise business model qualifies to apply. Along with offering opportunities to network with a supportive community of enterprise-focused founders and mentors, Alchemist Accelerator is also designed to provide customers with a structured path to fundraising and customer traction. 

Best For

  • Enterprise startups 
  • Early-stage startups 

Pros:

  • Startups accepted into the program are automatically provided with a small, founder-friendly cash investment, typically around $25,000 
  • 52% of startups are funded after completing the program 
  • Over $1.2 billion of funding generated 

Cons: 

  • Does not accept consumer startups

7. Founders Factory

About

Number of Investments: 114

Number of Exits: 10

Founders Factory is a one-stop shop for everything a startup founder needs in order to launch, manage, and grow their business. With access to an extensive network of corporate partners and experienced staff, this accelerator program offers a six-month program designed to build companies as well as £30k in cash for eligible startups. 

Best For:

  • Beauty startups 
  • Fintech startups 
  • Retail startups 

Pros

  • Access to impactful corporate partners 
  • Industry-specific accelerator programs 
  • Services offered for every stage of the startup process from product development to growth

Cons

  • Based only in London

8. MassChallenge

About

Number of Investments: 3,049

Number of Exits: 153

MassChallenge is named after the intention of the organization: to develop solutions for massive challenges by leveraging the power of new, innovative startups. With nine accelerator programs globally, MassChallenge offers a global network for startup support specializing in Fintech, Healthtech, and Sustainability. 

Best For:

  • Healthtech startups
  • Fintech startups 
  • Sustainable startups 

Pros

  • A global network with nine accelerator programs 
  • Experience accelerating nearly 3,000 startups 
  • Over $3 billion generated

Cons

  • Industry-specific startups

9. Startupbootcamp

About

Number of Investments: 540

Number of Exits: 34

Startupbootcamp offers both accelerator and scale programs to support startups at every stage. With industry-focused programs offered globally, startups across the world can find the support systems they need to launch and grow their businesses. 

Best For:

  • Fintech startups
  • Renewable energy startups 
  • Tech startups

Pros

  • More than 20 industry-focused accelerator programs 
  • Access to mentors, investors, and partners 
  • Nearly 1,000 startups accelerated 

Cons

  • Some industry programs only available in certain countries

10. AngelPad

About

Number of Investments: 180

Number of Exits: 37

Ranked the No. 1 accelerator by MIT's Seed Accelerator Benchmark since 2015, AngelPad boasts an impressive amount of startup funding, averaging $14 million in funding for startups that are a part of the program. This is a seed-stage accelerator based in New York and San Francisco. 

Best For:

  • High-growth startups 
  • Tech startups 

Pros

  • Members of this accelerator have access to great funding opportunities 
  • History of high valuations for participating companies
  • Access to valuable mentorship opportunities

Cons

  • Strictly venture capital funded startups

11. Tech Wildcatters

About

Number of Investments: 104

Number of Exits: 12

Tech Wildcatters provides services for tech and tech-enabled startups, from discovering the problem to developing solutions that are scalable and profitable. Members can expect a strong foundation of support and mentorship to help launch and grow their startups. 

Best For:

  • Tech startups
  • Tech-enabled startups
  • High-growth startups

Pros

  • Partnered with influential corporations such as IBM and Amazon 
  • Access to impactful mentors
  • Services for every stage of startup ownership 

Cons

  • This is an accelerator for tech-centered startups only

12. Women's Startup Lab

About

Number of Investments: 52 

Number of Exits: 15

Women’s Startup Lab offers a seasonal accelerator program for women entrepreneurs and women-owned startups. Primarily focused on tech startups, Women’s Startup Lab offers services for each stage of the startup process, from product development to acquiring investment capital. 

Best For:

  • Women-owned startups
  • Early-stage startups
  • Tech startups 

Pros

  • Services to launch and grow startups 
  • Access to investment opportunities
  • Help for founders in the product development stage 

Cons

  • The accelerator is held in seasonal sessions, not year-round

13. The Company Lab (CO.LAB)

About

Number of Investments: 27

Number of Exits: 10

CO.LAB offers two 12-week accelerator programs for high-growth startups looking to quickly scale their company. The focus of these accelerator programs are consumer goods startups and business application startups, 

Best For

  • Consumer goods startups 
  • Internet application startups 
  • Healthtech startups 

Pros

  • Partnered with several impactful companies 
  • Free housing offered throughout the accelerator process 
  • Access to capital after completion of the program 

Cons

  • Eligibility is dependent on growth and industry

14. Union Kitchen

About

Number of Investments: 100 

Number of Exits: 3

Union Kitchen is an accelerator program geared specifically towards food and beverage startups to help these companies bring new products to market while providing tools to develop a scalable business model. The program is separated into four stages: launch, product market fit, growth, and scale. 

Best For:

  • Food startups 
  • Beverage startups
  • Product developers 

Pros

  • Members are provided with services from launch to scale 
  • Faster product development
  • 250% higher success rate compared to food startups that aren’t members of the accelerator 

Cons

  • Extremely industry-specific