Startup Incubators and Accelerator Programs in Seattle
These startup incubators and accelerator programs are some of the most sought-after in Seattle. If your business is anywhere near the Seattle metro area, we encourage you to check them out.
Fledge is a global network of conscious company accelerators and investment funds. The Seattle branch is one of its primary locations in North America. It assists startups with intense, short programs centered on guidance, education, and substantial mentorship.
Each program runs for approximately two months and includes an MBA-level entrepreneurship class, dozens of one-on-one meetings with experts, and an investment of up to $20,000.
A unique aspect of Fledge is its acceptance of co-ops. In addition to the standard startups that all accelerators accept, Fledge also encourages co-ops to apply and features specialized training for co-ops (Boston only).
2. Female Founders Alliance
The Female Founders Alliance is part of Graham & Walker, a catalyst program that helps women and nonbinary entrepreneurs accelerate their businesses. The G&W Catalyst is a free program that includes inclusion in a cohort with other entrepreneurs, group sessions with industry experts, and mentorship from some of the most qualified business owners in your industry.
Graham & Walker is named after Katherine Graham, the first female CEO of a Fortune 500 company in 1963. Sixty years for Graham, Madam C.J. Walker went from founder to first self-made female millionaire. The fund tries to live up to the examples set by these two women to support other women and nonbinary individuals in their business ventures.
The program is free to participants. It’s funded by corporate sponsorship dollars. It lasts for two weeks and takes up approximately 30 hours per week. If you participate in the program, your business will automatically be considered for investment from the G&W fund.
3. Techstars Seattle Accelerator
Techstars offers accelerator programs across the globe and includes an in-person accelerator program in Seattle. This puts the program in the home metro area of two of the largest tech companies in the world, a prime location to accelerate your startup.
Techstars has an accelerator cumulative market cap of over $100 billion, with 20 graduate $1 billion companies and 4,300 active accelerator mentors. It offers three-month accelerators focused on helping entrepreneurs succeed. It surrounds you with investors, alumni, and corporate partners that are all focused on helping your startup reach its full potential.
Although applications are open year-round, Techstars encourages potential applicants to participate before applying. This could mean attending an event, signing up for office hours, or coming to a meet and greet.
4. Jones and Foster Accelerator (University of WA)
The Jones + Foster accelerator program is part of the University of Washington ecosystem, designed for startups coming out of student work. It helps early-stage, student-led companies through the first six months of growth. The program doesn’t take any equity - it’s supported by generous donors and sponsors.
The companies selected for the program receive mentoring, guidance to create a list of measurable milestones, workshops on topics relevant to companies in the program, access to a new fund to assign with early-stage expenses ($1,000 per startup team), and up to $25,000 in follow-on funding if milestones are met.
The program is six months long, running from July through January. Teams must have students or recent graduates in key leadership roles to be considered.
5. Washington Maritime Blue
The Maritime Blue Innovation Accelerator from Washington Maritime Blue is a program operated by the state to foster maritime startup growth that balances economic needs with environmental concerns. The accelerator is a four-month, mentor-based program helping startups scale and grow. Participants get access to a global network of industry and ocean leaders, mentors, and advisors.
Over 30 startups have graduated since 2018, with $450 million raised in total funding and over 500 jobs created. The program is open to early-stage, North American startups focused on the maritime industry. Individuals from all cultures and communities are encouraged to apply.
Each program is uniquely designed based on the participants. Topics covered can include financial modeling, fundraising, go-to-market strategy, hiring, and business development.
6. CoMotion Labs
CoMotion Labs is a multi-industry incubator program helping early-stage startups on the University of Washington campus. It provides workspaces along with a variety of opportunities for learning, mentoring, and networking. And it does all of this without taking equity or IP.
The tech incubator supports IT startups, as well as software, fintech, and AI/machine learning startups. Its programs include Techstars Seattle, the BECU FinTech Incubator, and Kernel Labs.
The tech incubator programs from CoMotion Labs are available with a subscription plan at various price points, depending on whether you want a virtual, drop-in, or hybrid model. The more you pay, the more perks you get with your membership. But everyone gets access to the basics of training, classes, and other primary networking and resources.