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Top Accelerators

For young entrepreneurs who are looking to get an idea or company off the ground, one option for help is called a startup accelerator. The top startup accelerators in the world provide companies with mentorship and resources that will guide them in bringing an idea to fruition. For those who might not know, there are similarities between the best startup incubators, such as a Silicon Valley incubator, and an eCommerce startup accelerator. The startup incubators list is going to include companies that specialize in innovation whereas the startup accelerator list is going to include organizations that are great at scaling companies that have already opened their doors. While the best startup accelerators 2018 might be slightly different from the best startup accelerators 2019, there are plenty of opportunities for those who are looking to scale a company. 

The best startup incubators in the world, as well as many of the top startup accelerators, can be found in multiple parts of the world; however, many of them operate in the United States. In some cases, a startup accelerator will help companies as they work out of their own shop, providing assistance virtually. In other cases, a startup accelerator could ask the company to come to a physical location, such as Silicon Valley. While there are benefits to both methods, it is important to note that many startup accelerators will help companies form partnerships not only with other investors and experts in the industry but also allow them to learn from other companies that are in similar positions. This is one of the main reasons why startup accelerators have become so popular. Some startup accelerators are non-profit institutions that are looking to help the local community while others are for-profit accelerators that might request a small amount of equity in the companies they help.

Some of the top startup accelerators in the world include:

  • Techstars Accelerators: Techstars is one of the best-known startup accelerators in the world. Techstars specializes in the tech industry; however, in the years they have been in business, they have expanded their offerings. Techstars runs multiple sessions and has about a dozen slots for each class of companies they assist.
  • Y Combinator Accelerators: Y Combinator is another popular accelerator program. They have several dozen slots for each session and provide large cash prizes to the companies that make it through their program. They are one of the fastest-growing accelerators in the world.
  • Angelpad Accelerator: Angelpad accelerator has been ranked by MIT as one of the top accelerator programs in the world for several years in a row. They have raised record amounts of funding for their participants, providing them with the capital they need to take their ideas to new heights. They have opened their doors to multiple successful companies.
  • Uber Accelerator: The Uber accelerator is tied to the famous rideshare company and they recently launched a restaurant accelerator to help cater to the unmet demands of customers that are asking for meals through the popular Uber Eats platform. The company’s cofounder has also founded Expa, a startup accelerator based out of San Francisco that helps entrepreneurs bring their ideas to fruition.

These are a few of the most popular accelerators in the world.

Y Combinator 

Y Combinator startup accelerators have the goal of providing resources to entrepreneurs who are looking to scale their company. By offering capital, investors, networking opportunities, and more, the goal of Y Combinator is to help entrepreneurs take fantastic ideas, scale them quickly, and reach the public quickly. There is a Y Combinator startup school that takes place annually, including Y Combinator Summer 2019 and Y Combinator Summer 2020, providing a few dozen slots for companies that have fantastic ideas they are looking to scale. 

Since Y Combinator opened its doors, it has expanded outside of the United States. According to the Y Combinator Wiki, there is even a Y Combinator India as well as a Y Combinator China location. The rapid growth of Y Combinator has also led to the growth of Y Combinator jobs. As the name of Y Combinator has grown, so has the Y Combinator application process. While the Y Combinator program is competitive, the cash reward is significant, with companies making it through the program receiving cash awards of $150,000 to invest back in their companies, helping to fuel the growth of the next generation of startups. This has made the Y Combinator program exceptionally popular.


Another popular startup accelerator, the Angelpad accelerator program San Francisco is one of the top programs out there. Angelpad 2019 was another major success, with Angelpad being ranked by MIT as one of the top options for young entrepreneurs. Angelpad cohorts have access to an unprecedented level of funding. In total, Angelpad has raised more than $2 billion in funding for their young companies. The average amount of money for every program that goes through the Angelpad program is in excess of $14 million. For this reason, Angelpad is one of the fastest-growing accelerator options on the market today.

Right now, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Angelpad deadline is unclear; however, the program is sure to get up and running again soon once everything settles down. The amount of Angelpad equity is similar to other accelerator programs. For companies that go through Angelpad, the organization takes five percent in common stock. Then, Angelpad invests enough capital to take another two percent in equity, bringing the total to around seven percent. This is in line with other accelerator programs out there today. This has made Angelpad one of the top options for young entrepreneurs who are thinking about participating in an accelerator.


Techstars is one of the most well-known accelerator programs. Over the years they have been in business, the number of Techstars locations has grown significantly. For example, there are now Techstars Minneapolis options, Techstars Seattle programs, a Techstars Boulder 2020 program, and even Techstars anywhere options. The Techstars accelerator has grown significantly to become one of the best-known startup accelerator programs in the world. While the Techstars acceptance rate is only around one percent, they are still among one of the most popular programs out there, offering a dozen slots with each session.

For those looking to grow a company, the Techstars program was founded around 15 years ago in Boulder, CO. Over the years, they have accepted more than 1,600 startups into their ranks. Combined, Techstars products from companies out of this program have been impressive. The companies have a combined market cap in excess of $18 billion, highlighting the success that Techstars breeds in its ranks. 

Uber Startup Accelerator

Often called the “Uber incubator,” Expa is another top startup accelerator, founded by the co-founder of both Uber and StumbleUpon. Having an Uber entrepreneur-in-residence can be fantastic for companies that are looking to grow. Expa San Francisco assists companies with numerous strategies, helping entrepreneurs avoid some of the most common pitfalls while removing roadblocks as well. Expa Labs has helped numerous companies craft their brand, making sure it is successful once it reaches the open market. The Expa LinkedIn is already filled with numerous success stories from those who have gone through the program already. 

Expa helps entrepreneurs find the resources they need to explore new ideas. Expa is a network of advisors that provide companies with the guidance they need to be successful in a competitive environment. Finally, Expa also provides entrepreneurs with a shared office space in which they can learn from others who are in the same position. In this sense, Expa shows they care about the details ranging from product strategy to system design and even the user experience. This has made Expa one of the top accelerator programs.

Other Startup Accelerators

The previously mentioned accelerators are far from the only options out there. The startup accelerator business model has become popular, leading to numerous other companies all over the world who are operating similar businesses to help entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life. These include:

  • 500 Startups: 500 Startups accelerators is another one of the top accelerators on the market. Providing opportunities for brands such as Udemy, 500 Startups has even become one of the top startup accelerator India options. Quickly, 500 Startups has positioned itself as one of the leading names in this industry.
  • Alchemist Accelerator: This is a venture-backed business incubator that has targeted entrepreneurs whose capital has been backed by enterprise-level entities. The goal of Alchemist Accelerator is to provide capital investments of around $60,000 to entrepreneurs who demonstrate ideas that are going to make an impact on the open market. While their model is a bit different from some of the other options, this is still a great resource for young entrepreneurs.
  • Muckerlab: Founded back in 2011, Muckerlab provides great support for startups that are based outside of the Silicon Valley area. They work with around 10 to 12 companies per year, providing entrepreneurs with the attention they need to grow quickly. Muckerlab has made a name for itself in this industry.

These are some of the top examples of ways entrepreneurs can scale their ideas quickly, helping them reach the open market. In addition to the incubator and venture studio models, the opportunity that has been created by startup accelerators is unparalleled.

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