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Top startup accelerators that should be on your radar, part 2

Accelerators are investing in more startups than ever before, but the data says the top tier accelerators can give your business a major boost.
top 10 startup accelerators

Last week we kicked off our list of the top 10 accelerators with Y combinator, Techstars and 500 Startups. This week we’re going to dig into three more accelerators that could take your startup to the next level.

4. AngelPad

In 2010, seven former Googlers joined together and launched AngelPad. Since its founding, AngelPad has funded more than 150 companies. AngelPad is based in SF and NYC and is currently on its third fund ($50 million in size). Thus far, Angelpad’s portfolio companies have raised a total of $1.8B, which averages to $11M per startup. In addition, about 10% of their companies have a valuation of over $100M such as Postmates, MoPub, and Vungle.

Every six months, AngelPad admits a cohort of approximately 15 startups. Less than 1% of applicants are selected. Founding teams receive 120K for a 7% stake. Unlike most top accelerators, AngelPad works with small batches. Instead of scaling and launching into other cities, AngelPad dedicates itself to “find awesome companies with founders [they] like to work with and spend three very intense months with them.” For these “three very intense months,” founders learn how to find product market fit, gain market validation (such as reaching first 100 paying customers), fundraise, and communicate with investors.

In 2018, AngelPad replaced their traditional demo day with pre-arranged, same-day, one-on-one meetings with VCs. AngelPad felt that the classic demo day wasn’t productive, so they changed the model to thoughtfully pair investors with relevant startups.

5. Alchemist Accelerator

Since 2012, Alchemist, based in San Francisco, has invested in over 300 startups. Over 50% of their portfolio companies raise a follow-on round within one year of Demo Day. 100 have raised $1M or more, and cumulatively, their portfolio has raised $504M+. Notable participants include Wise.io, Assemblage, and Cryptomove.

Alchemist has found its niche in enterprise startups; it only invests in B2Bs or B2B2Cs. Founding teams receive $36K for an average of 5% equity. Unlike most top accelerators, Alchemist’s program lasts six months. They accept a maximum of 25 startups per cohort. For the duration of the program, startups work on customer development, sales, market validation, and fundraising.

6. Dreamit Ventures

Since its 2008 inception in Philadelphia, Dreamit has worked with more than 320 companies. In addition to its Philly HQ, Dreamit has a NYC office. Its portfolio companies have raised a total of over $800M and have a combined valuation of over $2B. Approximately 50% of Dreamit’s startups raise within six months of the program. Notable graduates include Houseparty, LevelUp, and SeatGeek.

Dreamit specializes in tech startups in the following fields: healthcare, physical security, cyber security, real estate, and construction. Startups must apply to one of the three tracks (Healthtech, Securetech, or Urbantech) that Dreamit offers. Unlike other top accelerators, Dreamit does not require startups to move to a Dreamit city for the duration of the program.

Dreamit accepts less than 3% of applicants, which equates to 8-12 companies per cohort within each track. Dreamit has a uniquely structured equity proposition: companies can participate at no equity cost, but must grant Dreamit the right to invest up to $500K in the next round at the same terms as other investors. In addition, Dreamit also takes $150K of advisor equity in the next round.

For 14 weeks, Dreamit mentors “pressure test and tune nearly every aspect of your company.” During the sixth and seventh week of the program, startups partake in Dreamit’s Customer Sprint. Founders travel to different cities to create partnerships, find new customers, and get feedback. Instead of a traditional demo day, Dreamit holds an Investor Sprint during the final two weeks of the program. Founders meet one-on-one with 15-20 relevant investors.

If you missed last week’s blog you can find it here: Top 10 accelerators that should be on your radar, part 1. We will wrap up part three next week.