Accelerating Accelerator Growth

Posted: February 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: posts | Tags: , | No Comments »

It’s amazing the recent growth in accelerator programs around the world! In the past few days, I have come across several additional programs that I am adding to the list:


Some highlights…

A couple of interesting highlights about these additions:

  • The JFDI program in Singapore states that their “starting point is individuals who show potential as entrepreneurs, not teams who have assembled simply because they know each other.” The programs page states that twice a year, the program will combine 30 individuals into 8-10 teams. Given the importance of co-founders working well together to a venture’s ability to successfully execute, it will be interesting to see how this approach is implemented and how it fares.
  • JFDI also seems to place a strong importance on bringing entrepreneurs to Singapore. Their visiting mentor program appears to draw mentoring talent from outside of the country, as well.
  • The DUhatch program’s Coaches-on-Call service includes donated time from professional services firms to help the fledgling businesses get setup and running. Some of the non-university affiliated programs in the list offer this (DreamIt Ventures in Philadelphia is one example – we certainly made use of this during our participation in the DreamIt program and found it to be highly useful). Hopefully, we’ll see more programs making free/deferred-payment services via professional services firms a part of their offerings.
  • The Hatchery isn’t quite the same kind of accelerator program that the Y Combinator-style programs are. Instead, they are building a new program for bringing entrepreneurs and investors together in New York City. They call it The Gauntlet, or in their words, “American Idol meets Venture Capital.” Sounds like a vibrant program with lots of interesting participants.
  • The Founder Institute is expanding into four new locations and is setting its sights on training 1000 founders a year with its unique curriculum-based model.

Also on the radar recently was the Ventura Ventures Technology Center, formed in associations with the VC fund DFJ Frontier and the city of Ventura, CA. Because this program appears to focus more on getting companies to run out of the physical space in Ventura and it doesn’t offer the same types of mentoring initiatives that have become a common part of accelerator programs around the globe, I think it makes sense to label this one more of a conventional incubator than an accelerator program.

The master list has been updated!  Be sure to post in the comments if you’re seeing other programs that aren’t on the list yet!