20 Top Business Accelerators to Consider for Your Startup

It's easier to launch a business with an accelerator. To help you find one that aligns with your industry and niche, here's a list of business accelerators.

Running a startup just got easier. That is if you can make it into a good startup accelerator. There you may be able to access resources and experts that can make the growth process easier. Be sure to understand the difference between an accelerator and an incubator and why investors prefer the accelerator model. There’s no shortage of great startup accelerators out there with all kinds of different niches and focus areas. To find the startup accelerator that’s right for your business or idea, take a look at the list below.

Here’s Our List of Business Accelerators

XRC Labs

List of Business Accelerators - XRC Labs

For startups that focus on retail and consumer goods, XRC Labs provides a design-centric innovative accelerator program in New York City. Participants get mentorship, access to capital, operational support and workspace on the campus of the Parsons School of Design at the New School. XRC Labs runs two 10-week programs each year.

The Brandery

The Brandery is a Cincinnati based startup accelerator that offers support in several areas, especially branding, marketing and design. Some benefits include mentorship, partnership opportunities, introductions to seed stage investors around the country and $50,000 in funding.


Specifically for women-led startups, MergeLane aims to support a diverse startup community through virtual mentoring, personal coaching and a curriculum targeting early-stage business issues and topics that specifically affect women leaders. The program takes place in Boulder, Colorado, but companies are only required to be there in person for part of the 12-week program. Some can be completed virtually.


List of Business Accelerators - Matter

Matter is a 20-week accelerator program that focuses on design thinking. Based in both San Francisco and New York City, participants immerse themselves in a collaborative culture where they are taught to focus on creating human-centered offerings in order to fail fast and bring products to market sooner. The application process includes a pitch, project and finalist round that startups must go through in order to be selected.

Disney Accelerator

Disney Accelerator focuses on aiding technology innovators that want to create entertainment and new media experiences. Getting involved with this accelerator means gaining access to creative expertise and resources of The Walt Disney Company. Disney selects about 10 companies a year for the program that begins in June and ends with a Demo Day in October.


This nationally ranked accelerator invests in high-growth startups, accepting up to five startups twice per year. Any startup can apply, but gener8tor places a high value on having a strong team. Selected teams receive access to capital, support and mentors through the residency based program, which is based in Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Make in LA

List of Business Accelerators - Make in LA

Make in LA is an accelerator program that focuses on hardware startups. The Los Angeles based program involves four months of hands-on work, from building prototypes to preparing pitches for investors. Innovative hardware startups can apply online during the yearly application period.

Blue Startups

Blue Startups, which is based in Honolulu, Hawaii, focuses on assisting scalable and capital efficient technology companies, especially those that address markets in both Asia and the U.S. Selected companies receive a 16-week intensive education program, one-on-one mentorship, access to capital, co-working space and a demo day event to pitch to investors.


StartFast is a mentorship-driven accelerator for startups working in software, mobile or internet. The three-month program in Syracuse, New York includes mentorship, access to capital and a demo day. Between five and ten startups are chosen to take part in the program each year.

Sixers Innovation Lab

List of Business Accelerators - Sixers Innovation Lab

The Philadelphia 76ers and Kimball Office partnered to create the Innovation Lab to cultivate and support the startup community in Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia. Startups accepted into the program will receive training and support, along with collaboration opportunities and the ability to participate in a demo day at the end of the program.

Startup Next

A Techstars program, Startup Next is actually a pre-accelerator designed to help startups get into top accelerator programs, raise seed rounds of funding or achieve other early goals. The five-week program includes mentorship, coaching and a speaker series. Alumni of the program also get exposure at events and investor introductions.

Illumina Accelerator

For startups involved in clinical research and applied sciences, especially in the area of genomics, Illumina Accelerator provides extensive mentorship, financial support lab space and more. Founders accepted into the program must work full time in the Bay Area during the six-month program.


List of Business Accelerators - Startup52

Startup52 is an early-stage accelerator program in New York City that’s focused on promoting diversity. The accelerator accepts startups in various industries, but puts a big emphasis on the capabilities and diversity of founding team members. Accepted startups receive one-on-one mentorship, co-working space and other support tailored to each startup.

SaltMines Group

For startups involved in mobile technology and social media products, SaltMines Group in Vero Beach, Florida provides support, mentorship and education to take products from ideas to reality. The program helps entrepreneurs develop their products, raise capital and actually launch their mobile apps and social media products.

LightSpeed Innovations

LightSpeed Innovations focuses on helping startups in the aerospace industry in Southern California. The accelerator works with companies at various stages of growth, so each company that applies and gets accepted can get a different experience. Some might require mentorship and investment opportunities, while others benefit more form networking and marketing services.

Luma Launch

List of Business Accelerators - Luma Launch

From visual effects studio Luma, Luma Launch is an accelerator for evolving technology and content startups in Santa Monica, California. Luma works with companies from the initial idea to pre-seed stage, providing custom tailored programs with qualified partners and mentors.


Capria is a Seattle-based investment firm and accelerator program focusing on global impact startups. The program aims to work with startups that develop innovative solutions to global problems, specifically those operating in emerging markets.

Cofound Harlem

Cofound Harlem is an accelerator program in New York City that aims to build 100 companies in Harlem by the year 2020. The accelerator provides mentorship, education and other support to Harlem based startups and companies that want to make a real impact on the community.


List of Business Accelerators - VentureOut

This New York City based program is a one-week hyper-accelerator that brings in startups from around the world and connects them to members of the startup and technology communities in NYC. The VentureOut program features sessions on subjects ranging from leadership to sales, and ends with individual meetings and new client meetings at the end of the week.

The Yield Lab

The Yield Lab is an accelerator for agricultural technology companies based in St. Louis, Missouri. The accelerator aims to support early-stage companies that want to create more sustainable agricultural products and services through mentorship, investments and strategic partnerships.

* * *
Accelerators may not be for every startup and some accelerators will obviously fit some startups better than others. But one of the most important things they offer beginning entrepreneurs is the chance not to have to go it alone. Take some time to review the programs listed above and look for other programs on sites like AngelList to find an opportunity right for you.

Accelerate Photo via Shutterstock
Other Images: XRC Labs, Matter, Make in LA, Philadelphia 76ers, Startup 52, Luma Launch, Venture Out


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

3 Reactions
  1. Nice article! Thanks for posting this list of segment-focused accelerators that are under the radar (don’t get much press). There is much opportunity for quality programs focused on segments. It would be great to know which are for-profit vs. economic dev. Entrepreneurs would also want to know their structure (but hopefully that’s a click away to their website). As this space is booming, it would be worthwhile to track quantity and quality – which ones are producing winners. Good work.

    John Currie, ITERATE Ventures

  2. It is nice to see a supportive community in startups. It makes the small business industry prosper even more.

  3. This seems like a good start but it also appears to be East Coast and Silicone Valley heavy. There needs to be better access to both accelerators and incubators in smaller cities and in the West (not the valley). Much needs to be done to encourage and support small business start ups. That is where the economy strength really comes from.