Which Accelerator Should You Choose?

If your startup has a couple of customers, you’re at a crucial point. Your product is beginning to catch on, but fundraising is still tough.

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Your best path may be an accelerator. But which one?

Let’s run through a few great options:

Y Combinator

This is the granddaddy of accelerators.

Founded in 2005, it’s been around longer than anyone. Its track record is amazing, having produced companies like Airbnb, Stripe, DoorDash and Instacart.

YC invests $500,000, more than most accelerators except perhaps LAUNCH (more on that below).

YC’s only real downside can be a lack of individual attention.

There are 268 companies in the current YC batch. That’s way more than many other accelerators, who often have fewer than 10.

There’s a big difference between being one of 7 companies and one of nearly 300.

That said, YC produces amazing startups regularly. My last two investments have been YC companies.

LAUNCH Accelerator

This is my personal favorite. I’ve invested in 6 LAUNCH Accelerator companies, by far the most of any accelerator.

LAUNCH invests $100,000 for 6% of your company. It usually puts another $500,000 or so in when you raise your seed round.

In all, LAUNCH likely provides the most money of any accelerator.

It also provides individual attention. There are just 7 companies per batch and the LAUNCH team works intensively with them.

Founders I know who have gone through the program met everyone — Sequoia, Craft Ventures, you name it.

The only downside is it’s not as big of a name as YC. It’s much newer, but it already has 1 unicorn in GRIN.

In all, LAUNCH is an excellent choice.

Entrepreneur’s Roundtable Accelerator

I started paying attention to these guys when I invested in an ERA company, Rilla. It quickly became one of my top performers.

ERA invests $150,000 for 6% of your company. Like LAUNCH, the batch size is small — just 15 companies.

Although ERA is newer than YC, it already boasts 4 unicorns.

The people who work there are serious and focused. That’s who I’d want on my side.

I’m looking forward to investing in more of ERA’s awesome companies!


Techstars is another longstanding accelerator with a great track record. Founded the year after YC, it has produced 11 unicorns so far.

Techstars is in person, but it has programs all over the world.

I’ve invested in one Techstars company so far, with more sure to come.


I think accelerators are the best path for most pre-seed companies. Top accelerators provide a built in network, great mentorship, and a brand name that can help with fundraising and recruiting.

But don’t go just anywhere.

Avoid accelerators with no name recognition. Also avoid any accelerator that doesn’t actually invest.

The right program can take you to the next level. But the wrong program can waste your time and space on your cap table.

Best of luck building the great companies of the future!

What has your experience been with accelerators? Leave a comment and let us know!

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