The Brandery's New Accelerator "Deal": $50,000 Per Company


This summer, the sixth cohort of companies will be joining us at The Brandery. What an amazing first five years we have had (note: information on our five year anniversary celebration will be forthcoming – you need to be there)! Five years later, we remain more focused than ever on our mission of accelerating startups by building powerful brands. Our core approach of layering inspiring brands on top of dazzling technology and driven founders has proven to be a recipe for success. Like the beef Bolognese recipe of your great-grandmother, we are less than enthusiastic to make adjustments to the formula.

But, who are we kidding? We’re an accelerator — evolution and retooling shouldn’t be limited to our portfolio companies. Excellence can be found in rational and thoughtful change. As such, in 2015 we will be announcing some core changes to our accelerator program that will provide our participant companies with an even stronger platform to grow.

We are excited to announce our sixth cohort of companies will receive a total of $50,000 of capital from The Brandery. This will be split into two tranches: (1) $25,000 in for a six (6) percent warrant upon beginning the program, and (2) another $25,000 through an uncapped convertible debt note to each company that completes the sixth week of our accelerator program.

Some accelerators offer more cash than The Brandery and some offer less, but after having 45 startups go through our accelerator, we believe $50,000 is the right amount. We have always had two juxtaposing beliefs about the capital that we provide companies: first, our companies need enough capital to focus solely on building a great company, and second, The Brandery funding should not provide such a substantial runway that the startup loses its sense of urgency. We believe $50,000 will accelerate our startups to the next step, whether that’s raising a round, bootstrapping with revenue, or moving onto the next thing.

The Brandery has always felt strongly that the “deal” needs to be explicit at the outset. Some accelerators offer more capital but hinge the capital on different performance metrics or, in some cases, the discretion of the accelerator’s investment team. We think this is unfair to the startups because it does not provide them with the ability to plan their burn and so that there is not an investment decision that adversely impacts the relationship between the accelerator and its participating founders. As such, the second tranche of $25,000 will be invested purely on the temporal requirement of each company making it through six weeks of our program.

And that’s not all! We’ll have more big news to break in the next week or two. We can’t wait to share.

If you’re interested in learning more about The Brandery Accelerator, go to brandery.org/accelerator, or apply now.

Some Accelerator History

Accelerators are now a staple in the tech startup scene. Want to know where it all started and what the ecosystem looks like now? Below outlines some key dates and statistics from the big accelerator programs. stats pulled from ">http://www.seed-db.com/accelerators

 2005: Y Combinator was founded in Silicon Valley by Paul Graham. They have graduated over 466 companies and the average raise is $2,072,978 per company. Some of Y Combinators notable graduate companies include Airbnb, Dropbox, OMGPOP, and Reddit.

2006: Modeled off Y Combinator, Techstars was founded in Boulder, CO by David Cohen, Brad Feld, David Brown, and Jared Polis. Over the next 8 years, Techstars expands it’s programming to include accelerators in Boston, Seattle, NYC and San Antonio. Techstars Boulder (the first TechStars) has graduated 65 companies with an average raise of $1,715,846 per company.

2007: To kickstart the entrepreneurial scene in Europre, Seedcamp founded in London. In total seedcamp has graudated 72 companies with an average raise of $634,156 per company. Seedcamp has stepped forward as the “international accelerator” program and mentored companies from over 35 countries.

2010: As one of the first thematically based accelerators, Brandery founded in Cincinnati, OH with an emphasis on utilizing the marketing and branding talent of the region to accelerate startups. The co-founders included JB Kropp, Rob McDonald, Dave Knox and Brian Radke. The Brandery has graduated 26 companies with an average raise of $442,307 per company.

January 2011: As a way to bring together the accelerator programs across the country, Tech Stars launched the Global Accelerator Network in conjunction with Obama’s Startup America Partnership, linking 22 accelerator programs internationally. The GAN network has expanded to over 50 accelerators

May 2011/August 2012: DFJ Mercury, Tech Cocktail, The Kauffman Fellows and the Kellog School of Business ranked accelerators based off a variety of quantiative and qualitative program results. In their two studies, the aforementioned programs ranked in the Top 15, as well as i/o ventures, Kicklabs, Excelerate, AngelPad San Fran, AngelPad LA, 500 startups, DreamIt Ventures, NYC Seedstart, and Accelerator. Out of the 15 programs, only Excelerate Labs (Chicago) and The Brandery are midwest based programs.