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.

How Incubators Speed the Start-up Process

This past week, Inc Magazine wrote a great series of articles on “”http://www.inc.com/magazine/20100701/revitalizing-the-american-dream.html" target="_blank">Revitalizing the American Dream" that talked about how we could all help create thousands of new companies and a million new jobs.    Interestingly enough, step #4 was to “Speed the Start-Up Process” that said:

Most start-ups don’t need much money to get started. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need help. That’s where incubators and seed accelerators such as Y Combinator in San Francisco and TechStars in Boulder, Colorado, come into play. Investors, entrepreneurs, and city officials across the country should jump on the bandwagon.

This call for more start-up incubators / seed accelerators, is at the heart of why we are launching The Brandery.   As the article states, “There are a couple dozen seed accelerators around the U.S. ”text-decoration: underline;“>We could use a whole lot more. The key to getting started is a great group of mentors to draw people in.”

We are fortunate to have an amazing group of mentors that are part of our program.  I would argue that the companies that become part of The Brandery will be working with the best consumer marketing minds anywhere in the country.  This includes mentors who have led billion dollar brands, agencies that have created Cannes Lions winners and entrepreneurs who have raised millions of dollars in funding.

It is no wonder that Cincinnati was called out in the article when they wrote:  “Indeed, it’s easy to imagine an accelerator in every industry hub: a fashion incubator in ”Manhattan" href=“http://www.inc.com/topic/Manhattan”>Manhattan; a consumer products accelerator in, say, Cincinnati."