10 Upcoming Incubator And Accelerator Opportunities For Founders That Could Launch The Next Unicorn
The tech world needed a way for founders to interact with investors when a flood of new accelerators and incubators around the world created a problem: how to apply for many of them.
F6S Network Ltd. delivered in 2011, and now claims to be the world’s largest platform where founders can apply directly from the site for many incubators and accelerators on a single platform. It also promotes programs like hackathons, competitions and deals from companies.
A U.K.-based entity, the F6S name is derived from the word “founders” with the six letters between “F” and “S” shortened to “6.”
F6s is now home to 1.8 million tech founders, 800,000 startups and more than 15,000 startup programs, accelerators, corporations, and governments globally.
Moguldom has listed some of the upcoming programs for tech founders promoted on F6S that could launch the next unicorn. Wherever available, we’ve included application deadlines, program length, what the plan pays founders accepted into the program, and what percentage of equity it takes.
Application deadline: Oct 15, 2017
12-week program: Jan. 22 to April 19, 2018
Pays: up to $120,000 per team
Takes: 6 percent to 10 percent equity
Based in Boulder, Colorado, TechStars operates globally and is often compared to Y-Combinator. TechStars provides funding, mentors and intensive programs for companies. Techstars has accepted more than 1000 companies into its programs. These companies have raised $3.3-billion plus and have a collective market cap of more than $8.1 billion. Techstars Venture Capital Fund invests in innovative and disruptive companies.
Tech Wildcatters Gauntlet
Application deadline: Aug. 26, 2017
12-week program: Oct. 2 to Dec. 22, 2017
Pays: Up to $130,000 per team
Takes: 8 percent equity
Launched in 2009, Dallas-based Tech Wildcatters established itself early as a leading accelerator several years in a row, according to Forbes and Inc. Magazine . “Then one day, we decided to change all of that,” the company says.
In 2016, Tech Wildcatters launched The Gauntlet, which it says is “now purely fueled by data, milestones and ambition.”
“Whether you’re an idea on a napkin or already generating revenue, our new model is designed to customize an experience … And each time you hit new milestones, we invest in you further.”
The Gauntlet funds 100 startups per year.
Extreme Tech Challenge
Application deadline: Aug. 31, 2017
11-month program: March 21 to Feb. 28
Extreme Tech Challenge brings together world-class advisors to help entrepreneurs by providing exposure and capital to accelerate scaling of products with free infrastructure and other startup boosters. The final pitch and feedback session will be held at Sir Richard Branson’s private Necker Island with him as guest judge.
Qualifying startups will compete live on stage at CES in Las Vegas — the world’s largest consumer technology show, for a chance to pitch to Branson.
9-week program: Sept. 12 to Nov. 16
Pays: $25,000 to $250,000
Takes: 0 percent to 15-percent equity
New York City-based Quake Capital funds early-stage companies looking to develop products, services and solutions, providing capital, tools, access, expertise, and advisers.
In addition to seed capital, Quake provides office space and access to a mentor network, startup boot camp, and manufacturing and investor networks:
“More than anything, we invest time — lots of it… We offer multiple funding options, with models that work for both seed stage opportunities and more mature ventures,” the company says.
Application deadline: Sept. 15, 2017
13-week program: Oct. 16, 2017 to Jan. 15, 2018
San Francisco-based Fintech Go integrates a range of acceleration resources specifically for fintech startups. The program leverages FinTech Portfolio, a member-owned community of former bankers, asset managers, government officials, tech professionals and financial regulators who have joined forces to launch fintech companies from scratch.
Fintech Go focuses on helping fintech startups with market research, product development, business development, marketing, team management, legal, regulatory and fundraising elements.
The first cohort will be held in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Network advisors are experienced industry experts who understand how to foster innovation for startups and financial institutions. Selected startups will have dedicated space to incubate and accelerate in a collaborative atmosphere with a “safe Intellectual Property zone.”
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Sku Consumer Products Accelerator
Application deadline: Nov. 20, 2017
Program: Feb. 6 to May 15, 2018
Pays: A stipend plus access to additional funding
Takes: 6-to-8 percent equity
Since its inception in 2011, Austin, Texas-based Sku Consumer Products Accelerator has had 23 alumni companies that raised an average $2 million in follow-on funding and $100 million in combined annual revenue.
SKU says it “surrounds stellar startups with tailored mentor teams of rockstar entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts.” Its 14-week intensive program provides access to industry leaders, key retailers, and tools necessary to accelerate growth.
At least once a year, Sku accepts applications from consumer product startups for an accelerator program:
“We prepare and position our alumni companies to become breakout successes and household names.”
LA Dodgers Accelerator with R/GA
Application deadline: Open deadline
Pays: $120,000 per team
Takes: 2-to-6-percent equity
The LA Dodgers Sports & Entertainment Accelerator with R/GA will foster companies creating products and services at the crossroads of sports, technology, and entertainment.
The accelerator, the first of its kind in the sports industry, is revolutionizing how fans, athletes, and sports organizations intersect with technology and will build upon the achievements of the highly successful 2015 class. Founders get access to industry partnerships and expertise, and the program is designed to ignite a path to category leadership for participating startups.
Five to seven startups will be selected, enabling in-depth engagement with the Dodgers’ leadership, business units, and industry network as well as R/GA’s award-winning strategic marketing, branding, design, and technology services. This high-touch approach has already resulted in groundbreaking partnership deals and large capital raises for participants in the 2015 accelerator class.
Program areas of interest include (but are not limited to) integrated solutions in the areas of Fan Engagement, VR/AR, eSports, Sports Training, Smart Arenas, Big Data and Analytics, Fitness and Youth Sports, and Sponsor Integration. The program will again be operated and supported by R/GA, which will bring to the program its full set of services along with its network of global brand partners.
Growth-stage and early-stage startups from Los Angeles and around the world are invited to apply. The companies selected will be a dynamic mix of early-stage startups that are developing new technologies, products, and services, as well as growth-stage startups that have achieved initial product-market fit and are poised to accelerate their growth.
Application deadline: Oct. 31, 2017
San Francisco-based The Pitch is a podcast where founders pitch their startups to investors, and it has been named one of the best podcasts for entrepreneurs by Inc. and Forbes.
There is an opportunity to get funded during the event and then get your message out to 40,000 entrepreneurs and investors who listen to the podcast. Startups get early customers, press and introductions to investors after coming on The Pitch Podcast.
IOTA Ecosystem Fund
Application deadline: Open Deadline
Based in Berlin, Germany, IOTA Ecosystem Fund strives to be the best open source decentralized platform for the Internet of Everything, and considers a vibrant ecosystem to be the most important pillar in realizing this vision. IOTA allocated $10 million to support as many ecosystem efforts as possible:
“If you are a developer, or a team of developers, this is your opportunity. Whether you are a maker, IoT startup or a distributed ledger enthusiast we welcome you to explore the many possibilities of new applications that are possible to realize through IOTA’s unique distributed ledger technology. Regardless if it be something relatively simple like adding some sensors to a Raspberry Pi which is then secured and sell data through IOTA or something significantly more complex, the IOTA Ecosystem Fund exist to make it a reality.”
The $10 million fund is entirely dedicated towards fostering growth of the open-source IOTA project through providing a concrete incentive for participation in expanding and shaping this ever-growing ecosystem.
Here’s how the funding works, according to IOTA: You apply, then a representative gets back to you, asks more questions and defines the deliverables of the project with you. After the terms are agreed upon, the non-profit IOTA Foundation approves the project, you receive the first payment and the project officially commences.
Newark Venture Partners Labs
Application deadline: Sept. 1 , 2017
14-Week Program: Oct. 10, 2017 to Jan. 17, 2018
Pays: $100,000 into pre-seed tech startups
Takes: 6 percent equity
Newark Venture Partners Labs funds 30 startups per year and says its accelerator offers founders these advantages:
Partners: A next-generation accelerator which leverages leading corporate partners including Audible (an Amazon Company), Prudential Financial and Dun & Bradstreet to help scale companies.
Mentorship: Partner company experts across hundreds of advanced tech and business domains are on call for accelerator‐based companies and are only an elevator ride away. Resident portfolio companies have access to Audible system engineers and architects, data scientists, technologists and business experts as well as graduate-level engineering and business associates from the greater Newark vicinity.
Space – Access to a new 25,000 square-foot co-working space located in the same building as Audible’s global headquarters in Newark with state-of-the-art amenities including ultra-high bandwidth Wi-Fi access with 10 gigabit-plus fiber-to-the-desktop — 200-times faster than a standard business class connection.
Capital – Newark Venture Partners Labs provides post-accelerator access to its investor network and guarantees a co-investment in first venture financing. less