According to the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA), Seed accelerators
“Have a highly competitive application process, and will invest equity capital in selected companies. Accelerator programs are typically short-term ranging from 3-6 months. Accelerator programs accept companies in cohorts and provide learning opportunities and intense mentoring to each company, with a culminating graduation event at the end of the program where companies are able to pitch their concept or product in front of investors and other key stakeholders. Space is usually provided to companies for the duration of the program, although some seed accelerators run cohorts virtually with required attendance at educational or networking events.”
Some of the more popular Seed Accelerators including Y-Combinator, 500 Startups and Tech Stars. However, there are thousands around the world. In addition, many universities have their own accelerators as well. For example, Cornell University offers students the eLab, a collaborative acceleration program with Student Agencies Incorporated, a student-run miniconglomerate in Ithaca, New York.
Here we will offer a searchable database of accelerator programs near you. In the meantime, you can use the website F6, which also allows you to apply for accelerator programs as well:
Not to be discounted are the many “pre-accelerators”, for earlier stage startups. These abound in different markets as well. Sometimes they may just be referred to as “accelerators”, however, they differ slightly. The InBIA defines them as the following:
“Pre-Accelerators are similar to accelerators, except they typically do not have equity-based funding, however, they may have grant funds available or access to a community-based evergreen fund. Pre-Accelerators have a competitive application process, have mandatory attendance and include a culminating event at the end of the program. Pre-Accelerator participants are accepted into the 3-6 month program in a cohort that is very similar to seed accelerators.”
StudVent intends to collect and catalogue Pre-Accelerators as well. In the meantime, you can find them on F6 by searching for “0” or 1%” equity and “Accelerator” https://www.f6s.com/programs?type=accelerator&max_equity=1&sort=open