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The 100 leaders of the top tech accelerators

The 100 leaders of the top tech accelerators | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Accelerators are some of the most influential organisations within tech, but what are the top tech accelerators and who is the driving force behind them?

One of the most common features of the tech landscape today is the startup accelerator.

There are over 200 separate programs in the US alone.

The model encompasses mentorship, funding, access to a network of other entrepreneurs, and a space for entrepreneurs and their ideas to mature in safe surroundings.

That potentially lucrative combination has seduced investors and investees alike and being accepted into an accelerator program can be a springboard for success.

Not only are top tech accelerators behind the success of talent such as Reddit, Airbnb and Dropbox but they facilitate introductions to institutional investors upon graduation from the program.

However, these successes have acted as the catalyst for an influx of new accelerators, either stand-alone programs or an attempt by a larger corporation to form an innovation lab.

Whilst that provides entrepreneurs with a plethora of top tech accelerators to choose from, the challenge is to determine which ones are genuinely capable of adding significant value in the early days of a business’ lifecycle.

As more accelerators are created, the debate is to whether some are just trying to earn a quick buck, versus building a model which is sustainable for startups, entrepreneurs and investors alike.

To aid with the selection process, we have put together a list of the 100 top tech accelerators and more importantly, the leaders behind those programs around the world.

This list of 100 leaders, focuses on the driving forces behind the top tech accelerators in the world today. Read more: click image or title.




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Accelerators provide a great model for #startups. Funding, mentoring, networking, it's all focused on success. Check out this list of 100 of the best #accelerators around the world.

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SpareHire's curator insight, August 7, 2015 2:15 PM

Accelerators provide a great model for #startups. Funding, mentoring, networking, it's all focused on success. Check out this list of 100 of the best #accelerators around the world.

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New accelerator is solely for firms with a female founder

New accelerator is solely for firms with a female founder | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

In Greek mythology, she is the goddess of war and wisdom. In Philadelphia's University City, Athena is a more earthly vessel, taking shape to make warriors of female entrepreneurs.

DreamIt Athena is a rare business accelerator, exclusively for companies with at least one female founder.

Announced this month and accepting applications until Dec. 8 at https://app.wizehive.com/appform/login/2015philly, the program to help women turn their ideas into fundable businesses with growth potential will launch in February with its first cycle of participants, a minimum of four companies. A second cycle is planned for spring 2016.

To qualify, applicants must have technology-based products or services with large market opportunity.

The program's name seemed a natural, said Karen Griffith Gryga, managing partner of DreamIt Funds, the equity arm of DreamIt Ventures, a top-tier accelerator that has launched 168 companies since its start in 2008. Of those, 40 were companies with female founders.

"Athena is the Greek goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration," Gryga said. "And whenever you're doing a start-up, you've got to have tremendous inspiration and vision, but also fortitude and courage. It's not easy to launch and build and develop a start-up."

Especially for women.

"We just felt it was time to do something about it," she said. "The answer is not more networking events."

Timing proved fortuitous. In the spring, DreamIt applied for funding from Pennsylvania's "Discovered in PA, Developed in PA" grant program and was approved in August for $491,000.

That's enough to finance two three-month cycles. The plan is to continue afterward, "but with a more commercial partner," said Gryga, who will oversee the Athena program with Patrick FitzGerald, managing director of DreamIt Ventures' Philadelphia program.

"There's just been an outpouring of support for it," said Gryga, who plans to conduct a national search for female CEOs and serial entrepreneurs willing to serve as mentors and inspiration.

To fill the post of project manager, DreamIt Athena's creators have hired a local woman described by a peer as "a real connector in the Philadelphia ecosystem" of female entrepreneurs.

Archna Sahay, a native of India now living in Center City, started the Female Founders Network in February to help women in business find one another.

A finance major at Virginia Tech, Sahay, 35, went on to work as a portfolio analyst and investment analyst at Wachovia and its successor, Wells Fargo, and then worked in the brokerage business for Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley.

Sahay left Morgan Stanley on Sept. 30 to focus on the Female Founders Network. But in just weeks, she had a job offer from DreamIt that seemed like divine intervention.

"I'm very spiritual," she said. "I always like to see God's hands in things."

As a believer that financial independence for women is "one of the most important things you could work on," and as a big sister who wants "to leave the world in just a slightly better place" for two younger ones, Sahay said the chance to help build what was believed to be the first female-oriented program by a top-tier accelerator feels like "what I was meant to do."

Her 12 years in finance - and some recent studies - left her convinced of the need for DreamIt Athena. Among those studies was a report by professors of Babson College in Massachusetts, "Women Entrepreneurs 2014: Bridging the Gender Gap in Venture Capital."

It found, in part, that though early-stage investment in companies with a woman on the executive team has tripled to 15 percent from 5 percent in the last 15 years, 85 percent of all venture-capital-funded businesses have no women on the executive team.

One reason for that, Sahay said, is another troubling finding by Babson: The total number of women partners in venture-capital firms has declined since 1999, dropping to 6 percent from 10 percent.

"There aren't enough women on the other side of that table," Sahay said.

When it comes to successfully pitching to investors, entrepreneurs need to connect with them. The sex divide is a serious obstacle, said Holly Flanagan, managing director at Gabriel Investments, a Philadelphia early-stage investment group.

"The challenge for women is they tend to solve problems that are faced by women," Flanagan said. "Because the majority of investors continue to be men, the advice I always give female founders is they have to articulate their story in a way that helps [all] investors feel the pain they are out to solve."

That message will be driven home at DreamIt Athena, Sahay said.

Among others applauding the effort is Yasmine Mustafa, founder of Roar for Good L.L.C., a young self-defense technology company.

"With greater inclusiveness," Mustafa said, "the opportunity to support the growing number of women founders creates even more possibilities for delivering transformative solutions - not to mention establishing more female role models, especially in predominantly male industries like technology."


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Another great initiative for women in technology and startups

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US urged to foster startups

US urged to foster startups | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

When Twitter raised $1.8 billion in one of the largest initial public offerings last year, investors and entrepreneurs celebrated.Twitter’s public reception provided more capital for it to grow and add workers, stimulating the economy. It will create wealth for many more shareholders if the company continues to grow over time. And, coming a year after Facebook’s IPO, Twitter’s successful offering primes investors’ enthusiasm for future tech companies’ offerings.But Twitter’s achievement highlights something missing in the U.S. economy: Why aren’t there more Twitters?

To read the full article and see more charts, click on the title.


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Good point, the government needs to know how and where to stimulate the economy, and what better place to do that than with startups?

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Anyone Anywhere Can Build The Next Google -- There Are No Barriers

Anyone Anywhere Can Build The Next Google -- There Are No Barriers | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
A common excuse that entrepreneurs make for not being able to innovate is the lack of venture capital in their region.


A common excuse that entrepreneurs make for not being able to innovate is the lack of venture capital in their region. They argue that because investors are not ready to take a risk, they can’t succeed. Policy makers all over the world make the same excuse. Access to venture capital may have been a problem as recently as a decade ago, but is no longer an inhibitor. The cost of developing world-changing startups has dropped dramatically. With the exponential advances in technologies such as computing, storage, and sensors, entrepreneurs can do what only governments and big research labs could do before: solve big problems.

To read the full article, click on the title.



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Via Marylene Delbourg-Delphis
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Wow! Great article, must-read for startups and entrepreneurs. There is no more excuse for waiting to get the big funding check. Just do it!

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Guillaume Decugis's curator insight, November 22, 2013 8:48 PM

Several good examples that show how dramatically the cost of creating breakthrough innovations has decreased.

Alba Redin's curator insight, December 1, 2013 7:07 AM

Successful entrepreneurship, who succeed? THose companies who are different, Game changers (they aim to compete on different terms), market entry and tey are in essense guerillas.

Ranjit Kovilinkal's curator insight, December 2, 2013 11:08 PM

The culture of big risk taking has to fall in place in India for something really big to emerge! Any comments?

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What I Wish I Knew Before Pitching LinkedIn to VCs

What I Wish I Knew Before Pitching LinkedIn to VCs | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

At Greylock, my partners and I are driven by one guiding mission: always help entrepreneurs. It doesn’t matter whether an entrepreneur is in our portfolio, whether we’re considering an investment, or whether we’re casually meeting for the first time.

Entrepreneurs often ask me for help with their financing decks. Because we value integrity and confidentiality at Greylock, we never share an entrepreneur’s pitch deck with others. What I’ve honorably been able to do, however, is share the deck I used to pitch LinkedIn to Greylock for a Series B investment back in 2004.

This past May was the 10th anniversary of LinkedIn, and while reflecting on my entrepreneurial journey, I realized that no one gets to see the presentation decks for successful companies. This gave me an idea: I could help many more entrepreneurs by making the deck available not just to the Greylock network of entrepreneurs, but to everyone.

And so today I’ve published LinkedIn’s Series B deck on my personal website. There are three thematic emphases:

  • how entrepreneurs should approach the pitching process
  • the evolution of LinkedIn as a company
  • the consumer internet landscape in 2004 vs. today

To help you figure out what aspects of the pitching process you’d like to understand better, I’ve summarized seven prevalent myths below, which I address more deeply in the full presentation.

1.
MYTH: The startup financing process is about one thing — money.
TRUTH: A successful financing process results in a partnership that delivers benefits beyond just money.


To Read the Full Article, click on the title.



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Looking for VC capital? Learn from the best, watch this presentation by the CEO of Growthink: 'VC Pitch Formula'




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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, October 17, 2013 1:43 PM

Great information. Please read the article first, then have a peek at the complete information of the Linkedin pitch to Greylock. Interesting material. Much to learn here.

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Real Business - Crowdfunding: what it's really all about

Real Business - Crowdfunding: what it's really all about | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Crowdfunding has the potential to become a valuable source of business funding. Can the model break into mainstream finance?
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Some interesting comments in this article. Making it real!


Basics for Crowdfunding: http://www.business-funding-insider.com/crowdfunding-startups.html

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Startup Professionals Musings: 5 Startup Concepts That are Not the Next Big Thing

Startup Professionals Musings: 5 Startup Concepts That are Not the Next Big Thing | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

I choose to spread this article, real innovation is what is needed.

Get some good advice on funding for startups here: www.Business-Funding-Insider.com


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Growthink Business Plan Template Review

Growthink Business Plan Template Review | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Review of Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template by professional business plan reviewers
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Get it done in 8 hours or less, while communicating the essentials that investors are looking for and that will make them respond.

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Here are the 11 Startups Women's iLab Discovered Through The MassChallenge Partnership

Here are the 11 Startups Women's iLab Discovered Through The MassChallenge Partnership | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Here’s an impressive fun-fact: David Chang, Co-Founder of Start Tank, has said that over 60% of startups that pitched in the second round of judging in the high-tech lane on the show had at least one female founder. And, at Women’s iLab, we celebrate the rise of female entrepreneurs.

This year Women’s iLab was invited to partner with MassChallenge to discover Boston’s best and brightest female-led startups and compete in its accelerator program. MassChallenge’s four month accelerator program offers mentorship, office space, and education resources, and awards two million dollars in cash awards. With programs in Boston, Israel, and the United Kingdom, MassChallenge is open to anyone in the world, from any stage in the startup and in any industry.

Women’s iLab is one of Boston’s experts on women in tech, and we’re proud to highlight the startups that we’ve chosen.  The selected startups were given the opportunity to work out of the MassChallenge offices leading up to the program and/or be fast-tracked into the second of the three rounds of judging to make it into the program.

Here are the eleven startups chosen by Women’s iLab and their elevator pitches (those marked with an * made it to the MassChallenge Semi-Finals):  read more: click on image or title.





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"I loved working with Growthink. The staff are passionate about their work and committed to what they do in a way that can only be achieved when you love what you do. They helped keep us on track to achieve our planning goals. I am looking forward to continued success working with everyone from Growthink in the future."
- Venus Williams, Professional Tennis Player and CEO, V Starr Interiors


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

From #Beauty to #Breastfeeding, #Education to #Wardrobe management, these startups are made by women and for women (mostly).

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Accelerator-Ready? 3 Pointers for Potential Candidates

Accelerator-Ready? 3 Pointers for Potential Candidates | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Entrepreneurs considering a startup program should do some legwork.

Today, almost every entrepreneur looking to break into the business world has seen the statistics: An estimated 90 percent of startups won’t make it. The struggle from conception to viable entity that they face is overwhelming and can lead to the undoing of an entrepreneurial spirit.  

While there may be a market out there for every good idea, executing it can be difficult. Working with a startup accelerator could be the secret ingredient your fledgling business needs to make it over the hump to longevity and success. Before you jump in, peruse this list of a few things every entrepreneur should know:

To read the full article, click on the image or title.



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Via Denis Liotta 
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Anything that can improve and help startups to succeed needs to be looked at seriously. Accelerators are definitely a great option, learn from the masters.

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What It Costs to Run A Startup Broken Down by City

What It Costs to Run A Startup Broken Down by City | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Staff.com’s infographic compares the cost of running a startup (getting an office and hiring two web developers and one designer) in various cities around the world.

From highest to lowest costs, these are how the eight cities selected ranked, based on annual costs to run a startup: Zurich, Switzerland; Sydney, Australia; New York; San Francisco; London; Paris; Mumbai,India; and Manila, Philippines.


The cost to run a startup in the US is about $297k in NY and $263k in SF per year.
The most expensive places to run a startup are Zurich at $315k and Sydney at $310k per year.
Web designer average salary is $79k in SF and in NY $76k at a startup.  
The cost of a web developer is $88k in NY and $81k in SF per year at a startup.
Startup office cost in the US: $46k in NY and $22k in SF per year.

To see the Infographic, click on the title.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Very relative numbers. A lot of startups get started by web developers or a team of developers.

They usually start from their homes.

Location is not that important anymore.

Do some 'out-of-the-box' thinking. A Startup is not necessarily an expensive matter anymore. Be creative.

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Want $$$ for your biz? Story Tips to Nail Your Next Pitch In 60 Seconds

Want $$$ for your biz? Story Tips to Nail Your Next Pitch In 60 Seconds | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
That's all the time you need to get to yes. Really.

“No one wants to go out mid-sentence.” --Johnny Depp

And, as Johnny would surely agree, no one wants investors to nod off mid-sentence.

Investors have seen hundreds of pitches. They’ve been there, heard that. They decide in a couple minutes, max, whether you’re worth their valuable time, mind, and dime.

Are you requesting funding for your startup, new venture or product launch? Here’s how to have decision-makers at hello. First the example, then the technique.

One of my Springboard Enterprises clients (Springboard has helped entrepreneurs receive $6.2 billion in funding) approached me and said, “I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news.”

I asked, “What’s the good news?”

“I’ve been asked to pitch a roomful of investors at the Paley Center in New York City”

“That is good news. What’s the bad news?

“I am going at 2:30 in the afternoon and I only have 10 minutes. How am I supposed to explain my invention, clinical trials, business model, team credentials and exit strategy in 10 minutes?"

I said, "Actually, you don't have 10 minutes. As you mentioned, you’re going at 2:30 in the afternoon. These investors will have already heard 16 presentations. You have 60 seconds to get their favorable attention.”

She said, “How is that possible?”

To read the full article, click on the title...


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Via Karen Dietz
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

In order to get funding, you need to get the attention. Grabbing the attention by telling the right story is a must. Once the door is open, the next question will be: "Well, what do you have? What's the plan?"

You have to prove your story, and prove the professionalism. The door opener is a moment in time, as if someone turns on the light. Once the door is open, every aspect of who you are and what you do will come to light. Make sure you're ready.

Check www.Business-Funding-Insider.com for more information and tools.

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Karen Dietz's curator insight, October 29, 2013 4:40 PM

Raising funds for your business is hard. And as the story in this article shows, you need a way to wake up interest in your company and stand out from the crowd next time you are pitching investors.


How does this connect with storytelling? How you tell your biz story to investors is different than when you tell it for marketing or leadership purposes. In particular, you have to start your story differently and then tell it in a hybrid form that is a mix of a 'future' story and a 'what we stand for' story.


The most critical piece is the beginning. And the author of this article, Sam Horn, give us a fabulous way to get started. Before you give the setting, before you set the context, there is a set of questions to ask that engage the imagination and speak to the future.


Makes perfect sense to me. And I know you will gain lots from reading this post!


This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling atwww.scoop.it/t/just-story-it 

malek's curator insight, October 29, 2013 6:40 PM

"Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication." Leonardo da Vinci 

Don't worry if you found yourself reading this scoop twice. 

David Cordts's curator insight, October 30, 2013 10:12 AM

Promoting Ideas: Take the concepts and apply them to your next fundraising project at school or when you need to "sell" the principal on a new project -- good advice from the business world.

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How Smart Angels Will Leverage Crowdfunding - Forbes

How Smart Angels Will Leverage Crowdfunding - Forbes | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Equity crowdfunding has a large and growing base of global supporters and advocates.
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great article with great insights and analysis of where crowdfunding is headed.


Looking for funding? When using equity crowdfunding, you're still going to have to produce a business plan, especially dealing with Angel Investors, every single one of them will want to know what 'the plan' is.


Consider working with a Growthink Business Plan Template, it creates results. This is what Andy Kessler, Founder of Turning Earth (http://turningearthllc.com/), says about it:


"I was able to pick up a template that I could actually figure out how to use, had all the key components in it, and basically just drop in my idea... We, in fact, were able to raise money."


This is where to get full information and order it:

https://growthink.infusionsoft.com/go/businessplan/gt4045/


Get a free Business Plan Template here:

http://www.business-funding-insider.com/free-business-plan-template.html

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20 words and phrases that will doom your pitch

20 words and phrases that will doom your pitch | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Use these 'cursed words,' and many reporters and bloggers will delete your email. So will your employees. Plus, civilization might end.
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The same in business plans and investor presentations of any kind.


Some more good articles here: www.business-funding-insider.com

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Growthink Products for Capital Raising and Business Planning

Growthink Products for Capital Raising and Business Planning | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Introduction and Review of Growthink Products to help you raise all the capital you need, and plan your business to grow into 8 figures, and exit profitably!
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Reviewed and recommended by Business Funding Insisder

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