Top 15 Startup Accelerators of 2012 Ranked, Y Combinator Tops List

Study by Team from Kellogg School of Management Reveals Top Accelerator Programs of 2012

22 AUGUST 2012, WASHINGTON D.C.
Summary
Prof. Yael Hochberg and 2012 MBA graduate Kristen Kamath of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, in cooperation with media partner Tech Cocktail (tech.co), set out to determine the best startup accelerator programs in America and rank the top 15. Sitting atop this year’s list was Y Combinator, followed by TechStars Boulder and KickLabs respectively. This is the second year of the report, which was initiated in 2011 with Aziz Gilani, Director at DFJ Mercury.

Prof. Yael Hochberg and 2012 MBA graduate Kristen Kamath of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, in cooperation with media partner Tech Cocktail (tech.co), set out to determine the best startup accelerator programs in America and rank the top 15. Sitting atop this year’s list was Y Combinator, followed by TechStars Boulder and KickLabs respectively. This is the second year of the report, which was initiated in 2011 with Aziz Gilani, Director at DFJ Mercury.

In addition to the announcement of the top accelerators, Tech Cocktail is offering a free report to entrepreneurs, sponsored by .CO, titled, “A Guide to Choosing the Best Tech Accelerator for Your Startup”. This report will be available for download exclusively at tech.co, at the bottom of the accelerator rankings article. Topics covered in the report include analysis and advice on funding, mentorship, geography, network strength, and alternative startup programs.

“With the explosion of startup accelerators in the past couple of years, there are many options for entrepreneurs to sift through and no real resources to help find the right program for them,” said Frank Gruber, co-founder and CEO of Tech Cocktail. “Our goal in working with Prof. Hochberg’s team was to create an objective ranking that we could couple with our own research to create a more in-depth look at the various programs out there. There are many people who don't know what accelerators are or how to select one. We think the ranking created by Prof. Hochberg’s research team and the report created by Tech Cocktail provide an extremely valuable resource.”

Last year, Boulder-based TechStars narrowly edged out Mountain View’s Y Combinator for the top spot, followed by Chicago’s Excelerate Labs. This year two San Francisco accelerators, KickLabs and i/o Ventures, took spots three and four, while Excelerate fell to five.

The full rankings can be found here: http://tech.co/top-startup-accelerators-ranked-2012-08

Operating traditionally as a 12-week program, startup accelerators provide entrepreneurs mentorship, financing, connections, and a shared office space. This highly fostered work environment aims to expedite the early phases of startups’ business development. Most programs conclude with a “demo day”, an event whereby startups pitch their businesses in front of investors with top programs garnering much media attention.

Programs were ranked based on multiple components: follow-on funding, success of graduating startups, accelerator characteristics (i.e. money received, equity taken, alumni base, etc.), and qualitative rankings of the programs obtained from interviews with VCs to better understand the perception and reputation of the various accelerator programs in the industry.

To view the report, please visit http://tech.co/top-startup-accelerators-ranked-2012-08

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About Tech Cocktail

Tech Cocktail is a media company and events organization for startups, entrepreneurs, and
technology enthusiasts. Since 2006, its goal has been to amplify local tech communities and give entrepreneurs a place to get informed, connected, and inspired. Tech Cocktail dedicates itself to covering news, how-to’s, up-and-coming startups, and industry trends online, and hosting events in over 20 cities in the US and abroad.

From a simple community-building event, Tech Cocktail has transformed into a full-fledged media company with thousands of fans, followers, and supporters across the globe. Tech Cocktail has hosted local mixers, breakfasts, conferences, festivals, and other events around the country that have attracted thousands of attendees, educating entrepreneurs as they showcase their latest achievements and the local technology communities they live in. Check out http://tech.co, follow them on Twitter @TechCocktail and like them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TechCocktail.

About the Research Team

Prof. Yael Hochberg is a faculty member at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Her research and teaching focuses on startups, entrepreneurship and the venture capital industry. To find out more about her work, visit http://kellogg.northwestern.edu/faculty/hochberg/htm/, and follow her on Twitter @yaelhochberg.

Kristen Kamath is a 2012 MBA graduate of the Kellogg School of Management. She was previously a Venture Fellow at DFJ Mercury.

About The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University

The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University was founded in 1908 and is widely recognized as a global leader in management education. The school, based just outside of Chicago, is home to a renowned, research-based faculty and MBA students from around the globe. The Kellogg School’s academic portfolio includes the Full-Time, Part-Time and Executive MBA Programs, the Ph.D. Program, and the nondegree Executive Education Program. To learn more, visit www.kellogg.northwestern.edu.

About .CO

.CO is the domain name of choice for innovators and entrepreneurs all over the world. Since launching in 2010, more than 1.6 million .CO domains have been registered by people and companies in more than 200 countries. From startups and small businesses to big brands and multinational corporations, .CO is where big ideas belong on the Web. For more information about .CO, please visit www.go.co or follow us on Twitter @dotCO.

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