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What is a tech accelerator

What is a tech accelerator

What is a tech accelerator – and which are the best in Europe?

In the past few years, companies like Dropbox, Airbnb, and Reddit have gained a lot of attention as examples of successful startups.

But what do all of these companies that are still pretty new have in common? Each of them got their start in Y-Tech Combinator’s accelerator programme, which gave them the cash and space they needed to make their ideas work as well as they could.


Since more than half of all startups fail in the first two to five years, accelerator and incubator programmes give young startups and willing investors a way to learn from each other.

Based on the success of Y-Combinator, more and more startup accelerators are popping up on this side of the Atlantic. There are now more than 100 programmes in Europe where you can apply.

A few years ago, it was hard for startup founders in places like London to find seed funding. However, the rise of these programmes has brought a lot of investors and mentors to the capital. Already, Europe is home to the cab-hailing service Hailo, the song-recognition app Shazam, and the social chat platform Badoo. This list, which keeps growing, shows how big and growing Europe’s startup ecosystem is.

What does “tech accelerator” mean?

The idea behind a tech accelerator is pretty simple: at one end, you put a bunch of talented people or teams who have an idea for a company, some seed funding, some mentoring from people who have been there and done that before, some office space, and then you let it all sit for about three months. Most of the time, they are a much better bet than going it alone. You won’t get ripped off by renting a tiny office, and you might meet your perfect startup partner or come up with the next big idea.

How do I become part of an accelerator?
Usually, a new business with two or three partners or employees will apply online to join one of these programs. But because they are becoming more popular and because there is a lot of money at stake, only the best ideas will be chosen.

What does “tech accelerator” mean?

Start-up money? Tell me more.

Startups need money just like any other business. Whether it’s to pay for their lunches, to hire a great new developer, or to make a prototype of a product that will change the world, Investors who have been hand-picked by these programmes will offer up tens of thousands of pounds for a stake of about 5% to 10% in the company getting the cash. Most of the time, the first investment will be followed by more money to help them keep going, unless the company is bought out.

What do mentoring programmes involve?

Mentoring schemes are almost always provided alongside seed investment at these programs, and they help steer your idea down the right path. Mentors, who can come from almost any background, run them. They could be someone in a high position at a tech company like Google or Facebook. They could also be a venture capitalist with a history of investing in successful startups. They could even be running their own startup.

When you are accepted into a programme, you will be thrown into a three-month whirlwind of growth, opportunities, and potential problems. Mentoring programmes usually last as long as you are at a tech accelerator. During the first few weeks, you get more help in the areas where you need it. When the programme is over and you “graduate,” you should be on your way to building a business that can make money, or at least be able to go on and get more investors to work with you.

Where do I sign?

You need a good idea first, and then you need to do some research to find the best programme for you. The application acceptance rate for programmes like Y-Combinator and TechStars in the US is between 1% and 3%, but we have made a list of some of the best tech accelerators in Europe.

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