Accelerator Application Statistics

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Accelerator Application Statistics

SkyDeck, Techstar, IndieBio, MergedLane, BoomTown, Plug & Play, BackStage Capital, YCombinator,, and 500 Startups are all popular accelerator programs, offering between $20,000 and $2 million in funding to successful applicants. With the exception of 500 Startups, who charges $37,500, the accelerator programs are free. MergedLane and Backstage Capital focus on investing in minority-led startups, while IndieBio looks to startups in biotechnology. Key and interesting information and relevant metrics are provided. It is of some note that the available data is not standardized across the industry, with varying types and amounts of information available for each company.

SkyDeck Overview

  • Successful applicants to Berkley SkyDeck's six-month program, will be funded $100,000, with $50,000 on acceptance, and $50,000 at three months. There is also an offer from the incubator of up to 10% (up to $2 million) in the first funding round. The applicant can use the funding for any aspect of their business, including hiring, marketing, or product development.
  • SkyDeck invites applications from a range of industries including, "artificial intelligence, natural interfaces, block chain, mobility, green industry, administrative software, customer experience, asset management, cybersecurity, IoT, and more."

SkyDeck Metrics

  • Approximately 20 applicants are selected every six months to be a part of the accelerator program.
  • Applicants are significantly more likely to receive institutional funding upon graduation from the SkyDeck program, compared to the national average. Applicants present their startups at demo day in front of more than 600 would-be investors to gain additional investment.
  • SkyDeck's new program includes 23 accelerator startups, 105 incubator track startups, and 17 global innovation startups. SkyDeck's Fall 2019 program received more than 850 applications from 213 cities in 64 countries.
  • Only 145 applicants were successful across the three programs. This represents a success rate of just 17.1%. When compared to their 2015 applications, 2018 represented a 1,700% increase in the number of companies applying to their programs.

Techstar Overview

  • Over 300 applicant companies are selected to participate in one of the programs offered by Techstar each year. TechStar invests $120,000 in each applicant, receiving 6% of the token reserve and 6% fully diluted equity, until the company reaches $250,000 priced equity funding.
  • The three-month accelerator program sees the successful applicants select their top 3-5 mentors. These mentors work with the applicant, in product development and market fit, over the next three months. There are over 10,000 mentors to choose from.

Techstar Metrics

  • Techstar has raised more than $7.6 billion in funding since its inception. Applicants work with the founders of ten other startups for three months to accelerate their company. Techstar has a network of more than 1,500,000 mentors, founders, industry leaders, investors, and partners globally that can be used as resources by the applicants.
  • 86% of graduate companies are either still actively trading or have been acquired. Former applicants raise, on average, more than $1 million in their first round of funding and more than $3 million in subsequent rounds.
  • The TechStar Mentor Driven Accelerator Program has more than 4,000 alumni. Applicants have access to more than 10,000 mentors.
  • Having run more than 4,000 different programs, in more than 150 countries, Techstar has seen over 3 million applicants successfully graduate its programs.
  • After being accepted into the accelerator program, applicants can expect to receive more than 400 perks, with a value in excess of $1 million.
  • The 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 included 12 previous applicants from 8 startups that had graduated Techstar's accelerator program.
  • SendGrid is the most successful of the Techstar former applicants, becoming the first accelerator company globally to go public. It was acquired in 2019 by Twillo for $3.9 billion.

IndieBio Overview

  • IndieBio has offices in San Francisco and, from April, New York. They offer a 16-week accelerator course. Each applicant receives $250,000 in seed funding in exchange for an 8% share of the applicant's company, with a $3 million valuation cap. $200,000 is provided in cash and $50,000 in kind.
  • Applications can be made to the therapeutic track, where the startup receives $2 million funding. This is the first time an accelerator has offered applicants a cash-rich package.
  • They are looking for applicants "with deep scientific insights aimed at solving intractable or difficult problems that will impact 1B+ members of humanity. We see biology as a technology that can be applied across all verticals, which can include therapeutics, the future of food, biomaterials, biological tools, diagnostics, synthetic biology, genomics, and data analysis to name just a few areas."
  • IndieBio runs two programs of four months' duration annually. Fifteen early-stage bio companies are selected for each program.
  • Applications by startups with only one founder are not accepted. There must be at least two founders before the startup can apply to this program.
  • Applicants have found that an acceptance into the IndieBio program has enabled them to leverage the bank for further funds.

IndieBio Metrics

  • IndieBio has helped 116 companies, with a current combined enterprise value of $1.4 billion.
  • 40% of the successful applicants to IndieBio are female. Successful applicants have come from 36 countries.
  • 50% of the applicants and their companies remain local upon graduation, with the other 50% moving either interstate or to another country.
  • Indie Bio applicants raise, on average, $2.6 million funding, during the seed stage. During the program, most companies meet 80-100 investors.
  • Between 2015 and 2018, IndieBio saw successful applicants graduate 81 startups, with 70% having secured additional funding by 2018. The value of the graduates' portfolio is more than $700 million.
  • 21% of the applications accepted have are startups specializing in food and agriculture, 17% therapeutics, 17% medical device and diagnostics, 15% computational biology, 11% industrial biology, 11% consumer biology, 4% neurotechnology, and 4% regenerative medicine.

MergeLane Overview

  • MergeLane has a network of 600 investors and 300 mentors. To garner investment from MergeLane, at least one of the applicants must be female.
  • They invest in companies from the pre-seed to series A funding stage. They do not invest in applicants that are still at the ideas or concept stage, requiring some concrete action to have been undertaken.
  • Successful applicants receive seed funding of $20,000 in exchange for 6% of the startup company.

MergeLane Metrics

  • The 2016 program saw MergeLane receive 2,000 applications for just 10 places, a success rate of just 0.5%.
  • 31 companies have benefited from MergeLane's funding. The companies have raised $20.6 million in funding. 432 jobs have been created, and 39 women have been given leadership roles in the startups.

BoomTown Overview

  • BoomTown Accelerators offer a unique content to each cohort, instead of reproducing the same program. Each program lasts 12 weeks.
  • Successful applicants receive $35,000 to 50,000 for a minimum of 6% equity. The perks offered by BoomTown have a value of over $1.7 million, and include hosting from Google and Amazon, and discounts on software.
  • BoomTown only works with US companies, preferring Delaware Corporations. They prefer to work with at least two founders.
  • The industries that BoomTown is most comfortable working with are marketing, agriculture, apparel, construction, consumer packaged goods, distribution, education, employment, energy, finance, food, gaming, healthcare, health and wellness, hospitality and travel, manufacturing, media and entertainment, medical devices, retail, real estate, security, telecommunications, and transportation.

BoomTown Metrics

  • BoomTown has made 138 investments, 78% of the companies invested in remain in operation, 82% of the companies invested in are generating income. They have raised a total capital of $133 million.

Plug & Play Overview

  • Located in Silicon Valley, Plug & Play has run over 50 industry-specific programs in cities throughout the US. Their venture team invests between $25,000 and $500,000 in the startup of each successful applicant. They operate in 25 locations throughout the Americas, Middle East, Europe, and Asia.

Plug & Play Metrics

  • 426 successful applicants were accelerated in 2017. This increased to 1,137 in 2018, an increase of 267%.
  • Their portfolio companies raised $9 billion in funding. Applicants can apply to Plug & Play at any stage in the development of their startup, from seed to series C, and beyond.
  • A typical program with Plug & Play involves the successful applicants attending, 44 deal flow sessions, 5 mentor sessions, 5 venture capital meetings, and 8 events. The program concludes with Demo Day, where each startup has 3 minutes to pitch to 500 possible investors.
  • The acceptance rate for Plug & Plays programs is around 1.5%. For every 7,000 applications, there are 106 successful applicants.
  • 51% of the funding invested by Plug & Play, has gone to applicants with pre-seed ventures.

Backstage Capital Overview

  • Backstage Capital invests in companies that are led by underrepresented founders. This includes women, people of color, and LGBTQ founders.
  • Backstage Capital funds successful applicants to the value of $100,000.

Backstage Capital Metrics

  • Backstage Capital has invested more than $7 million, in 120 companies.
  • Between 2015 to 2018, Backstage Capital invested $5 million in startups led by 100 women, people of color, and LGBTQ.
  • The first cohort had 2,000 applications. Backstage Capital funded 24, just 1.2% of the total applicants.
  • People of color made up 96% of the first cohort, women made up 54%, women of color 42%, and LGBTQ 8%. 58% of the companies were local to Backstage Capital.

YCombinator Overview

  • YCombinator invests $150,000 in the startups of successful applicants. In exchange, it receives 7% of the company equity. YCombinator is also given the right to invest in future funding, to the degree that maintains its equity percentage.

YCombinator Metrics

  • The accelerator offered by YCombinator has a diverse range of areas represented. The last Enterprise accelerator had 127 companies involved.
  • 34.6% were Enterprise/B2B, 23.6% were Hardware, 16.5% were Consumer, 10.2% were Biotech, 5.5% were Fintech, 3.9% were DevTools, 3.1% were marketplace, and 2.4% were Non-Profit. Companies from outside of the US represented 29% of the successful applicants.
  • 14.2% of the successful applicants had companies that were not incorporated at the time of the application. 57.5% of the successful companies were not responding to a Request to Start when they were accepted onto the accelerator program. 50% were not making money at the time of their application.
  • Of the successful companies, 8.5% had only one founder, 61.3% had two founders, 20.8% had three, 7.5% had four, and 1.9% had more than five. 45% of the successful applicants had been rejected on at least one occasion. The average number of rejections, before being accepted, was 2.
  • An alumni recommendation was not available for 54.7% of the companies. The average age of the successful applicants is 28.8 years.
  • YCombinator receives 10,000 applications for each round. They usually accept between 130 and 150 of the applicants. This is a success rate of between 1.3 and 1.5%.
  • Since their inception, YCombinator has funded over 1.900 startups, that collectively are now worth over $100 billion.
  • In 2009, YCombinator had 42 startups graduate startup school. In 2015, they had 222 startups graduate. This is an increase of 528%. Overview

  • (AngePad) has been named the Top US Accelerator by MIT's seed accelerator benchmark since 2015. They operate in most IT verticals including, "SaaS, Marketplaces, Core Technology, Advertising, API, Mobile, Healthcare, AI, Data, B2B, B2C — even Drones."
  • They focus on the US market, with most of the companies based in either San Francisco or New York.
  • AngelPad invests $120,000 in each successful applicant. Metrics

  • They have launched over 150 businesses since opening their doors in 2010.
  • They select 15 applicants from over 2,000 every six months to participate in their program. This equates to a success rate of just 0.7%. The small cohorts are seen as an advantage by most applicants.
  • Companies that AngelPad has invested in have raised $1.8 billion in funding, since 2010. The average funding received by successful applicants is $11 million.
  • 25% of the startups that completed the accelerator program received further funding from AngelPad, in future rounds.
  • Rather than have a Demo Day like other accelerators, AngelPad has what it terms "speed dating," where the investors meet with the successful applicants and their startup.

500 Startups Overview

  • Companies participating in the seed accelerator receive a $150,000 investment in exchange for 6% equity. They are one of the few companies that charge applicants a fee to participate in the program. The fee is $37,500.
  • The seed accelerator gives successful applicants access to more than 500 mentors, investors, and entrepreneurs.

500 Startups Metrics

  • 500 Startups has invested in over 2,300 companies from more than 75 countries. More than 5,000 founders have successfully applied to their program.
  • 30-40% of the successful applicants are international. 26% of the companies selected are led by at least one female founder.
  • Most successful applicants were rejected on their first application.
  • Ten companies that graduated from 500 Startups have achieved Unicorn status. 60% of the Unicorns came from companies outside of the US. 66 of the graduating companies are worth more than $100 million.
  • 345 of the graduated companies have subsequently been acquired.

Research Strategy

We extensively reviewed precompiled information, industry reports, media articles, and company press releases, to determine relevant metrics for each of the companies identified. We were able to identify the investment provided, and any conditions attached to the investment for each of the companies. The metrics we have provided vary considerably between the different companies. There was also varying degrees of information available regarding the companies. We have managed to identify several metrics relevant to each identified company. Relevant information, extrapolated from the reports and blogs, has included in the overview of each company. We have included only the metrics and information relevant to the applications made for each accelerator program.