Accelerator Program Innovations, Part 2

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Accelerator Program Innovations, Part 2

Key Takeaways

  • IndieBio offers an initial investment of $525,000 for an 11.2% equity and continues investing past acceleration in every round.
  • Alchemist Accelerator's program supports founders past the acceleration by offering a structured path to customer traction and fundraising.

Introduction

This report provides two additional examples of organizations that are innovating in the business (startup) accelerator space. The identified accelerators are IndieBio and Alchemist Accelerator. For each program, information on the organization(s) behind it, what it is doing that is innovative, and why it is innovating has been provided.

Summary of Findings

IndieBio

  • IndieBio is a startup accelerator program backed by venture capital firm SOSV. It claims to be the first program globally to offer "pre-seed opportunity for startups in human and planetary health." During the four-week acceleration period, startups are supported either virtually or in person at IndieBio locations in San Francisco, California, or New York City, New York.
  • IndieBio starts working with founders up to nine months before they are ready for its intensive program. This means that they (founders) can apply even before they begin working full-time on their startups. The organization claims to have successfully "funded paper plans," as long as the science has been worked out.
  • Also, IndieBio targets startup companies located anywhere in the world and communicates with them daily to speed up their iteration cycles. With alumni from 36 nationalities aged 21-75 years and 44% of them being female, it offers opportunities to founders from diverse backgrounds.
  • Furthermore, IndieBio seeks to partner with startups for the long term. It offers an initial investment of $525,000 for an 11.2% equity and continues investing past acceleration in every round. In fact, 80% of its capital is used post-accelerator. Prellis Biologics, NotCo, and Upside Foods are among the companies in its portfolio.
  • IndieBio states that its program is designed to fulfill its mission of turning scientists into life- and planet-saving entrepreneurs. Additionally, its funding is structured in a way that enables it to build long-term relationships with its alumni.

Alchemist Accelerator

  • Alchemist Accelerator is a startup accelerator program backed by several funds, including Andreessen Horowitz, Accel, Sequoia, and Redpoint, among others. It boosts the growth of "seed-stage ventures that monetize from enterprises," which are companies that sell to enterprises as opposed to individual customers and have adopted an enterprise business model. The program is offered either remotely or at Alchemist's hubs in San Francisco, California, and Munich, Germany.
  • Alchemist provides $25,000 in seed funding for a 5% equity, but the stake can be adjusted for later-stage startups. In addition, startups can access up to $450,000 worth of exclusive discounts and credits from its partners, including for marketing, legal fees, cloud computing, and other services.
  • Alchemist's six-month program is designed by seasoned enterprise entrepreneurs. While it encourages all startups to apply, its focus is on those in Industrial IoT, Climate Tech, Diversity, Fintech/Cybersecurity, and Digital Health.
  • The curricula are personalized and the structured programs include group discussions, individualized mentoring sessions, consultations with experts, and the Alchemist Demo Day that enables founders to present to a selection of global investors. Founders can choose to what extent they want to be involved in the program.
  • The organization's program is so structured to allow it to support founders past the acceleration programs by offering a structured path to customer traction and fundraising.

Research Strategy

To provide two additional examples of organizations that are innovating in the business (startup) accelerator space, we consulted lists of accelerators from startup-focused resources such as Startup Savant and GrowthMentor as well as investment-focused resources including Affinity, and media resources such as Forbes. We then explored their websites to identify innovative ones that offer their programs virtually.

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