Techstars Company Analysis

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Corporate Accelerator Pricing

StartupBootcamp and 500 Startups provide both training and funding to startups, taking payment in turn in both fees and equity. Society3, on the other hand, pursues the mission of helping startups in developing nations. Consequently, it provides stipends for entrepreneurs in those nations to attend their workshops and maintains its cash flow by charging those from developed nations full price and supplementing its revenue with partnerships and donations.

StartupBootcamp

  • In addition to its 3-month training program, StartupBootcamp provides startups with "€15K in cash, €450K+ in partner services, 6 months of free collaborative office space."
  • In turn, StartupBootcamp takes a 6-8% equity stake in the startup.
  • StartupBootcamp's Scale program, which "provides growth-stage startups with validated business models, the opportunity to expand internationally and to increase revenues and funding opportunities," is also paid for with equity, typically a 4-5% stake.
  • We find no references to StartupBootcamp accepting a cash payment in place of equity.

500 Startups

  • The 500 Startups Seed program offers $150,000 along with mentoring, help with distribution and branding, and access to their network in return for a cash charge of $37,500 (which can be taken from the Seed program money, reducing it to $112,500) and a 6% equity stake which is "subject to dilution at the time of conversion of our convertible security."
  • Additionally, 500 Startups receives the right "to make a follow-on investment of an additional $500,000 or 20% of your next priced round of $1,000,000 or more, whichever is lower, which expires after the conversion of our convertible security."
  • The incubator also has a "Debt Version" of their program which "includes an interest rate and a maturity feature"; however, we could not discover any public details on how interest and maturity are calculated, possibly because this is a point of negotiation.
  • 500 Startups also offers multi-day seminars at flat fees which range from $9,200 to $24,000; some of these seminars are available only on an invitation basis.

Society3

  • Society3 World Innovations Forum (WIF) is an unusual accelerator in that they focus entirely on providing educational resources and seminars to "entrepreneurs in developing and emerging countries."
  • These programs are funded from entry fees which operate on a kind of sliding scale, with available "stipends" (e.g., scholarships) depending on the country that the entrepreneur is from. For example, the upcoming Growth Stage Accelerator program to be hosted in Saigon, costs participants the following, depending on their country of origin (quoted verbatim):
    • $0 — waving all fees for teams from Nepal, Cambodia, Indonesia
    • $100, for teams from Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam
    • $2,500, for teams from China, India, Singapore, South Korea
    • $750 for all other South East Asian teams
  • For comparison, the Growth Stage Accelerator program in San Francisco costs $7,500 for US entrepreneurs but offers stipends of up to 99% of the cost to foreign-born students from developing countries.
  • Society3 does not often invest in startups (the San Francisco Accelerator (SFA) has made only one investment, and that four years ago, while the WIF has no investments listed on Crunchbase) and for the most part seems to charge flat fees, but the Scaleup Accelerator under the SFA also requires a "success fee and 3% equity" which "will be purchased in cash at nominal value."
  • Apart from these seminar fees, Society3 also depends on partnerships and donations from philanthropic people and organizations interested in giving entrepreneurship a boost in the developing world.

Research Strategy

We began our research in each accelerator with the organization's site(s). Since each was more interested in selling their value rather than discussing their fees (likely to avoid discouraging nervous entrepreneurs), we often had to find the requested information in the program sign-up pages and FAQs. Though time-consuming, we attempted to be as complete as possible in searching each organization's material. Even so, we have condensed that material in summary form in our findings rather than including the details of every program in every city the accelerator offers, as we understand the request criteria.

There was some initial confusion in the matter of Society3. Most URLs attached to the name, including Society3.com and s3.vc, redirected to the Society3 World Innovations Forum (WIF). However, the San Francisco Accelerator's Crunchbase page and homepage also referred to it as Society3. Based on the fact that both organizations share the same mission, programs, sliding scales, etc., we came to conclude that the San Francisco Accelerator is simply the US branch of the Swiss-based foundation. Consequently, we have included information from both sites in our findings as a single organization.
Sources
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