Lies, Damned Lies and The Accelerometer’s Statistics
Paul Smith

This does seem unfair

As an investor in several accelerators, including Ignite , Techstars and Entrepreneurs First, since almost the beginning, and a mentor at many others I think this needs better defining. Simply as all accelerators are not the same. These are the ones I understand:

Wayra - a corporate accelerator that backs teams that fit in with Telefonica world. Hence if you get on the program it is because you match Telefonica’s goals and hence Telefonica by definition can help you. Thus I suspect many people are happy…but the program is for only certain startups, who already have a product.

Seedcamp - do not have an accelerator any more, but are a team that helps teams that it can later fund.

Techstars - Most teams on Techstars now are teams who already have traction. The advantage of a global brand is that they can attract later stage teams, many who have already raised large amounts of money.

Ignite - Most teams have never done anything before and are very raw in so many ways….hence the failure rate is probably higher, but many great teams, people and companies have come out it….see below.

Entrepreneurs First - takes people who are smart and throws them in a mixing pot to create companies. They have done remarkable things, but also have had quite a few failures.

I have always been very vocal for my support for Ignite and Entrepreneurs First ( Techstars does not need it, as it is a global brand). Ignite and EF have both pushed things to the limit in the accelerator space and still do.

This feels very unfair to Ignite as I know many of the founders of Ignite companies and almost all of them will say very positive things about the program and the people running it.

So if you are a startup remember all accelerators are not the same. Pick a one that suits you…but please do not ignore Ignite. Remember these came from Ignite and mostly they were shit, beforehand ( I know I was there):

There are many more but these ones came to mind quickly. That is 14 teams out of about 30 that have been on the program I can name quickly who I know Ignite have had a huge influence over. These teams have combined raised millions and have combined valuations of 10's of millions.

Ask the founders of these companies if Ignite was any good for them:)


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