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9 Best Start-Up Accelerators Of 2022

Many up-and-coming start-ups can benefit from participating in accelerator programs, through mentorship, industry insights, and, in many cases, financial support. Accelerators are offered in several different industries, from media and creative arts to technology and healthcare. There are programs that offer options to their applicants, varying in intensity, duration, and focus.

Given the historical success of accelerator programs, it’s easy to see why they are continuing to build momentum and are considered an appealing option by many founders who wish to ride the next wave of innovation. Within North America, there is no shortage of such opportunities to give your company the push and support it needs in 2022.

Canadian Film Centre Media Lab

For those in the creative arts and media space, the Canadian Film Centre Media Lab offers a variety of programs for creative talent, media productions, projects, and entrepreneurs. They have a wide variety of program choices, including IDEABOOST (in existence since 2012), with a variety of program choices for assisting media start-ups — such as mentorship, networking, and funding. Another exciting option is the New Wave Initiative. This is an accelerator program focused on supporting and growing women-owned businesses within the digital media industry. One part of this program includes a four-month business growth and scale-up program, as well as global outreach opportunities.

AngelPad

Since 2010, this company, based in New York City and San Francisco, has launched over 150 businesses. It prides itself on being an intensive three-month, seed-based accelerator, helping its clients prepare for investor meetings and obtain funding. They are open to working with a wide variety of industries and invest $120,000 in each company. One-to-one mentoring, connecting with investors, and building a strong community are essential components of what makes AngelPad unique.

Highline Beta

Based in Toronto, Highline Beta supports pre-seed and seed-accelerator programs every step of the way. They have made a name for themselves on a wide scale, especially working with companies through their Pilot Program Accelerators, which looks at growth opportunities for larger companies. They also have a Venture Studio, which helps build start-ups while assisting in launching and funding pursuits within a six- to nine-month timeframe. Their other accelerator programs usually run for six months, offering specific accelerators in a variety of areas, including sustainability, financial technology (fintech), and North American small business. They also partner with various industry and corporate entities.

Y Combinator

This seed-funding accelerator consists of a three-month program focused on mentorship, expert guest speakers, and pitching. Participants work from an elite Silicon Valley location. Y Combinator’s process has helped grow well known companies such as Airbnb, Dropbox, and Instacart. The accelerator targets a wide variety of industries and a large volume of start-ups each year.

Cedars-Sinai Accelerator

For healthcare entrepreneurs and those within the digital healthcare space, Cedars-Sinai Accelerator programs run twice a year, for three months. They invest $100,000 into participating companies; they also offer demo days at the end of their program, to connect start-ups with the news media, investors, and potential customers. Participants have access to the day-to-day workings and logistics of a busy hospital, access to mentors, collaboration, technical teams, information technology, and goal-setting. This accelerator works with companies at various stages of their growth, to help them with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of the healthcare industry.

MaRS Discovery District

For those in fintech, healthcare, or cleantech, MaRS offers several options for innovation and growth. They have a wide network of industry, community, public sector, and corporate partners, which is advantageous to participants. Depending on the level at which your company is, MaRS offers appropriate advisory support, including early-stage and growth supports. Since 2007, they have offered their Business Acceleration Program in various regional locations across Ontario, with the goal of helping companies progress globally. As of 2013, they also offer a Youth Business Acceleration Program for individuals between the ages of 18 and 29 to support entrepreneurship within the technology industry.

Blueprint Health

Another accelerator program in the healthcare space, Blueprint Health concentrates on healthcare IT companies. They offer a three-month program as well as continuing support for their alumni. If selected, participants relocate to New York City for the duration of the program. This accelerator usually aids those companies that already have some sales and funds, but is also open to a variety of other start-ups — from those at foundational level to more-established levels. Straddling the line between healthcare and technology industries, they offer a variety of events and opportunities, such as content-development assistance and demo days.

500 Startups

Downtown San Francisco-based 500 Global Flagship Accelerator Program — first offered by 500 Startups in 2010 — differentiates itself by accepting applications year-round, breaking away from deadlines in hopes of improving opportunities for promising start-ups to take the next steps in their growth. Marketing themselves as “founder first,” they provide funding opportunities worth $150,000 at the end of the program on demo day. Through their network of 1,000-plus investors and 200-plus mentors, they help start-ups strengthen aspects of marketing, culture, accounting, product design, sales, finance, and more.

Techstars

With several locations throughout North America, Techstars offers an intensive three-month accelerator program that is currently available in a variety of formats, including virtual, hybrid, and in-person. In addition to multiple regional locations, there is also a wide variety of industries represented through their programs — from artificial intelligence and robotics to blockchain, finance, and more. They work in many areas of industry, which — when combined with their broad geographical locations, mentorship, and funding — offer a range of possibilities for companies attempting to benefit from accelerator programming.

Stephanie Hawkins | Contributing Writer

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