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Salt Lake City, Utah, may not be known as a hub for startups, but it should be. It is a city with incredible scenery and tons of amazing startups, making it a great place to host business accelerators.
If you are a startup business or investor looking for opportunities in Utah, use our guide to the best accelerators in Salt Lake City to find your best fit.
What is an Accelerator?
An accelerator assists startups in the early growth stages with several aspects of building a successful business. This can include mentorship, funding, training and other types of business education and know-how. It can be thought of as an "accelerated" crash course in entrepreneurship as well as business management.
A set time frame, cohort-based programs and a focus on early-stage companies only are all markers of an accelerator.
What Types of Companies are Accelerators For?
The startup scene is getting competitive and complex. Founders are hunting for something that will give them a competitive edge, which can be found in accelerators.
Joining an accelerator or incubator depends on the stage of your business. To determine whether your company should join an accelerator, you need to ask yourself 2 things.
- Is the cost worth the reward? With most accelerators, you will have to offer a slice of your equity, usually 6%. If they are not asking for equity, you may have to pay in some other way to secure your spot. Think long term here: Is what the accelerator offers worth the equity? Or would you be better off going it alone and not giving up a slice of your company?
- What do you want to get out of the program? An accelerator is only suitable for you if you have practical short-and-long term goals you think you cannot achieve without outside help. Ask yourself whether you would be able to meet your goals if you seek advice or mentorship elsewhere without giving up a share in your business.
How to Pick the Best Accelerator in Salt Lake City
Your time with a program can only be successful if you also take your time to find the right fit. Here are some of the steps to consider when choosing an accelerator:
- Do your research and consider the accelerator as a long-term partner. Most accelerators take a certain percentage as equity. You cannot allow just anyone to own your hard work. Have this at the back of your mind when deciding.
- Forget the rankings. Search engines use algorithms that have been set to respond to specific keywords and other SEO strategies. Pick an accelerator program based on your unique business needs.
- Locals are not always the best. At times, the accelerator that best fits you is far from where you are based. You owe it to yourself to be honest with yourself and see whether your local accelerator will deliver. Think without a box.
- Check the program principles. Perhaps your startup tackles big problems, and you need to think the impossible. Unfortunately, not every accelerator has the resources you need to tackle the problem from all angles. Choose how you want your experience to be.
- Who are your mentors? Titles do not make a mentor; availability and experience do. Do the mentors interact well with the participants, or do they make cameos and get their checks?
- Speak to some accelerator alumni. Get to know both the accelerator’s benefits and shortcomings.
- Do not just focus on capital; find out other ways the program offers value.
The 10 Best Accelerators in Salt Lake City
Here is Benzinga's choices for the best accelerators for startups of all types in Salt Lake City, Utah.
1. Best Early Stage Accelerator/Incubator: Nordmark Group, founded 2012
If you search for an accelerator cum incubator that brings together investors, entrepreneurs and ideas, the Nordmark Group is the name. It brings these 3 together to create companies that improve lives using technology. The program lasts 3 months. Currently, the accelerator has 2 investments and 1 exit. Normark is yet to have a notable company associated with it.
2. Best Business-Planning Accelerator: BoomStartup, founded 2010
BoomStartup is a program that helps startups identify their flaws, become accountable, make a plan and meet their goals. The program provides advice, education and tools to startups no matter their level. With the Boom program, businesses can create an optimal model and have a revenue-ready viable product.
3. Best Collaborative Effort Accelerator/Incubator: Church and State, founded 2014
Church and State is a non-profit program dedicated to creating a sustainable ecosystem for startups and entrepreneurs with the essential elements they need to build successful enterprises. Some of these critical elements are education, opportunities to collaborate, space and resources.
4. Best Revenue Profitability Accelerator: Mentored Acceleration, founded 2014
The Mentored Acceleration program is a boot camp for companies that want to improve their revenues profitably. This is an intense 3-day boot camp that engages participants in 1-on-1 mentoring that goes through cutting-edge tools and proven methodologies for rapid, sustainable and substantial revenue results.
5. Best Flagship Product Accelerator or Incubator: Start Studio, founded 2008
Start Studio has been working with companies since 2008. The program specializes in helping design, build, scale and market flagship products. Start Studio prides itself on working with some of the biggest names in Utah while remaining loyal to startups. Working on new tech and helping businesses succeed drives this design, strategy, marketing and development accelerator.
6. Best Recreation-Based Startup Incubator: Pando, founded 2014
If you are an entrepreneur who loves challenges and the great outdoors, Pando is the accelerator for you. It is an invite-only network of the most active investors, entrepreneurs and service providers in Utah. It focuses on matching people, setting a collaboration platform and entrepreneurial success. Panda provides capital and resources when needed. The community currently has more than 140 members and is supported by over 15 partners.
7. Best Entrepreneurial Education Incubator: Sustainable Startups, founded 2013
Sustainable Startups has designed programs that give people access to a broad spectrum of entrepreneurial education. The education and programs are free and open to the public via rented spaces. It also offers 1-on-1 business coaching.
8. Best Venture Services Accelerator: RevRoad, founded 2017
RevRoad is where companies go to grow. After you are accepted, you get to experience 24 months of world-class venture services to scale your company. RevRoad prides itself on redefining the meaning of accelerators. There's a unique blend of agency, accelerator and venture capital. No matter your business level or stage, RevRoad will work with you. The focus is to scale your efforts. RevRoad helps startups achieve 3 goals under 1 roof, and that is to grow, scale and increase your profits. Some of the companies associated with RevRoad are Literal, Fairstream, Savology and Phonesoap.
9. Best Bootcamp Accelerator: Startup Ignition, founded 2015
Need some help to get you back on course? Startup Ignition is a boot camp for entrepreneurs where businesses are trained on how to launch correctly and how to take the appropriate steps that mitigate risk and increase success. During the boot camp, businesses implementat learned skills and tools. The program makes use of a results-driven curriculum.
10. Best Student Entrepreneur Incubator: Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, founded 2001
Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute is a nationally ranked incubator for student innovators and entrepreneurs at the University of Utah. Participants have the option to choose between diving deep into the program or taking just an hour's training. If they have an idea or are looking for a team, the program invites them to join. Participants are free to live, create and launch. The program has been featured in Bloomberg, Businessweek, Fast Company and won an award at the MBA Entrepreneur Program 2020.
Find the Best Accelerators in Salt Lake City for Your Startup
Finding the best accelerators is the result of diligent research. Find out what addresses your unique business needs and apply.Want to learn more about other local rankings across the United States? Check out the Best Accelerators in Cincinnati and the rest of Benzinga’s Rankings content.
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