Best Accelerators in Seattle, Ranked

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Contributor, Benzinga
June 2, 2021

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Seattle is not only home to rainy weather; it also rains accelerators and incubators that cater to the broad array of local startups. These programs offer a total package from workshops to tools and from capital and technology to mentorship that handles hard entrepreneurship truths. In this list, we take you through some of the top accelerators in Seattle. Why did they make a list?

  • They are local.
  • They are transparent.
  • They have practical standards.

Use this guide to find the best accelerator for your Seattle startup.

What is an Accelerator?

Every entrepreneur has a unique journey, but the common point for all of them, regardless of their field, is that they aim for success. Accelerators are programs that support startups. The support can be offered in the form of funding, mentorship, training and access to technology. The program is cohort-based, which means several businesses go into the program simultaneously. The program could last for 3 months even though it can also be stretched depending on the accelerator framework. During their time in the accelerator, startups gain access to resources and collaborate with business leaders, peers and investors to identify their prospective customers. Once the program ends, businesses graduate via a Demo Day where they pitch potential investors.

An incubator, on the other hand, supports early-stage businesses by offering workspaces. Incubators do not have a strict timeline.

What Type of Companies Are Accelerators For?

A successful startup cherishes innovation, nourishment and problem-solving. An accelerator provides this kind of atmosphere where businesses don't just come to learn, they also learn from the mistakes of others like them. A study conducted by Emory University found that companies that joined accelerator programs raised 8 times the investment capital compared to their non accelerator peers.

Thousands of companies are where they are thanks to accelerator programs that helped them grow and establish themselves.

Any company that feels the need to expand its knowledge, network with others and earns extra capital should consider joining an accelerator.

How to Pick the Right Accelerator

Accelerator programs generally pick companies that meet specific criteria. Some of the standard requirements are:

  • Having a working business plan
  • Minimum viable product, MVP
  • Great teamwork ability
  • Entrepreneurial in nature
  • Coachability
  • Scalability

On a personal level, a startup that wants to join an accelerator should ensure it attends to its specific business needs. Are you going in for capital or mentorship? Does the program offer skills and resources that are unique to your industry? What do the alumni say about it? How many exits? Will the program disrupt you in terms of location and business operations? Finally, what are you willing to give away because accelerator programs may ask for equity.

Now with further ado, here are the best accelerators.

Top 10 Accelerators in Seattle

Here are our choices for the best accelerators in Seattle, Washington.

1. Best Founders Accelerator: Microsoft ScaleUp, founded 2011


Microsoft ScaleUp is a program that offers startups technical support and development tools. Startups also can be given up to $120,000 in Azure credits. Businesses are allowed to choose their tech language of choice, for instance, Java. Access also is granted to business and productivity applications, for example, Microsoft Dynamics 365. 

The number of companies in the portfolio is 490, and there have been 14 exits. The program takes 4 months, and some of the notable names associated with it are Solebit, Loom Systems, Missbeez Ltd. and Presenso.

2. Best BioTech Accelerator: Accelerator Life Science Partners, founded 2003


When it comes to catalyzing development and commercialization in biotech innovations, Accelerator Life Science Partners can be a trusted partner. It is a program that provides a total package when it comes to finances, business and scientific tools. This is to help nurture early-stage biotechnology companies. 

Some of the critical resources offered are state-of-the-art laboratories, startup management and investment capital. Some of the notable names associated with this program are Petra Pharma, Lodo Therapeutics, Rodeo Therapeutics Corp. and AponGen Biotechnologies Inc.

3. Best Pre-Seed Stage Accelerator: Founder Institute Seattle, founded 2009


Pre-seed stage startups have not been left out. Founder Institute Seattle is a program that focuses on helping pre-seed stage teams and entrepreneurs advance to the seed level. In the program, businesses are advanced to the point of joining a seed accelerator. 

You will be connected with Seattle startup gurus who have a true interest in your success. You will also learn how to build a structured business that has helped alumni raise more than $950 million. 

The accelerator has a pool where companies contribute 4% equity. Some of the notable names associated with the program are Udemy Inc., TravelCar, Ovamba Corp., Acudeen and Appota Corp.

4. Best Interactive Media Accelerator: REACTOR, founded 2004


REACTOR, from the Washington Interactive Network, is an interactive media startup. The program also serves as a hub and resource center for the community. What do startups gain? 

Access to REACTOR exclusive events, startup exposure, industry experts and PR opportunities.  Litesprite Inc., Apptentive Inc. and VRcade are just some of the notable names associated with the program.

5. Best Globally Recognized/Traction Accelerator: Techstars, founded 2006


You cannot have a city with a startup influx and find Techstars missing in action. Techstars has an accelerator in Seattle, too. This is a 3-month program that helps businesses gain traction via fundraising preparation, deep mentor engagement and rapid iteration cycles. 

What do startups get? For 6% in equity, they get $20,000 living expenses and a $100,000 convertible note. Techstars Seattle is proud to associate itself with Classpass, Legalpad Inc., DigitalOcean, Pillpack, Outreach Corp. and SendGrid.

6. Best Cleantech Accelerator: Cascadia CleanTech Accelerators, founded 2018


Cascadia CleanTech Accelerators is a program operated by CleanTech Alliance together with Oregon BEST (currently VertueLab). In this 15-week program, participants get funding opportunities, mentorship and training. The program is designed explicitly for early-stage cleantech startups. 

Even though Cascadia has not raised more than $1 million in funding, it has several notable brands associated with it. These are NODE, AlgoteK, Blade Runner Energy, Local-e and SmartVineyard.

7. Best Women-Led Businesses Accelerator: Women in Cloud Accelerator, founded 2017


Women in Cloud Accelerator does precisely what its title says. The program aims to build and grow women-led companies. During the 6-month program, women team leaders learn how to do-build, co-market and do-sell using cloud hyper scalers and distribution channels. 

What do participating companies gain? Training on pitching, lead generation, deal preparation, access to Microsoft executives and access to investors. Some of the notable names associated with the program are Computing Kids, Agile Impact, Stylyze, Bitlume and Plantmatch.

8. Best Angel Accelerator: Fledge, founded 2012


Want to make a change in the world through your startup? Fledge is your accelerator. Not only is it a conscious company accelerator program, it also has 55 companies in its portfolio to prove it. The program focuses on helping businesses whose primary agenda is improving lives and impacting the health sector, environment and the community. 

Companies based in the United States get an investment of $20,000. With zero exits, Fledge is proud to associate itself with BridgeCare Finance Inc., Africa Business Radio and Crické.

9. Best COVID-19 Treatment Accelerator: COVID-19 Therapeutics, founded 2020


Are you a company involved in COVID-19 Therapeutics? Launched by Mastercard, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust, the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator helps speed development and access to COVID-19 therapies. 

There is no access to capital, but during the 3-month program, participants are awarded $100,000 per year. Companies also get to engage in research innovation collaboration programs. So far, the accelerator has 11 companies in its portfolio.

10. Best AI Incubator: A12 Incubator, founded 2012


A12 Incubator is brought to you by the Allen Institute for AI. It is a program that seeks to connect the finest talent in AI with the best entrepreneurs to build solid AI startups. This program lasts 6 months for each cohort whereby selected entrepreneurs get $20,000 in salary ($10,000 monthly stipend). 

In addition to that, A12 invests up to $800,000 in companies it works with. The investment comes from some top global investors, such as Two Sigma Ventures LP and Madrona Venture Group. Some of the notable companies associated with the program are Wellsaid, KITT.AI, Xnor and Blue Canoe.

Find the Best Accelerators in Seattle for Your Startup 

Seattle is a startup-friendly city that accelerators and incubators are venturing into day by day.  Founders are not running short of ideas.Want to learn more about other local rankings across the U.S.? Check out the Best Tech Startups in Miami and Best Accelerators in Boston along with the rest of Benzinga’s Ranked guides.


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