13 Top Accelerators for Female Entrepreneurs

Accelerator. The perfect word for what these programs do. They step on the gas with you, connect you to funding sources, give you advice and mentoring, help you understand better how to make your business quick, agile, effective. These accelerators...

These 13 accelerators invest in women-led businesses–some designed and founded to do so, some as a part of their regular business practice. We’ve noted location, what level of involvement in female entrepreneurs they have, a sample of their support for women-led businesses from their portfolios, whether or not (and how much) they themselves fund startups in their programs, and whether they trade equity for funding.

500500

Accelerator in Mountain View, San Francisco, and Mexico City. Founding Partner, Christine Tsai; many women on management team. Includes many women mentors from diverse backgrounds. Supports female entrepreneurs like the co-founders of Bucket and Incluyeme.com.

Christine Tsai of 500.
Christine Tsai of 500.

Does some early-stage seed and venture, and later-stage venture in the moble, e-commerce, SaaS, and tribbles sectors. Begun by Google and Paypal alumni.

 

 

alphalabAlphalab

Pittsburgh-based. Supports female entrepreneurs like the founders of Covey and FutureDerm. Includes some women mentors. Does seed and early-venture investments in software, games, and mobile sectors. Investment: $10-25K/5% equity.


avindeAvind
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bucher
Laura Bosworth-Bucher of Avinde

Austin-based. Designed to support female founders. Co-founded by Terry Chase Hazell and Laura Bosworth-Bucher. Mentors and portfolio all-female.

hazell
Terry Chase Hazell of Avinde

Does no investment. Does provide connections to help with funding.

 

 

 

BIG from Digital Undivided 

We need a space where we can unapologetically be ourselves, learn from one another, and share one another’s networks.. This fall Kathryn Finney will be hosting a 12-week world-class business accelerator program for tech-enabled startups led by Black and Latina women. BIG ATL Accelerator Program provides a structured curriculum focused on developing sustainable businesses, mentorship by top leaders, opportunities to pitch directly to investors, and direct access to funding.

brandery

The Brandery

Cincinnati-based. Some female mentors, and some support for female founders of companies, such as Roadtrippers and Off Track Planet.

Does seed, early-stage venture, and debt financing investments in curated web, mobile, and internet. Investment: $25-50K/6% equity.

 

capital innovatorsCapital Innovators

Sindecuse
Judy Sindecuse of Capital Innovators

St. Louis-based. Has a female founder and CEO, Judy Sindecuse. Supports female entrepreneurs like the founders of Dabble and HealthyMe. Includes some women mentors.

Does some seed investments in software, mobile, and social media sectors. Investment: $25-50K/5-10% equity.

 

DreamItVenturesDreamit (Athena program)

Philadelphia-based, though program is run in Austin, NYC, and Baltimore as well. First top-tier accelerator to tackle the challenges female entrepreneurs in particular face. Includes female executives and management. Supports female entrepreneurs explicitly (such as the co-founders of Brideside and the founder of Planana).

Does seed, early-stage venture, and later-stage venture in mobile, curated web, software, e-commerce, healthcare, edtech, fintech, foodtech, and media. Investment: $25-50K/6-8% equity.

 

eraEntrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator

NYC-based. Many women mentors, good support for female-founded startups, including Dezignable and KitSplit.

Does seed investment in technology sector. Investment: $25-50K.

 

LaunchTN “Tenn”

LaunchTN is a public-private partnership focused on supporting the development of high-growth companies in Tennessee. An impressive 30% of graduates from its recent masterclass, which draws from nine accelerator programs across the state, are female founders.

LaunchTN-Ladies-Beard-Bellos-Casterline-2-4.2015

 

mergelaneMergelane

Denver-based. Designed to accelerate female-led startups. Co-founded by Sue Heilbronner and Elizabeth Kraus. Many female mentors; portfolio wholly female-founders.

Does seed investments. Investment: $10-25K/6% equity.


prosperProsper Women Entrepreneurs

St. Louis-based. Designed to accelerate women-led businesses. Mostly female mentorship and executive level. All-female portfolio. Very small, select classes (12 companies/year).

Initial investment: $50,000. Chance for further investment from Prosper Startup Accelerator fund.

 

wslWomen’s Startup Lab

Menlo Park-based. Designed to support women founders. Founded by Ari Horie. Many women in executive positions. Portfolio wholly female-led companies.

horie
Ari Horie of Women’s Startup Lab

Does no investment. However, many of its mentors are angel investors.

 

 

 

Y combinatorY Combinator

Mountain View-based. Holds an annual Female Founders Conference. Co-founded by Jessica Livingston. Has female mentors and executives and supports some female-run or –founded companies, such as HomeJoy.

livingston
Jessica Livingston of Y Combinator

Does seed, early-stage, and debt financing. Investment: $100-200K/7% equity.

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