New Partnership Will Ease Startup Accelerator Application Process

6/30/14Follow @MichaelXBD

Surviving the intense months it takes to go through a startup accelerator is hard. But getting in might be harder.

A new partnership between UP Global, a Seattle-based nonprofit, and the Boulder, CO-based Global Accelerator Network might make the latter a bit easier.

The duo announced today they are creating new events that will give startups that go through UP Global’s Startup Next program a chance to showcase themselves to the more than 50 accelerators that are part of the network and to streamline the admissions process.

Startup Next is a five-week pre-startup accelerator intended to help founders prepare for and gain acceptance to longer startup accelerators. Entrepreneurs have to apply to be part of Startup Next, and it costs $300 per person to enroll. Unlike most accelerators, Startup Next does not require companies to give up equity.

“All accelerators are looking for the best quality teams, with traction and ideally revenue,” UP Global CEO Marc Nager said in a release. “Our goal is to speed the pace of our teams and help them improve their chances of getting accepted into an accelerator, whether coming from a Startup Weekend or from the community at large. The goal is to get them through Startup Next to get those companies closer to getting funding, launching products, and getting those products to market.”

Entrepreneurs meet each week for a three-hour session to learn more about building a company, creating a minimum viable product, and securing funding. They also connect with local mentors and other entrepreneurs.

Startup Next made its debut this spring in 27 cities, including Barcelona, Rio de Janeiro, and Seoul. In the U.S., there were programs in Seattle, Dallas, and San Francisco. UP Global plans to add 10 to 15 more cities for its fall program.

About 80 percent of the startups that completed the San Francisco program have been accepted to accelerators, according to UP Global.

The first showcase for Startup Next graduates will be at the Global Accelerator Network’s fall meeting. Techstars co-founders David Cohen and Brad Feld started GAN in 2010 to help accelerators develop and share best practices.

UP Global is the umbrella organization for Startup Weekend, Startup Education, Startup Digest, and Startup Week.

Michael Davidson is the editor of Xconomy Boulder/Denver. He covers startups, venture capital, clean tech, energy, aerospace, telecoms, and whatever else happens above 5,280 feet. Contact him at mdavidson@xconomy.com. Follow @MichaelXBD

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