In this article we will take a look at the top ten European accelerators. The term “accelerator” has no universally accepted definition and varies from region to region. We broadly define an accelerator as any program that provides seed capital, mentorship and support to startups in return for equity in those startups.
Top 10 Accelerators in Europe
Startupbootcamp is a global network of industry-focused startup accelerators that provides investment and mentorship services. Startupbootcamp facilitates this mentorship-driven model by providing startups with essential tools during a 3-month accelerator program. The company provides €15,000 towards living expenses for the team during the program, 6 months co-working space, over €450,000 in sponsored services and the platform to pitch to over 400 investors at Investor Demo Day.
Startupbootcamp was founded in 2010 and operates in cities such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, Miami, New York, Cape Town, Dubai, Istanbul, London, Chengdu, Rome and Mumbai
Top Industries active in: Software, Financial Services and Information Technology.
Number of Investments: 541
Startupbootcamp's most notable exits include Relayr, Sunrise, and DolphinChat.
2. Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF)
One of the priorities of Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF) is financial and expert support to startups in their early development stages. IIDF has invested in 402 tech startups. The Fund invests between 2.5M and 324M rubles in tech companies at early stages, i.e. pre-seed, seed and series A.
The Fund also plans to launch a variety of educational programs and to perform a number of legislative initiatives. These steps will help to increase transparency and ensure effective cooperation between entrepreneurs, investors, and state agencies in the field of venture capital investments in Russian online-projects.
IIDF's mission is to make Russia more attractive for tech enterpreneurs. They want to make the Russian venture market understandable and accessible to anyone who wants to begin or grow their Internet businesses.
Top Industries active in: Internet, Software and Information Technology.
Number of Investments: 452
Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF)'s most notable exits include Applause, VisionLabs B.V., and Playkey.
3. Startup Wise Guys
Startup Wise Guys is one of the most active early stage investors in the broader CEE region and Nordics, has been voted Top VC fund in the CEE in year 2019. To help techy startup founders become true entrepreneurs, we are running a world-class startup accelerator since 2012. We have accelerated more than 300 startups, focusing on Sustainability,B2B SaaS, Fintech, Cybersecurity, and XR. The portfolio has already had 11 major exits and the overall startup survival and success rate is above 80%. The intensive up to 5 months-long accelerator program is focused on validating, developing, and selling products to business customers. Over 200 international and local mentors help startups move through those stages much faster than they would on their own. Founders are also prepared to sell their vision to investors, and the program culminates in Demo Days & major tech event visits, where startups get to present to venture capitalists and angel investors. Post-program, startups join the alumni community of 300+ startups in more than 40 countries and become eligible for invite-only alumni events such as SWG Getaway focused on business development, fundraising, and experience sharing.
Top Industries active in: Software, Information Technology and SaaS.
Number of Investments: 391
Startup Wise Guys's most notable exits include CallPage, VOCHI, and VitalFields.
4. Entrepreneur First
Entrepreneur First is the place where the ambitious come together to build globally important technology companies. Through our platform running in 6 cities across 3 continents, we invest in high-potential individuals to help them meet their co-founder, develop their ideas and secure funding from leading investors in the shortest possible time. We have built over 300 companies from scratch; have over 5000 alumni worldwide; and our portfolio is valued at over $5bn.
EF companies include Tractable (Computer Vision, currently valued at $1bn as of June 2021), Magic Pony Technology (AI, acquired by Twitter for a reported $150m), Represent (social commerce, acquired by CustomInk), BloomsburyAI (acquired by Facebook), Cleo (fintech), OpenCosmos (space), CloudNC (manufacturing), Transcelestial (satellite communications) and many more.
We're backed by some of the world's best tech founders and investors, including Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn), Greylock Partners, Founders Fund, Demis Hassabis (Google Deepmind) and Taavet Hinrikus (Wise). For more information about Entrepreneur First, visit www.joinef.com.
Top Industries active in: Artificial Intelligence, Software and Machine Learning.
Number of Investments: 363
Entrepreneur First's most notable exits include Credit Kudos, Passfort, and Adbrain.
5. Lanzadera Accelerator
Lanzadera Accelerator provides entrepreneurial solutions for entrepreneurs to implement robust business models. It invites individuals and organizations with innovative business projects and offers them educational, economic, and structural resources in order to implement their projects. Lanzadera Accelerator was founded in 2013.
Top Industries active in: E-Commerce, Fashion and Software.
Number of Investments: 258
Lanzadera Accelerator's most notable exits include HOPU Smart Cities, Afterbanks, and Groopify.
6. EIT Digital Accelerator
The EIT Digital Accelerator supports European digital technology ventures to scale up their business in Europe and beyond.
It offers a tailor-made support, mainly focused on acquiring new customers and raising capital. This is made possible by leveraging a strong and unique network of 130 EIT Digital’s partners across Europe, and a team of 40experienced business developers and technology financing specialists operating from 14 major European cities and a hub in San Francisco.
Since 2012, the EIT Digital Accelerator has helped 240 scaleups from different European countries access new markets and raise more than €80M in investment.
Top Industries active in: Software, Information Technology and Health Care.
Number of Investments: 238
EIT Digital Accelerator's most notable exits include NAVYA, Magazino, and Kaiku Health.
The aim of Scientipole Initiative is to closely associate corporate and technological resources in order to contribute to the emergence of innovative enterprises and support the development of such projects.
Scientipole Initiative audits the potential projects, counsels and accompanies the future entrepreneurs from both a scientific and technological base as well as from a managerial point of view.
The granting of a non-guaranteed no interest loan to the principal entrepreneur(s) of the start-up or project furnishes a real tool of financial leverage. This loan is a personnel loan, ranging from 20 to 90K€ per enterprise, for a period of up to 5 years.
After the loan has been granted, Scientipole Initiative provides a follow-up of the projects it has helped by direct sponsorship, coaching and workshops.
Scientipole Initiative relies on a large network of over 60 experts who provide support to the new entrepreneurs. Since 2002, Scientipôle Initiative’s approval committee has backed 630 businesses with a financial commitment of over €25,5 million. Scientipôle Initiative has a permanent staff of 13. It can call upon a network of some 60 experts, with experience in diverses technologies, finance, marketing and business organization and administration .
Top Industries active in: Software, Internet and SaaS.
Number of Investments: 202
Wilco's most notable exits include Artefact, Gymlib, and Sevenhugs.
Rockstart is an early stage investor that empowers purpose-driven founders across three domains: Energy, AgriFood and Emerging Technologies. Rockstart invests in early-stage startups and provides access to capital, market, and expertise by connecting founders with co-investors, mentors, partners, and the wider Rockstart network.
Rockstart has invested in more than 260 startups and its alumni value to date is more than $1bn. Rockstart is an international team of 40+ professionals dedicated to empowering purpose-driven founders to become scalable and drive positive change on a global scale. Rockstart has notable exits such as Wercker, Bouw7, iClinic, and in 2021, 3D Hubs and Brincr. The company has offices in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Copenhagen, Denmark and Bogota, Colombia.
Top Industries active in: Software, Health Care and SaaS.
Number of Investments: 191
Rockstart's most notable exits include Wercker, Hubs, and Bomberbot.
9. Future Fifty
Future Fifty is a leading programme that enables the UK’s most successful late-stage tech companies to come together, build a powerful and supportive network, and problem-solve with peers.
With the help of the tech community, the programme supports these companies in achieving their global ambitions, creating jobs and opportunities across the UK, and inspiring the next generation in their tech ecosystem. It’s free to join, and they don’t take an equity stake in your business either.
From fintech to online shopping, telematics to edtech, the Future Fifty offer a glimpse into the UK’s digital future. So without further ado, check out this year’s exceptional cohort.
Top Industries active in: Software, FinTech and E-Commerce.
Number of Investments: 169
Future Fifty's most notable exits include Box, Funding Circle, and Huddle.
Founded in 2010, EIT InnoEnergy is the leading innovation engine in Sustainable Energy. With offices in Europe and US, the firm seeks to make equity minority investments in early-stage companies and through added value services make the business case bigger, sooner and safer (de-risking). Investment scope: climate tech and energy sectors.
Top Industries active in: Energy, Renewable Energy and Manufacturing.
Number of Investments: 145
InnoEnergy's most notable exits include DUCKT, Minesto, and Camelina Company España.