Creating a founder’s guide to European accelerator programs

We’re quite deep into writing the Startup Factories report for Nesta at the moment and while most of our research on the project has been looking at programs in the US, one of the interesting things is that we seem to hear of another program in Europe launching almost every week.

So we’ve decided that we’re going to add a founder’s guide to European accelerator programs. It won’t be a ranking like this one for the US accelerators because we don’t think there’s enough data but it will bring all the information that might be important to founders making a decision about which EU program to apply to into one place.

Just to recap, our definition of an accelerator program is one that:

  • Works with pre-seed stage companies – usually with small teams (2–4 people) of first time founders.
  • Is open but selective – they have some form of application process with expert judgement that picks the most promising companies.
  • Provides finance during the program — usually in the form of equity investment.
  • Is time bound – they have an intense period of support for companies that usually lasts for three months, although there is often some form of support beyond this period.
  • Supports teams in cohorts – they tend to take companies in batches to create peer support.
  • Has a heavy focus on mentoring – bringing in people from the local tech and business communities to help the companies
  • Has the aim of securing further funding for companies.

The ones we know of that fit that definition and will be running in EU countries in 2011 are:

Either drop me an email or pop a link in the comments below if there’s one we’ve missed and we’ll add them.