Study Reveals the 30 Best U.S. Accelerator Programs 2017 - Silicon Valley's AngelPad & Y-Combinator Top the List

Study Reveals the 30 Best U.S. Accelerator Programs 2017 - Silicon Valley's AngelPad & Y-Combinator Top the List
Houston, TX, June 06, 2017 --( Seed Accelerators "AngelPad" and "Y-Combinator" have landed the coveted top spots in the 2017 rankings from the "Seed Accelerator Rankings Project" (SARP), an annual benchmarking study run by Entrepreneurship and Management experts from Rice University, MIT and the University of Richmond.

Over 150 U.S. accelerator programs were invited to participate in the 2017 rankings, which employ a system of tiers with no ordinal rankings within tiers.

This year, the list is topped by two programs that have received a Platinum Plus designation: Angelpad and Y Combinator, both Platinum-ranked programs last year. Six other programs also landed in the Platinum category: Alchemist, Amplify LA, MuckerLab, StartX, Techstars and the Chicago New Venture Challenge. Platinum-ranked programs are distinguished by high funding and valuation numbers for their programs, and in most cases, significant exits.

"There are new accelerator programs popping up every month," Hochberg said. "Our goal is to generate a larger conversation about what makes some seed accelerators more successful and help entrepreneurs find the right fit for their startup.”

The rankings are based on detailed confidential data, which produce the most complete and comprehensive dataset available on accelerator performance.

The rankings reflect a variety of metrics, including the valuations of participating startups, amount of funding raised by participating startups, startups' exits and ratings provided by program graduates. The Seed Accelerator Rankings Project research team also used surveys to assess the satisfaction of accelerator programs graduates. Nearly 1,000 accelerator graduates participated in the 2017 survey.

"With so many programs available, it's hard for entrepreneurs to know which are best," Fehder said. "The Seed Accelerator Rankings Project brings rigorous benchmarking to help entrepreneurs make a critically important decision for their startups."

"Each program is differentiated," Cohen said. "Our methodology considers a wide range of inputs to help entrepreneurs identify a set of quality programs and help them narrow down the field."

To be invited to participate in the rankings, accelerator programs had to meet several criteria. First, they had to meet the definition of an accelerator: Programs had to be fixed-term, cohort-based startup "boot-camps" that include educational and mentorship components and culminate in a public pitch or demo day. Invitees also had to have graduated at least one cohort and have more than 10 startup graduates.

Best U.S. Accelerator Programs 2017

Platinum Plus:
Angelpad -
Y-Combinator -

Alchemist -
Amplify LA -
MuckerLab -
StartX -
Techstars -
U. Chicago New Venture Challenge -

500 Startups -
gener8tor -
Healthbox -
IndieBio -
MassChallenge -
R/GA -
SkyDeck -

The Brandery -
Capital Innovators -
Dreamit -
Plug and Play -
Reach -
The Yield Lab -
Zero510 -

Accelerprise -
AlphaLab -
FoodX -
Health Wildcatter -
Lighthouse Labs -
UpTech -

Details on methodology are available at

About the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project

The Seed Accelerator Rankings Project is headed by three former entrepreneurs-turned-academics who are leading research experts on accelerators: Yael Hochberg, an entrepreneurship professor at Rice's Jones Graduate School of Business and researcher with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Innovation Initiative Lab for Innovation Science; Susan Cohen, an assistant professor of management at Richmond's Robins School of Business; and Dan Fehder, a postdoctoral scholar at Rice and an MIT researcher.

The Seed Accelerator Rankings Project aims to begin a larger conversation about what makes seed accelerators successful and to provide entrepreneurs with a tool to help them decide which seed accelerators are a good match for their startup. Confidential data provided by accelerator programs and accelerator alumni are incorporated into the evaluation process.

The rankings team is led by Hochberg, Cohen and Fehder.

For more information about the project, go to

For more information, contact Amy McCaig, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at 713-348-6777 or

Related materials:
Entire Report Report:

Hochberg bio:

Cohen bio:
Rice University
Amy McCaig
via Twitter


Top Programs:
@angelpad -
@ycombinator -