The Brand New Alternatives to YC in 2022
Sequoia, a16z, and others are getting into the accelerator game
With YC’s success with Airbnb, Stripe, DoorDash, and others, YC became one of the most popular ways to start a company. By providing advice, brand-name recognition, high-quality access to seed-stage investors, and initial funding — it was a no-brainer to apply to YC.
YC had some competition with Techstars, 500 Startups, Acceleprise, etc., but the competition was very limited. None of them had anywhere near the success of YC. For example, the market cap for all of Techstars companies is only $63B which is less than just one of YC’s most successful companies.
However, when YC announced they would start investing $500k instead of the usual $125k in new startups at the beginning of the year — the gauntlet dropped. Investors that had been feeding at the trough of YC Demo Days for deal flow for the last decade quickly went from being complementary to competitive with the famed accelerator. With the increased investment amount, it was simply harder to get in at the seed-stage valuations they were used to.
Not to be outdone by YC, several top-tier firms have since launched accelerators of their own creating more options for founders. Unlike other accelerators that struggled to develop a brand or a bench of experienced partners, these firms bring those in spades. Whether these accelerators will be successful or not remains to be seen, but I’m optimistic. Here is a rundown of the newly launched accelerators.