Launch Pad Explosion

The number of accelerators and incubators dotting the globe has grown absurdly fast, and it now feels as if there are more spaces to foster your startup through small-seed investments and mentors than there are Redbox kiosks or Starbucks bathrooms. In Fast Company's recent September Fast Talk series, we asked a handful of insiders about this trend (or fad, depending on your outlook). Are accelerators losing speed?

Top influentials in the space weighed in, including partners and directors from Y Combinator and TechStars to Tech Wildcatters and SeedCamp and the cofounders of Stripe. Here, a rundown of their advice on the upsides and downsides of new-age accelerators, and what it means for rising entrepreneurs.

Are Accelerators Losing Speed?
In the startup world, accelerators and incubators are a hot topic. Pioneers Y Combinator and TechStars have mastered the formula: Seed blue-chip teams with five-to-six-figure investments, and provide heavyweight mentors and investor hookups. But a new generation of copycats are stumbling. Insiders weigh in.

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TechStars' David Tisch: Most Accelerators Will Fail, So Choose Wisely
Accelerators and incubators are sprouting everywhere, which is why entrepreneurs should be even more careful about choosing the right one. TechStars' David Tisch has a recommendation (spoiler alert: it's TechStars).

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Gabriella Draney Aims To Make North Texas The Next Innovation Hub
Tech Wildcatters ranks among the top accelerators in the country, thanks to the two-year-old program's vertical specialization in B2B startups. Cofounder and managing partner Gabriella Draney aims to make North Texas a top-three innovation hub within the next 15 years.

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Gabriella Draney On Fake Mentors
An additional word of caution from the Tech Wildcatters Cofounder and managing partner of the new kind of vertical accelerator based in Dallas, Texas.

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Stripe's John and Patrick Collison On Why You Should Avoid Y Combinator Clones
At just 22 and 23 years old, brothers John and Patrick are already Valley vets. The natives of Limerick, Ireland, built their first startup, Auctomatic, back in 2007 at Y Combinator. The brothers have since branched out on their own to found buzzy payments company Stripe, which has already raised $20 million from Sequoia Capital at a reported $100 million valuation. They share their thoughts on choosing an accelerator.

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For Stripe Cofounders, Y Combinator Supplies Far More Than Mentoring
Stripe cofounders, brothers Patrick and John Collison sound off on why the best accelerators go heavy on mentorship.

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"If All A Local Accelerator Does Is Get You Into The Next Accelerator, You're In Big Trouble"
Seedcamp has been called the Y Combinator of Europe. Notable alum: the founders of BaseKit, a website development platform that has raised $17.7 million in venture funding. Cofounder and partner Reshma Sohoni sounds off on the pitfalls of local accelerators.

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Seedcamp's Reshma Sohoni: Bad Accelerators Will Face "Day Of Reckoning"
More about the pitfalls of lackluster accelerators and what to watch out for from Seedcamp's cofounder and partner.

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Y Combinator's Harj Taggar: Mark Zuckerberg Would Hate Corporate Incubators
Y Combinator is the undisputed king of accelerators. The startups that have come out of the program, including Airbnb and Dropbox, have raised more than $1 billion combined. But a new breed of accelerators and incubators springing up around the world threaten to dilute Y Combinator's brand.

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Fast Talk: Acceleration Nation

The number of accelerators and incubators dotting the globe has grown absurdly fast. In Fast Company's September Fast Talk series, we asked insiders from Y Combinator, TechStars, SeedCamp, and more for their advice on new-age accelerators.

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