Startup Accelerator Spotlight: Alchemist Accelerator


Alchemist is an accelerator exclusively for startups whose revenue comes from enterprises, not consumers.

Name of Accelerator: Alchemist Accelerator


Ravi Belani, Director

Location: Bay Area


Director: Rav Belani

Partner and COO: Danielle D’Agostaro

This article is a part of our Startup Accelerator Spotlight Series featuring accelerators from around the world. We hope these spotlights will assist the entrepreneur should they consider attending an accelerator program.

In two sentences or less, tell us about your accelerator and its objectives.

The Alchemist Accelerator was born out of a 3 Year entrepreneurship education outreach started in the Harvard Club of San Francisco called the Alchemist Series. It is a highly distinctive organization that aims to fund the best enterprise companies with the potential to change the world.

Why is your accelerator program unique? Please describe the benefits of participation in your program.

Founders want to join Alchemist for its focus on the enterprise and for its network of top-quality founders, investors, and Fortune 500 companies.

Benefits Include:

  • Network: Alchemist companies get access to over 14,000 enterprise contacts and invite-only networking events.
  • Financial: Startups are offered $36,000 for an equity stake in their company. Further investment opportunities are possible through Alchemist’s structured events and resources.

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  • Perks: The accelerator companies get access to over $1M in discounted products and services including legal and banking services, cloud hosting, co-working spaces, and even gym membership.

What is the most difficult part of working with startups?

Every startup is in a different stage with different needs.

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What do you enjoy the most; what do you find most appealing about working with entrepreneurial startups?

I find founders to be the most inspirational people in the world. Many have decided to take a leap of faith and build something that they are passionate about. It takes a lot of courage and willpower to have that kind of conviction.

Tell us about your success stories; which are the most interesting companies to have participated in your program?

We’ve had 15 acquisitions to date (ie. Assemblage (Acq by Cisco), MobileSpan (Acq by Dropbox), Airpost (Acq by Box)). We also have companies that have over $ 1 M ARR (ie. MightyHive, Oomnitza, MoEngage). Some of the most interesting companies in our portfolio are working on building quantum computers, antimatter, and printing DNA.

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What are the most important factors startup entrepreneurs should consider when contemplating attending an accelerator?

  1. The Terms
    Including duration, working capital provided, common stock contribution to the accelerator, physical workspace, frequency of meetings and training sessions such as pitch training and business plan reviews;
  2. The Reputation and Value Proposition  
    The mission statement, a primary value proposition, and an operating plan (number of classes per year, number of companies per class, and a list of participating investors at their demo day);
  3. Domain Expertise
    Via mentors or coaches in the markets or technology areas being addressed by the startup;
  4. In-Depth Review 
    Routine qualification of companies applying;
  5. Level of Interest, Traction, and Engagement with companies.

What else would you like to share?

The Alchemist Accelerator is an accelerator exclusively for startups whose revenue comes from enterprises, not consumers. We are passionate about the needs of enterprise seed ventures, and believe they are different enough to warrant a program specifically for them. The accelerator focuses on enterprise customer development, sales (direct and online), market validation, and a structured path to fundraising. We have the most sought-after advisor faculty, guest lecturers, venture capitalists, and Fortune 100 customers primed to be resources for you. We are very excited about building a fellowship of founders building “change the world” companies that sell to the enterprise.

When evaluating applications, the most important element is the team and founders that exhibit very strong technical chops, tenacity, ability to explain complicated things clearly, judgment in making good tradeoffs, good product sense, and a passion for outcomes, not process. We have rolling application deadlines and you can submit an application at any time before the program starts. (The next program begins November 30th)

Are you familiar with other accelerators you believe should be spotlighted? If so, we would like to hear from you. Tell us about them, sharing your comments below!


Pam Goforth

Pam Goforth is Research Manager for FundingSage, which provides valuable information, tools and resources to entrepreneurs seeking to start, grow and fund a business.