Startup Accelerator Spotlight: HACKcelerator


HACKcelerator’s objective is to take hackathon ideas, which are very early-stage startups, and turn them into fully fledged successful startups.

Name of Accelerator: HACKceleratorHackcelerator

Location: San Francisco, Global (Hosts virtual sessions from anywhere in the world, but end the program in San Francisco with a global demo day. Last year startups participated from Nairobi, Palestine, Tokyo and more.)


Managing Director: Milan Koch

PR and Media Relations ManagerKelsey Ruiz

This article is 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.

HACKcelerator’s objective is to take hackathon ideas, which are very early-stage startups, and turn them into fully fledged successful startups.

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

The way we source our HACKcelerator startups is one of the most unique aspects to our program. Every year we host a global hackathon series (sometimes as big as 61 cities, globally) and award the winners with an invite into our program. The ability to turn them into MVPs so quickly is another unique aspect to our program. Over the course of the 12 week program, we connect them with our network and later stage accelerators whom we have partnerships with.

What is the most difficult part of working with startups?

When it comes to startups, one solution does not fit all. Each startup is unique and will always need tailored programming in some respects to be successful. Since we run a global pre-accelerator, making sure we have a firm grasp on each local market is important to us, but can require a lot of research. Lastly, as many entrepreneurs know, building your own company can be stressful and sometimes emotional. We’ve found that making sure all members of the company are happy is a key aspect to creating successful startups.

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

Working all days, every day to help people achieve their dreams and passions is very rewarding. The power of entrepreneurship is huge; you have the power to make a difference in a lot of people’s lives and being able to see the full lifecycle from ideation to development and to adoption while helping to shape their process is an amazing feeling. Another aspect that we enjoy is seeing a lot of teams who don’t think they have a good idea on their hands, but with their dedication, turn it into something very successful.

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

In the past five years, we’ve seen a huge uptick in interest surrounding emerging HACKcelerator companies, many who have demoed on stage at the global demo day are being invested by some of the biggest players in the industry, like Wrappup from Dubai, who was named one of “The 50 Most Promising U.A.E. Startups” by Forbes Middle East. In past years, companies such as SlickLogin and Appetas were acquired by Google within months of GDD. Another, was acquired by Box last year and more recently SocialCapital from 2015 was accepted into Techstars, raising over $ 150,000 in seed funding. Others such as have been accepted into Science Inc. raising $ 1.3 million. While team Osper was able to raise over $ 10 million in funds, and Testlio, a team from Estonia, raised $6.25 million just this year.

Interested in Learning More About Accelerator Options?  Check Out the Global Accelerator Register.

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

  1. Does the accelerator align with my goal and what do I want out of it?
  2. What do I gain? (i.e. who are the mentors, what is their network, who will I be connected with and what are their past successes?)
  3. Am I ready both personally and company-wise?
  4. Do I have the time to dedicate?

What to read more about considerations for accelerator attendance?

What else would you like to share?

Entrepreneurship is global and the possibility for solutions is endless. Remembering execution is the key and teams who remember this come through as some of the strongest teams. Combine that with a strong product and you’ll be unstoppable.

Is Your Startup Investable? Take the Test and Find Out Now!

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.