Betaspring named 11th best startup accelerator in U.S.

Five years after its creation, Betaspring has landed among the top startup accelerators in the country, ranking at No. 11 in the 2013 Seed Accelerator Rankings released Monday at the South by Southwest Interactive technology conference in Austin,, Texas. More

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Betaspring named 11th best startup accelerator in U.S.

PBN FILE PHOTO/TRACY JENKINS
ATA GHOFRANI, cofounder of Betaspring startup Quitbit, delivers a 45-second elevator pitch to the audience at the fall 2013 open house. In a new ranking of startup accelerators announced Monday at South by Southwest Interactive, Betaspring was named among the top 15 accelerators in the country.
Posted 3/11/14

(Updated, 1:25 p.m.)

PROVIDENCE – Five years after its creation, Betaspring has landed among the top startup accelerators in the country, ranking at No. 11 in the 2013 Seed Accelerator Rankings released Monday at the South by Southwest Interactive technology conference in Austin, Texas.

To be included in the rankings, accelerators needed to have graduated at least one cohort as of 2013, be based in the U.S., and have at least 10 graduates in their class, according to a TechCrunch report announcing the rankings. Betaspring has graduated 83 companies since its inception in 2009, and is expected to announce its spring 2014 cohort later this month.

The accelerator rankings are compiled annually by Yael Hochberg, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, and Susan Cohen of the Batten Institute at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. Hochberg said the goal of the project, now in its third year, is to “start a larger conversation about the accelerator phenomenon, its effects and its prospects for the future.”

The two researchers used original research and data from CrunchBase to determine the 15 best accelerators in the United States based on the valuations of their portfolio companies after graduation, the number of exits an accelerator has had, graduates’ ability to raise follow-on funding, percentage of an accelerator’s portfolio still in operation, the opinions of venture investors toward the accelerator, and the opinions of graduating entrepreneurs about their experiences with the accelerator.

The top 15 were then grouped into gold, silver and bronze categories to reflect their relative performance:

Gold Category Winners:

    1. Y Combinator (Mountain View, Calif.)

    2. TechStars (Boulder, Colo.)

    3. AngelPad (San Francisco)

Silver Category Winners:

    4. Launchpad LA (Santa Monica, Calif.)

    5. MuckerLab (Santa Monica, Calif.)

    6. AlphaLab (Pittsburgh)

    7. Capital Innovators (St. Louis)

    8. Tech Wildcatters (Dallas)

    9. Surge Accelerator (Houston)

    10. The Brandery (Cincinnati)

Bronze Category Winners:

    11. Betaspring (Providence)

    12. BoomStartup (Salt Lake City)

    13. Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator (New York)

    14. JumpStart Foundry (Nashville, Tenn.)

    15. DreamIt Ventures (Philadelphia)

Betaspring was the only New England accelerator to make the 2013 list. TechStars, No. 2 on the list, operates seven branches worldwide including one in Boston, but its headquarters is located in Boulder, Colo.

Boston-based MassChallenge, the largest startup accelerator in the world, was not included in the study, according to a tweet by Hochberg, because MassChallenge does not take equity in participating companies.

“If they take equity they need to provide value,” Hochberg tweeted. “That’s why we collect and analyze the data.”

In the 2012 Seed Accelerator Rankings released last year, Betaspring was among the accelerators evaluated but did not place in the top 15. A year earlier, in 2011, Betaspring ranked at No. 13.

Betaspring invests about $40,000 in services and between $12,000 and $20,000 in cash in each graduating startup, and also takes a 6 percent stake in each company. The 83 companies graduated from Betaspring so far have gone on to raise $32 million in follow-on funding.

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