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Sifted list of 400 European accelerators

Published/Updated on Jan 6, 2023

400+ startup accelerators in Europe

Written by SADIA NOWSHIN (summarized by SUP)
Original Sifted article (Update dec 2022): https://sifted.eu/articles/400-startup-accelerators-in-europe-listed/

Sifted's official list of 600+ accelerators

List on Airtable: https://airtable.com/shrdBV4FcDdJicSLd/tblaVNpZh0kUHDsc0

Accelerator programmes primarily offer a platform for first-time founders to gain advice, mentorship and financial support in the early days of their startup. Cohorts receive workshops, learning opportunities and, if they’re lucky, intros to relevant investors and mentors. They usually give the accelerators around 7% to 10% of their equity in exchange. 

Most founders would recommend accelerators
86% of Sifted readers who responded to our survey on accelerators told us they would recommend the experience to others. The general feeling among founders is that it is worth taking part in the right accelerator, and 86% said they would recommend the experience to others.

The biggest reason to join an accelerator: to find funding
“What we do need is introductions to investors.”

Sector focus increases value
Accelerators can be valuable if they have a laser focus on the sector or the part of the business a founder is looking to develop, but be warned against being drawn to one without a clear idea of what you want to get out of it. “Otherwise you will end up resenting it almost immediately, because of the huge time demands.”

Network and meet other founders
Being around a group of other founders going through the same experience was another hugely valuable aspect for many.

For many first time founders, accelerators speed up the learning curve, and one told us it “opened doors we didn’t know existed in the first place”.

Though, many accelerator participants was unsatisfied with the accelerator mentors
71% of people said their accelerator wasn’t useful (mentors not having the right experience to help).
“The prospect of some generic class on scaling with an 'expert mentor' who doesn't know our startup fills me with dread”

The “expert mentors” on their programme could have been a whole lot more of an expert. And, when we asked dozens of top tier VCs which accelerators they pay attention to, only Entrepreneur First and Y Combinator got more than a handful of votes. 

There are, however, plenty of local and sector specialist accelerators playing a valuable role in boosting AU startups. Sifted lists more than 400 programmes.