Many entrepreneurs question the value in joining an accelerator program. Will I gain value from giving up equity in my company? How will the program help me? Can’t I just do these things on my own?
It also seems like there is a new accelerator program popping up every week, and this may be diluting the perceived value of all of the programs. As we’ve had our ear to the ground in Silicon Alley, we’ve come to see that not all accelerators are the same, and that there are a number of programs based in the city that are doing things right. Right at the top is Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator.
ERA has built quite a track record with the companies that have emerged from the program since its inception in 2011. When considering the network of 200+ seasoned mentors, $40K in cash plus the chance for follow on investment in subsequent rounds, free services including legal, technology, and travel through its vast network of sponsors, Demo Days attended by some of the most prominent investors in the country, and the extent to which the program gets your company ready, giving up a few percent points of ownership doesn’t seem like a bad proposition for inclusion into this highly selective program that can mean the difference between having an idea and building a sustainable business.
The best way to find out about an accelerator is to talk to companies who have been through the program. From what we hear from ERA grads, the program is truly impressive:
“ERA was and continues to be an incredible support system, it fast tracked our company, network and funding and hugely upped our odds for success.”
Sharmeen Mitha-Sehgal, CEO & Co-founder, Appy Couple
“The ERA Program lives up to its name. We got an incredible framework to analyze key decisions and accelerate the execution of our conclusions. Helpful mentors and connections were always available—regardless of the topic. Charlie, Jon and Murat had their doors open to work through any scenario with us. Those intense four months have made me feel more confident than ever about growing our business and helped refine our message and mission.”
Jonathon Ende, Founder and CEO, Seamless Docs
“Access: ERA gives you incredible access – to investors, to mentors, and to experts, who are all excited about helping you succeed and grow. Would highly recommend to any first time startup founder.”
Jess Brondo, Co-Founder and CEO, Admitted.ly
“Murat, Jon and Charlie were great during the program and it didn’t stop there. Since we’ve graduated, we’ve inevitably reached out to one of them monthly with a random question, intro request, or just to say hello. They’ve always been willing (and excited) to help – and it’s been instrumental to us as we’ve grown.”
Rishi Prabhu, Co-Founder, BespokePost
“ERA is a great way to quickly network into the New York tech and venture communities. This is just much faster and easier than doing it on your own.”
Jay Shek, Co-Founder and CEO, Centzy
“As an more experienced entrepreneur, having operating partners who had started and grown companies was a real plus. Access to the extensive mentor network allowed us to accelerate the pace of learning and growth as well, and a nice plus is the West Coast Demo Day, which jumpstarts the process of meeting and connecting with venture capital and potential partners in Silicon Valley and San Francisco.”
Jeremy Kagan, Co-Founder, Pricing Engine
“ERA helped us kickstart the company, raise capital and they are still our go-to guys for feedback and advice. Amazing program!”
Lily Liu, Founder, Public Stuff
“ERA got us in front of hundreds of influential investors, advisers, and mentors helping accelerate our company’s growth and fundraising efforts. Without ERA that would not have been possible.”
Dmitriy Rokhfeld, Co-Founder, Machinio
“The ERA program was everything we hoped it would be and a lot more. Every aspect of building and growing CardFlight was truly accelerated during our time in the program. The relationships we formed with ERA leadership, other ERA companies, investors and mentors have all been hugely valuable to us long after we graduated from ERA.”
Derek Webster, Founder, CardFlight
“Joining ERA was a great decision for Wizpert. It opened up a powerful network of mentors, investors and talent that still continues to benefit us today. “
Michael Weinberg, Co-Founder and CEO, Wizpert
The deadline to apply for the winter session is coming up on November 15th. You can apply through a short application on the ER Accelerator website.