Most Accelerators Will Actually Hurt Your Startup, TechStars Expert Says

Accelerators are popping up like weeds across Canada and the US this year. While their concept is great—connecting fledgling startups to mentors and funding—the space may be plagued by a quantity-over-quality problem.

Former TechStars NYC managing director David Tisch spoke candidly with Fast Company and it turns out he isn’t a fan of most accelerators. 

“The majority of accelerators are not good for companies and will fail,” he affirms. “There are too many of them.”

DON’T MISS: There are now more than 100 accelerators in Canada.

He says startups need to do extensive research to find an accelerator tailored to their specific needs. Why some just apply to any accelerator that will accept them is baffling to David.

As a startup, “I would hesitate to do any accelerator other than TechStars or Y Combinator,” David says of the US accelerator scene. He also points out that accelerators are not free—”you’re giving away a real amount of equity.” The return on that investment must be worthwhile.

He doesn’t mention Canada, but it’s safe to say that all startups should carefully consider the path they choose. Let’s not forget that in entrepreneurship, there is no easy route.