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For decades, San Francisco has been a hub for disruptive technology. It's home to some of the world’s most influential and unicorn startups such as, Airbnb, Instacart, and Uber. According to Crunchbase, more than 1,400 San Francisco-based companies have raised $10m or more in venture funding, within the city limits.

SF is a vibrant city, with an inclusive startup ecosystem. Numerous accelerators and incubators have established themselves in San Francisco, providing services for talented entrepreneurs and upcoming startups to create a better world through new technology.

Below, we've listed some of the primier accelerators and incubators in SF:



1. 500 Startups

  • Description: "Build your startup and learn from the best. All in one place. Take your startup to the next level with our 4-month seed program in San Francisco."
  • Sectors / Markets of Focus: All tech or tech-enabled businesses.
  • 500 Startups Requirements: Startups and entrepreneurs from anywhere can apply.
  • 500 Startups Deal Terms: A $150,000 investment in exchange for 6%. Plus, they charge a $37.5k fee for participating in the 500 Seed Program.
  • Notable 500 Startups Alumni9GAG, Conta Azul, Havenly, Le Tote, Neighborly, Punchd, RapidAPI, RealtyShares, Setter, Shippo, Talkdesk

2. Alchemist Accelerator

  • Description: "The Alchemist Accelerator is an accelerator exclusively for startups whose revenue comes from enterprises, not consumers. We are passionate about the needs of enterprise seed ventures, and believe they are different enough to warrant a program specifically for them. The accelerator focuses on enterprise customer development, sales (direct and online), market validation, and a structured path to fundraising.
  • Sectors / Markets of FocusCollaboration, Digital Health, Enterprise, FinTech and IoT.
  • Alchemist Accelerator Requirements: Even though they accept solo founders, they focus on teams (2-3 members) with great talent.
  • Alchemist Accelerator Deal Terms: A 6 month program with an average cash investment of $36,000.
  • Notable Alchemist Accelerator Alumni4me, Arkose Labs, Back4App, Byte Foods CryptoMove, Jirav, Lightbox, Shuttle

3. AngelPad

  • Description: "AngelPad is a seed-stage accelerator program based in NYC and San Francisco. Since 2010 we have launched more than 140 companies. Every 6 months we select about 15 teams from a huge pool of applicants (usually around 2000) to work with us. While other accelerators have decided to “scale” and take on more and more companies or launch more and more cities, we have stayed true to our original goal: Find awesome companies with founders we like to work with and spend three very intense months with them."
  • Sectors / Markets of Focus: All tech or tech-enabled businesses.
  • AngelPad Requirements: Startups and entrepreneurs from anywhere can apply.
  • AngelPad Deal Terms: They make a $120,000 investment; plus, startups have access to $300,000+ in cloud credits from AWS, Google and Digital Ocean. Also, 1 on 1 mentorship, access to a close-knit community and investors.
  • Notable AngelPad Alumni: Apteligent, Astronomer.io, Beamery, Buffer, HireCanvas, Hive, Pipedrive, Postmates, SimpleReach, UpCounsel

4. Blackbox

  • Description: “We believe entrepreneurs are the core engine for global economic growth. Our mission is to create equality of entrepreneurial opportunity by connecting them to the mentorship, knowledge, resources, and networks they need to succeed and inspire.
  • Sectors / Markets of FocusAll tech or tech-enabled businesses.
  • Blackbox Requirements: Founders and entrepreneurs seeking growth and looking to become better leaders.
  • Blackbox Deal Terms: Access to a network of investors and coaches; plus, leadership and personal development.
  • Notable Blockbox Alumni: CareAcademy, Expandly, Fathom AI, LaborX, WeFitter

5. DG717 Digital Garage Incubation Center

  • Description: "Digital Garage has created DG717 Incubation Center in San Francisco, the birthplace of cutting-edge technologies and of many businesses that have grown into leading web services used across the globe, as a hub for information sharing for new technologies and new entrepreneurs, and as a place to provide various resources after starting business in the US. The concept phrase for this Center is "East meets West," in the hope of becoming a hub for cultural interaction between various nations and peoples. It is to become a modern center where East can meet West once again, based on the history of human development with East-West migrations."
  • Sectors / Markets of FocusAll tech or tech-enabled businesses.
  • DG717 Digital Garage Incubation Center Requirements: Startups looking to scale; also, established businesses looking to accelerate their growth.
  • DG717 Digital Garage Incubation Center Deal Terms: They offer a co-working space, networking events and workshops, marketing and promotion of products/services.

6. e-Man Labs

  • DescriptionTo continue to build extraordinary technology products, for ourselves, in collaboration with world class entrepreneurs and via the infection of our entrepreneurial DNA into large corporate institutions.
  • Sectors / Markets of FocusDisruptive products, wearables.
  • e-Man Labs Requirements: Founders and entrepreneurs with global vision looking to enter global markets.
  • e-Man Labs Deal Terms: Apply for more information.
  • Notable e-Man Labs Alumni: Behalf, Doppels, FlightdeckVR, JustPark, SNATCH, Wonga, ZoomDoc

7. Founder Institute San Francisco (pre-seed accelerator)

  • Description: The Founder Institute works with entrepreneurs and teams in the pre-seed stage, typically before they are advanced enough to gain acceptance into a seed-accelerator program. The program helps you build an enduring business by providing San Francisco startup experts that are invested in your successand a structured business-building process that has helped alumni raise over $800M. 
  • Sectors / Markets of Focus:  All tech or tech-enabled businesses
  • Founder Institute Requirements: Both solo founders and teams at the pre-seed stage are welcome, including those at the idea or very early-stages of a company (including pre-incorporation). If your company has significant funding, traction, or revenue, then you are probably too advanced for the Founder Institute and should consider applying to the seed-accelerators on this list.
  • Founder Institute Deal Terms: To create a strong support network, participants join an "Equity Collective" where they contribute 4% of their company to a shared pool. Any financial returns to this pool are then shared equally with each cohort's alumni, the program mentors, Local Leaders, and Founder Institute.   
  • Notable Founder Institute Alumni: Udemy, Acudeen, Appota, OvambaRealty Mogul, TravelCar, and more

8. Founders Space

  • DescriptionFounders Space helps startups all over the world reach their full potential. Founders Space is ranked a Top 10 Accelerator in Forbes, Entrepreneur and Inc. Magazines."
  • Sectors / Markets of FocusAll tech or tech-enabled businesses.
  • Founders Space Requirements: They welcome startups from all around the world. It’s not necessary to be incorporated in the US to participate.
  • Founders Space Deal Terms: Since they have different programs, it’s not a ‘one size fits all’ deal. Their terms depend on program length, class type, etc. After qualifying to the program, they let their participants know about their available options.
  • Notable Founders Space Alumni: 42Floors, AngelList, Etsy, Foursquare, Instacart, Instagram, NGINX, TaskRabbit, Twilio

9. i/o Ventures

  • Descriptioni/o ventures is an early stage seed fund that focuses heavily on mentorship. We work closely with founders from product launch through the next stage of company development, sharing what has proven to work for product scaling, revenue growth and fundraising.
  • Sectors / Markets of FocusAll tech or tech-enabled businesses.
  • i/o ventures Requirements: Entrepreneurs and founders of early-stage startups.
  • i/o ventures Deal Terms: Though the terms are not disclosed, they provide seed funding, mentoring and networking.
  • Notable i/o ventures Alumni: Anomaly Innovations, Appstores, CodeEval, Cozy, Touch of Modern, vidIQ

10. LAUNCH Accelerator

  • DescriptionThe LAUNCH team selects founders who are executing at an extremely high level in markets that are important. We look for world-class product design, traction, revenue, and technical execution -- said simply, people with skills and products that people love. We seek individuals who are deeply passionate and who possess a tremendous work ethic.
  • Sectors / Markets of FocusAll tech or tech-enabled businesses.
  • LAUNCH Requirements: "All of the founders we accept have a solid product in market. At least half of the startups we accept have significant traction and revenue. We do not invest in business plans, decks, or ideas -- ever. Occasionally we will accept a wildcard who has an MVP but little or no traction."
  • LAUNCH Deal Terms: $100,000 cash for 6% of a startup. When you graduate, should you meet the syndicate requirements, they can syndicate your deal for another $250,000 (or more). The syndicate amount is not guaranteed.
  • Notable LAUNCH AlumniWrapify, Red Tricycle, Rushtix, Captiv8, Blokable

11. Lemnos

  • DescriptionLemnos thrives in the earliest stages of building hardware, when every dollar counts, every hour matters, and each decision is crucial to success or failure. We help hardware founders better understand their customer, anticipate problems, and leverage their assets.

    Lemnos focuses on engineering, manufacturing, marketing, and financial capital; turning great ideas into successful hardware companies. We draw from our expertise, experience, and global network to work with founders and solve hardware’s biggest challenges together.

  • Sectors / Markets of FocusAerospace, Agriculture, Energy, Hospitality, Manufacturing, Transportation.

  • Lemnos Requirements: Pre-seed and seed startups. They also welcome talented entrepreneurs looking to develop their ideas.
  • Lemnos Deal Terms: Apply for more details.
  • Notable Lemnos Alumni: Airware, Built Robotics, Bumblebee Spaces, Byte Foods, Camp Six Labs, Compology, Creator, Quartz, Spire, SwiftNav

12. Matter

  • DescriptionWe support media entrepreneurs building a more informed, connected, and empowered society through our start-up accelerator in San Francisco and New York City.
  • Sectors / Markets of FocusMedia and Journalism.
  • Matter Requirements: Entrepreneurs and early-stage media ventures looking to change the media industry for the better.
  • Matter Deal Terms: A $125,000 investment: $50,000 is cash to give you a 5 month period to find the right customer, build prototypes and create traction. While $75,000 is to cover their accelerator services.
  • Notable Matter Alumni: Compass News, Enwoven, GoPop, Hearken, LocalData, nēdl, News Deeply, NextRequest, Redivis, Tangible

13. Momentum

  • Description: “Momentum is a mobile advisor and investment firm based in San Francisco, CA. We are laser focused on growing and investing in mobile-first startups. It’s what we know, who we know and how we have helped twenty-one mobile companies gain the necessary market traction and relationships to raise 80+ million dollars in follow-on funding and four exits."
  • Sectors / Markets of Focus: Mobile Technology
  • Momentum Requirements: Having a mobile startup.
  • Momentum Deal Terms: Apply for more details.
  • Notable Momentum AlumniFiverrun, Madefire, Orbeus, Xendo

14. OneTraction

  • DescriptionOur focus is on value creation outcome that include disruptive innovation, we support founders to launch sustainable business, and help entrepreneur to drive repeat business that convert into viral growth!
  • Sectors / Markets of FocusAI, AR, Blockchain, Cybersecurity, eCommerce, Enterprise, IoT Payment, Quantum Computing, Smart Contract, VR, etc.
  • OneTraction Requirements: Software, hardware and science-based startups in emerging technologies.
  • OneTraction Deal Terms: Apply for more details.

15. Orange Fab

  • DescriptionOrange Fab is a platform dedicated to promoting growth opportunities for Silicon Valley startups. We focus on connecting innovative startups with our corporate partners for proof-of-concept projects, distribution, or investment opportunities utilizing our onsite team of industry analysts, online content platform, CVC network, and thought leadership events."
  • Sectors / Markets of FocusAll tech or tech-enabled businesses.
  • Orange Fab Requirements: Having a U.S. based, innovative startup with an existing product or exploring new markets.
  • Orange Fab Deal Terms: They offer access to their network of investors, business development and networking events.
  • Notable Orange Fab AlumniPixlee, Scoutible, Talkdesk, TARA, Token.io, Toymail, Verdigris, Wonolo

16. RocketSpace Industry Collaborative

  • Description: "Better than your typical accelerator. A first-of-its-kind industry technology collaboration program bringing startups and corporate leaders together to transform industries on a global scale through technology. Unlike other accelerator programs, the RocketSpace Industry Collaborative model is designed for later stage startups who are looking to validate and grow their business with industry leading corporations.”
  • Sectors / Markets of FocusMobility Tech, Food and Ag Tech.
  • RocketSpace Industry Collaborative Requirements: A later stage startup looking for validation and growth.
  • RocketSpace Industry Collaborative Deal Terms: There are no equity requirements. RocketSpace offers mentorship, brand and product exposure, access to industry leaders for investment opportunities, pilot testing, etc.
  • Notable RocketSpace Industry Collaborative AlumniCarIQ, CARMERA, CommuterHive, Elio, Good Spread, Here Foods, Neteera, TravelAI

17. Runway Innovation Hub

  • DescriptionAccelerating Innovation. Enabling startups and corporations to create the future faster.
  • Sectors / Markets of FocusAll tech or tech-enabled businesses.
  • Runway Innovation Hub Requirements: Founders of Pre-seed to Series A startups.
  • Runway Innovation Hub Deal TermsThere are no equity requirements. Runway offers mentorship, networking events, access to a collaborative community of founders, pilot testing, etc.
  • Notable Runway Innovation Hub AlumniAtomwise, Eyegroove, Skycatch

18. Tarmac SF

  • DescriptionTarmac SF is an acceleration program specifically designed for international startup founders interested in expanding their startup's vision in the US. Whether you want to launch your business in the US, open a new point of sale, find new partners, or simply immerse yourself in the Silicon Valley's vibrant startup scene, Tarmac SF is made for you.
  • Sectors / Markets of FocusAll tech or tech-enabled businesses.
  • Tarmac SF Requirements: International startup founders looking to do business in the U.S.
  • Tarmac SF Deal TermsThere are no equity requirements. Tarmac SF offers access to PARISOMA (co-working space), mentoring, networking events, workshops, help with immigration and legal issues, etc.
  • Notable Tarmac SF AlumniConsultvox, FreeCity, MAISON MUNZ, Nurx, Oliber, Routeique, Woolah

19. Y Combinator

  • DescriptionY Combinator provides seed funding for startups. Seed funding is the earliest stage of venture funding. It pays your expenses while you’re getting started.

    Some companies may need no more than seed funding. Others will go through several rounds. There is no right answer; how much funding you need depends on the kind of company you start.

    At Y Combinator, our goal is to get you through the first phase. This usually means: get you to the point where you’ve built something impressive enough to raise money on a larger scale. Then we can introduce you to later stage investors—or occasionally even acquirers.

  • Sectors / Markets of FocusAll tech or tech-enabled businesses.
  • Y Combinator Requirements: Having a startup (international or local). Also, solo founders can apply to the program.
  • Y Combinator Deal TermsA $150,000 investment known as the ‘YC safe’ that converts into 7% of the company. YC supports the company in the price equity round and other financing rounds.
  • Notable Y Combinator AlumniAirbnb, Coinbase, Cruise, DoorDash, Dropbox, Gusto Instacart, Machine Zone, Stripe, Zenefits

20. YouWeb Incubator

  • DescriptionFounded by Peter Relan, and dedicated to helping talented entrepreneurs with product chops build great companies in gaming, on-demand services, consumer mobile products and services, IoT.
  • Sectors / Markets of FocusConsumer mobile products and services, Gaming, IoT, On-demand services.
  • YouWeb Incubator Requirements: Having a talented product-focused team with a working prototype or design that can be brought to market.
  • YouWeb Incubator Deal TermsApply for more details.
  • Notable YouWeb Incubator AlumniAgawi, Camellia Labs, Crowdstar, Discord, Epic!, Fit-Any, Got It!, OpenFeint, Radiius

If you are looking to launch a startup in San Francisco, the Founder Institute is looking for you. Apply today!

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