Startup (or business) accelerators, like Y Combinator and TechStars, have become very important in the tech landscape the recent years. They are not only in Silicon Valley, they are all over the place – both in the U.S. and spread around the world. Which country doesn’t have accelerators? But the big question is: Where are the best accelerators? At least in the U.S.

Two professors have announced the result of their survey, and according to Professor Yael V. Hochberg the goal of the seed accelerator rankings project was to start a larger conversation about the accelerator phenomenon, its effects and its prospects for the future.

TechCrunch has an interesting article on this subject, and here are the 15 best accelerators in the U.S. according to this survey. Those are grouped into gold, silver and bronze categories to reflect how they performed in a series of categories. Here they are, and you can read more about them at CrunchBase by clicking the links below.

  1. Y Combinator (Gold)
  2. TechStars (Gold)
  3. AngelPad (Gold)
  4. Launchpad LA (Silver)
  5. MuckerLab (Silver)
  6. AlphaLab (Silver)
  7. Capital Innovators (Silver)
  8. Tech Wildcatters (Silver)
  9. Surge Accelerator (Silver)
  10. The Brandery (Silver)
  11. Betaspring (Bronze)
  12. BoomStartup (Bronze)
  13. Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator (Bronze)
  14. JumpStart Foundry (Bronze)
  15. DreamIt Ventures (Bronze)

To be included in the rankings, accelerators needed to have graduated at least one cohort by 2013, be based in the U.S. and have at least 10 graduates in their class.

Most accelerators provide a small seed investment or a stipend, workspace, mentoring, coaching and other professional services in exchange for an equity stake in the company. According to Hochberg’s research a typically equity investment is around $25,000 and the equity stake is roughly 6 percent.

Here’s the conclusion of the TechCrunch article:

No matter what the results are, entrepreneurs are almost universally happy with the accelerator experience. Roughly 90 percent of the ones Hochberg and Cohen surveyed said they would repeat the experience, and 95 percent said it was worth it to give up the equity.

You can read the rest of the article here.

I had the pleasure of visiting some accelerators when I attended the TINC program by Innovation Norway in 2012. I also had a working space at RocketSpace in San Francisco then. Here’s my blog post about the TINC program back then.

(Image courtesy of TechCrunch)