For those of you who are just starting down the path of considering an accelerator as a tool for innovation, we're aware that we probably just freaked you out by showing you all the work you have to do to launch a corporate accelerator. Don't worry – grab a handy paper bag and catch your breath if you're hyperventilating. It's not all or nothing. Fortunately, you have many options. Many corporates start by getting involved in other ways, or they work with partners – experienced accelerator operators – to jump in and get things going when they lack the internal capacity right away.


With a dedicated corporate accelerator program, corporations have two main options: run the program in-house or outsource its administration to a partner such as Techstars, Plug and Play, or 500 Startups. In the partnership model, the partner markets the program (often to a community of startups applying to their other accelerators), reviews and selects start-ups for each cohort based on shared criteria, provides mentors, and manages the program. Partners may charge several hundred thousand dollars to several million dollars to set up and operate an accelerator on behalf of a corporate sponsor, and they will typically direct the corporate investment in the startups admitted to the accelerator, often participating themselves as well. ...

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