I’m pleased to announce Seed-DB, a database of seed accelerators and the companies they have accelerated. I originally started assembling this data in the summer of 2009 as part of the research paper I wrote for my MBA thesis at the University of Cambridge: “Copying Y Combinator: a framework for developing Seed Accelerator programs.” Ever since, I’ve been keeping it up-to-date in a number of Google Spreadsheets.
Seed-DB puts all of the best information I have and puts it in a much more digestible format for easy viewing and comparison. I have integrated Crunchbase data to get up-to-date information on funding rounds, number of employees, and more. I believe that Seed-DB is the most useful and comprehensive resource on seed accelerators around the world.
One of the clear things that stands out to me is the economic impact of seed accelerators. Even though the data is far from complete for some programs, these are some key statistics as they stand today:
- >100 programs world-wide
- >1300 companies have been accelerated
- ~65 companies have already exited for an estimated $930million
- >3000 jobs created
- >$1billion in angel and venture capital funding raised
In particular, as the data becomes more complete I estimate that the number of jobs created could easily double. And as the companies mature and have exit events for investors, the exit values will be much, much larger. (Paul Graham has publicly stated that just the top 21 Y Combinator companies have a combined value approaching $5billion.)
As hard as I’ve tried, the information on Seed-DB is NOT 100% complete. There are three reasons for this:
- Missing startups. Some accelerators have made it very difficult to find lists of startups that have gone through their programs, so there are many startups missing in less visible programs. Please contact me if you can provide me with any details.
- Missing data in Crunchbase. Many companies have not entered any information in Crunchbase. That’s where I get details on funding and number of employees, so if you want this information to be accurate please update it there. (If you run an accelerator, it would be ideal if you could encourage your startups to do this.)
- Missing accelerators. I believe I’ve tracked down all of the seed accelerators world-wide, but please let me know if I’ve missed some. Note that I’m using a pretty strict definition of a seed accelerator. I hope to eventually track other types of programs, too.
To use a buzzword, this is a minimum viable product. Reid Hoffman has been quoted as saying “if you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” Well, I’m at that point. There’s a lot that I still want to do, some of user-visible projects and tasks are on the roadmap, but what’s launching today is the core of my vision.
Please note that while exits are often publicized, the price paid for most companies is NOT public. So for the vast majority of companies I’ve simply had to guess. I’ve put a confidence level by each guess, with the highest-level confidence reserved for the cases where the price was public or widely reported. These values do not come from any of the companies involved.
If you’ve made it this far, I’d ask you for three things.
- Sign up to my seed accelerators newsletter. (It’s very low traffic, and I don’t share or sell e-mail addresses… ever.)
- Send me feedback. I want to make this useful for startups interested in accelerators, people founding/running accelerators, and investors interested in companies from accelerators.
- If you’re interested in collaborating with me on the technical side of things, please get in touch. I’m new to web applications, and could use an experienced partner.
Thanks for your attention!