Accelerators from top corporate companies

Steven Loeb · February 5, 2019 · Short URL:

They include accelerators from AT&T, Coca-Cola, Google, IBM, Disney, Sprint and Wells Fargo

For startups, there are numerous paths for getting their name out there. One way, which Vator has been covering recently, are startup competitions, but another popular method to get a foot in the door, as well as some funding and traction, are accelerators. These are programs that provide companies advice, guidance and various forms of support for startups in their early stages. They also often invest in the companies, for a certain equity stake.

Need a list of startup competitions, challenges, accelerators, etc. from around the world? Check out VatorX. You can find them, or list yours!

There are some very well-known accelerators out there, including Y Combinator and 500 Startups, which have made their names through various successful alumni. Those programs fairly general, accepting companies from a variety of different spaces. 

For some companies, it may help to join an accelerator that only focuses on their specific area. That's especially true for those in more specialized spaces, which will have their own unique challenges and regulations.

Here are some of the accelerators from big corporations:


"The Aspire Accelerator will connect you with the resources, services, expertise, and relationships you need to drive change in how people acquire skills needed for good jobs and rewarding careers."

Investment amount:Selected organizations will receive a $100,000 investment and an additional $25,000 to cover program expenses. For participating for-profit companies the $100,000 Aspire investment is in return for up to 5% equity. Non-profit participants will receive a general contribution in exchange for participating in the Aspire Accelerator and meeting certain requirements including submitting impact measurements. 

Program benefits: 

  • Access to expertise, services and relationships tailored to each organization throughout the 4-6 month program.
  • Connect with AT&T and external mentors from the education and technology ecosystems.
  • Be a part of the broader AT&T Aspire initiative, which is committed to driving innovation in education on a national scale.
  • No relocation necessary. Unlike other accelerators, an organization does not have to move to participate in the Aspire Accelerator.
  • Receive access to a dedicated Entrepreneur in Residence, UI/UX design services, and opportunities to participate in education conferences.

Mentor makeup: Chris Baum, Jack Crawford, Molly Goodson, Samantha Olivieri

Portfolio companies: LiftEd, Zulama, Quill, BookNook


"The Bridge Builders is a unique Commercialization Program for startups, acting as a bridge between the entrepreneurial community and major global markets including the US, Europe, Africa/Eurasia and the Pacific."

Investment amount: Not specified

Program benefits: The program lasts seven months and provides tangible commercial guidance. It does so by providing the startups with in-depth marketing training, access to experienced business mentors and connection to Coca-Cola // Turner // Mercede-Benz business sponsors. The commercialization process includes an opportunity to pilot within Coca-Cola // Turner // Mercedez-Benz and a chance to license the startup’s product to the companies and/or its partners. The program does not require any equity or IP ownership from the startups.

Portfolio companies: Anagog, CHEQ, Klear, Loom Systems


"The Citi Foundation and Living Cities launched the City Accelerator in 2014 to foster innovation and promote collaboration between urban leaders to tackle some of their cities' most pressing issues. The City Accelerator has selected 22 U.S. cities to pilot innovative efforts that generate economic opportunities for low-income populations and help municipalities run more effectively."

Investment amount: Not specified 

Program benefits: Participating cities also benefit from ongoing interaction with leading practitioners from around the country and share lessons learned to help other cities advance similar work. The City Accelerator builds on the Project on Municipal Innovation (PMI), a collaboration between Living Cities and Harvard's Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, which brings together mayoral chiefs-of-staff and policy directors across the U.S. to discuss challenges facing their municipalities. 

Portfolio: Louisville, Nashville, Philadelphia, Albuquerque, Atlanta, Baltimore, New Orleans, Seattle


Google Developers

"Launchpad regional accelerators are tailored specifically to their local markets, and provide access to the best of Google - its people, network, and advanced technologies - helping startups build great products. In addition to our accelerators, Launchpad regional initiatives include exclusive events, mentorship opportunities, and trainings. Keep an eye out for opportunities to participate in over 40 countries around the world."

Investment amount: Not specified

Program benefits: 

  • Equity-free support
  • Access to Google engineers and intensive mentoring from 20+ teams
  • Access to silicon valley experts and top local mentors
  • PR training and global media opportunities
  • Close partnership with Google for three months (new classes are accepted twice a year)

Portfolio companies: JetBov, Mandaê, BabyChakra, Kulina, Niramai


"The Technogym Wellness Accelerator is an International Acceleration Program that aims to scout and invest in promising startups that operates in the fitness, wellness and health sectors. It is a 4-month full-services program that gives the opportunity to 5 selected startups to work closely with the world leader in the wellness and fitness industry"

Investment amount: Teams receive €15.000 in cash with a possibility for further investment from Technogym at the end of the program

Program benefits: 


Staying at Wellness Accelerator you only have to focus on your business. Startups have space for the whole team with access to all the necessary infrastructure to get their business moving. In addition, we also offer amazing food all day long (breakfast, lunch, dinner) in and accommodation to each team member: no other accelerator can offer you this kind of service! The Wellness Accelerator is hosted in H-FARM, one of Europe’s premier Innovation Hubs, with over 30 digital companies and 500 people on Campus. The location, 15min from the Venice airport (Italy), makes it the ideal place to dedicate 4 intense months to launch your Startup into the next phase of growth.


Wellness Accelerator will provide a full-time dedicated team that will work closely with the startups to answer their needs: it will take care of your stay and organize weekly meetings in order to monitor the progress of the project and support you in important activities.


Startups will have the possibility to attend workshops held by our experts covering key themes: Business Strategy & Development, Communication & Marketing, Coding & Dev, UX & Design, Legal and Fundraising, Fitness and Wellness. In addition you will meet with Mentors from Technogym and its international network: successful entrepreneurs, important investors, notable managers and business leaders will come to the Wellness Accelerator to give you valuable feedback and support on your project.


Wellness Accelerator makes your startup’s life easier by giving you access to more than 50 great perks, free or discounted services that our partners offer each team, including: web hosting, email marketing and many more. The value of these offers is more than € 450.000.

Portfolio companies: BeYou, DASHR, Hoolio, Coachademy, WeFitter

IBM Alpha Zone accelerator

"IBM Alpha Zone Accelerator is a 20 week program, helping startups to build leading solutions for the enterprise market. The program focuses on post Seed & Round A funded companies with aim to create long term technology and business partnership with IBM worldwide."

Investment amount: No participation cost and IBM does not take any equity or IP rights

Program benefits: 

  • Access to IBM technologists, developers, researchers and industry experts
  • Worldwide exposure and potential joint go-to-market with IBM
  • Free access to IBM technologies and tools (development license)
  • IBM Cloud Services (up-to $120K benefit)
  • Business Mentorship
  • Physical space at IBM Israel HQ Offices
  • Access to Angels / VC’s / OCS corporate program
  • Legal/Tax/Accounting/IP/User Experience : Alpha Zone Partners’ support
  • Mentor Day – business sessions with industry leaders
  • DEMO Days and global marketing events

Portfolio companies: Optibus, Zoomd, Doctome, Nutrino


Disney Accelerator

"The Disney Accelerator is helping today’s technology innovators turn their dreams for new media and entertainment experiences into reality."

Investment amount: Not specified

Program benefits: The Disney Accelerator provides participating companies with investment capital, access to co-working space at Disney’s creative campus and mentor support and guidance from top Disney executives, entrepreneurs, investors and other notable business leaders from the entertainment and technology communities.

Portfolio companies: Ambidio, Epic Games, Atom Tickets, Jaunt, littleBits


"The Sprint Accelerator is joining with other corporations for our accelerator program. This model allows for increased collaboration among corporations and startups. Selecting startup companies that align with each corporation’s strategic goals gives the corporations access to innovative products and services. And each startup selected for the program, will receive unprecedented resources from these corporate sponsors."

Investment amount: Not specified

Program benefits: 

  • 90-day program, pre-program planning sessions occurring in the 30 days prior
  • Being on-site for the entire program is not required. However, at scheduled times, startups will be required to be onsite in Kansas City.
  • State-of-the-art workspace facilities provided in Kansas City
  • Targeted, strategic meetings with the corporate sponsor teams to discuss business development, pilots and potential sponsorships
  • Mentors from the Corporate Sponsors and their respective networks and business sponsors
  • Mentors from the investor, business development and entrepreneurial communities
  • Business building sessions around product, brand, and marketing

Portfolio companies: Keybot, Luxe Concierge, Sofihub, SomaDetect, Cheddies


"The Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator is a hands-on program designed to advance startups that create solutions for enterprise customers — inside and outside the financial industry."

Investment amount: We fund each selected startup with investments up to $1,000,000. While we have a vested interest in your company's success, we're here primarily to encourage innovation, so Wells Fargo will maintain only a minority equity stake in your company.

Program benefits: Our intensive program helps companies understand what it takes to become part of the corporate stack. After the program, companies may continue to work with us on proof of concepts across different business lines within Wells Fargo.

Portfolio companies: Kasisto, Edquity, SimSpace, Zumigo


Axel Springer Plug and Play Accelerator


"We count ourselves lucky. We are a joint venture between the Plug and Play Tech Center and Axel Springer SE. They support us in every way possible. It also means we are not bound to one region, one topic, one opinion. We offer a global network and international opportunities."

Investment amount:  25,000 Euro funding for 5% of the company

Program benefits: We run 100 day acceleration programs. When we partner with you, we provide you with a place to work,  access to our global network, daily opportunities.

Mentor makeup: Tilo Bonow, Dagmar Bottenbruch, Charles von Abercron, Tilo Bonow, Ivo Betke

Portfolio companies: chatchamp, RoomAR, Myo, TalentSpace


"It’s not just what you know, but who you know. Gain access to our global network of mentors, partners and investors by joining one of our four unique programs." 

Investment amount: Not specified

Program benefits: 


Mentor makeup: Luke Jones, James Bacon, Castor Hui, Mairi Hood

Portfolio companies: Brisk Synergies, Yimian, Autobahn, OviDrive


"We work with a diverse set of companies - from FinTech to Retail to Security to Big Data and beyond. The world is changing at lightning speed and Start Path Global is designed to help your business thrive and reach new opportunities."

Investment amount: No upfront equity in exchange for participation

Program benefits: We hold a Program Kick-Off event to get to understand each other’s companies. This takes place at the launch of the program, and are held at different Mastercard and startup hubs around the world. The objective of this onsite engagement is threefold:

-Define and track the specific goals of your company and create the tailored Start Path Global program for your company.

-Content sessions to dive deep into key elements of Mastercard’s business and region-specific insights provided by leading subject matter experts.

-Direct engagement with our partners, your future channels and customers.

The program is run virtually for six month. The Start Path Team supports you to achieve the specific deliverables on your road to success, opening doors and providing the access you need to Mastercard’s global infrastructure.

We believe in investing time before money, focusing first and foremost on providing tangible value to the companies we work with. We’ll take an option to invest in your next round to discuss strategic investment as and when you’re ready to cross that next milestone.

Portfolio companies: ShieldPay, Tranzer, Hummingbird, Tourego, Skolafund

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