Accelerators for young entrepreneurs

Steven Loeb · April 4, 2019 · Short URL:

They include TeensInAI Accelerator, ICON Academy, Maker Kids Club and ACCELeratoredu

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 young entrepreneurs:



"We use Artificial Intelligence all day, every day. Siri, Alexa, and Cortana are obvious examples of artificial intelligence, but AI is actually all around us. It can be found in vacuum cleaners, cars, lawnmowers, video games, Hollywood special effects etc... But how does AI really work and WHY should it matter? Join our unique program for two weeks and develop your own entrepreneurial project surrounded by the best of the Tech sphere!"

Investment amount: It costs £2000 to attend 10 days, however the Early Bird price is £1600, which ends 16 July.

Program benefits: Our curriculum is designed to give teenagers the chance to utilise AI and Machine Learning techniques to tackle global challenges in a holistic manner giving an understanding of design thinking, strategy and business model development, ethics, social responsibility and pitching skills.

Mentor Makeup: Pete Trainor, Maria Axante, Tabitha Goldstaub, Alejandro Saucedo, Jonnie Penn, Mischa Dohler

Portfolio companies: Not specified



"Live on campus at a top university in this highly selective and rigorous summer program for young entrepreneurs"

Investment amount: There is a $60 application fee which can be waived with proof of financial need

Program benefits: We will provide housing on or near your university location. Housing options will differ by location and on a year-to-year basis as universities decide which dormitories are available for summer program students.

We do plan activities and field trips to help you get to know the local area. These activities will differ by location and will be optional.

Portfolio companies: SafeStart, Politifund, Commenorate, Luminos Education



"Somewhere, out there right now, there are a handful of young people preparing to be the next big thing. They are practicing their guitars, acting out their favorite movie lines, taking things apart just to see how they work, creating apps and websites, shooting homemade videos, and dreaming about what could be someday.

The next Mark Zuckerberg, Jennifer Lawrence, Ashton Kutcher, or Carrie Underwood exists right now as nothing more than just potential sitting in a classroom or dreaming in a bedroom."

Investment amount: Not specified

Program benefits:  By completion of the advanced course of studies, your teenager should be able to do things like:

  • Launch their own business
  • Create expert sales and marketing campaigns
  • Pitch the media 
  • Know what it takes to build a good website and build a list of fans
    through social media
  • Get hired and make money providing marketing services for their own
  • Market themselves and their talents both online and offline
  • Run photo and video shoots
  • Write sales copy and compelling video scripts
  • Hire and outsource various business building services as needed
  • Better understand what their full potential really is

You will get:

  • Personal pictures from a photo shoot
  • Personal videos from a video shoot
  • An EMK of your very own

Portfolio companies: Not specified



"Maker Kids Club was founded for kidpreneurs, by a kidpreneur"

Investment amount: Not specified

Program benefits:  

  • Teachers can run Maker Kids Club in the classroom (one hour per week for 14 weeks).

Enrolment includes:

  • Individual access to the online training platform for every student and the teacher for the duration of the course,
  • detailed lesson plans with all links to the curriculum outlined, and
  • online support.

A typical lesson includes:

  • watching a training video (6-20 minutes),
  • discussing the content following the lesson plan, and
  • student group work to complete the activity sheet accompanying the lesson.

Week 10 is nominally launch week (though it’s up to each school when they want to run their market)

  • This typically lines up with the end of school term.
  • We’ve found it’s great to run the launch market on the same day as end-of-term assembly so parents can attend too.

Lessons 11 to 14 are typically completed in the following term:

  • These lessons cover reflection, money management, updating plans and celebration.
  • Teachers can opt to compress the course by doing four weeks with 2 lessons, so the course can be completed in one 10-week term.

Portfolio companies: Beauty from Ash’s Products, Little Bursts of Happiness, Green Leaf Company, Golden Arrow Creations, Mosey on Magic


 Uncharted Learning, NFP

"As a second-year course, ACCELeratoredu provides students the opportunity to take a business from startup to launched. The experience models that of a real-life start-up accelerator with a focus on developing cohorts of teams through mentorship, education, connections, and accountability to launch a company."

Investment amount: Programs are fee-based (by school, not individual student) and comparative to other curricular investments

Program benefits:  Each program membership includes a scope of implementation (onboarding) and comprehensive resources including lesson plans, supporting materials, activities, assessments, professional development, and ongoing 

Portfolio companies: Not specified



"We are on a mission to ignite kids around the world through entrepreneurship to make their biggest dreams become a reality."

Investment amount: Not specified

Program benefits:  

  • Accelerator Design Challenges with Strong emphasis on SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), social impact, and using technology for good.
  • A Membership-Based Portal pairing kids with a mentor network, entrepreneurial toolset, and financial resources.
  • Social impact accelerators with real-world entrepreneurial and design-thinking skills, with a kids-first approach.
  • A Think Tank made up of kids to help companies solve local problems around the world, leading to global solutions.

Mentor Makeup: Greg Bamford, Sarabeth Berk, Sumanth Channabasappa, Patty Klauer, Greg Sklar, Nicole Glaros, John Tayer, George Deriso, Tim O’Shea, Travis Russi, Amber Nystrom, Praful Shah, Julia Richman, Anya Smith, Jake Aloia, Corey Kohn

Portfolio companies: Not specified

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