Thursday, September 6, 2018

Shark Tank, Y Combinator, And Other Business Accelerators: What Are Your Chances of Getting in?

New startups need to consider working with a business accelerator since they provides a means for a business to grow quickly.  According to (, there are more than 170 accelerator programs in the U.S. which offer early-stage startups assistance, mentorship, and/or investment in exchange for equity and/or fees. 

However, getting into a business accelerator is not always easy.  Forbes Magazine has assessed, “Prestigious startup accelerators like Techstars and Y Combinator (YC) have a lower acceptance rate (only 1-2%) than Harvard (5%). (” 

In the article entitled, “The Top Seven Startup Accelerators and What Makes Each Unique,” takes on this trending issue.  According to, “Y Combinator remains the largest and best accelerator in the nation, and they have an unparalleled global reputation in the tech world. The traits that set them apart are their incredible mentorship and capital network (”

There is also 500 Startups.  "500 Startups is a seed and early stage venture capital fund, consisting of 4 major funds and 13 micro funds which have invested in startups in at least 60 countries. Funded startups include Udemy and Credit Karma. Exits have included sales to Google and Rakuten (” It is a well-established accelerator that has well proven the many benefits of connecting with a startup accelerator.  Several of the companies that have successfully exited their program are now known “worldwide.” 

Then there is Shark Tank, the reality show in which entrepreneurs present their business idea on national television.  According to ABC, the show has reinvigorated entrepreneurship in America.  Contestants pitch their ideas to “sharks in a tank” who are industry moguls that have already established their own empires.  Contestants pitch their business ideas in order to get the sharks to invest in their company.  When more than one of the sharks decides to invest, it can result in a bidding war, thereby increasing the investment.  The show represents a televised accelerator experience for business startups (

What are your chances of getting on Shark Tank?  45,000 people apply to get on the show every year. But less than one percent of applicants get to pitch their idea to the sharks — and of that group, only a handful actually make it on TV.

Is it worth it?  According to Business Insider, Techstars has achieved a 90 percent overall success rate.  While “Y Combinator” also produces roughly about an 88 percent success rate.  This means at least this percentage of the companies they have worked with are still up and running or have been acquired by other businesses (  In fact, just a few of the successful accelerator exits include Airbnb, Twilio and Classpass. 

This is one of the reasons I founded Omega Accelerator.  For more information on how to apply to our accelerator programs, visit or email me at

You can also contact me if you would like to advise or invest in our startups.