33 Accelerators for Indie Game Developers

What is an Accelerator?

Imagine, you wake up one morning with a killer idea for a new company. You know it would be amazing and super valuable for the industry. However, you have no idea where to begin. All you know is that starting a company can’t be easy. It takes time, money, innovation, and a whole lot of creativity. Startup AcceleratorsSo you begin researching and poking your head around the internet, checking Reddit, Quora, Google, and find a lot of people mentioning accelerator programs. You come across big name companies such as Airbnb, Twitch, and Parse all started in an accelerator. You realize that this is the way to go and begin finding the accelerator that’s right for you.

Seed accelerators, also known as startup accelerators, are fixed-term programs to help entrepreneurs kick start their company. These programs usually offer mentorships, educational seminars, and other benefits. While many might think accelerators are just for startups, that isn’t true. Game studios can easily benefit from the mentorship and entrepreneurial tips accelerators offer. At the end of the day a gaming studio is a business, selling a product – the game. We can clearly see this shift in the mobile gaming industry as more and more game studios become GaaS, Games as a Service. Game Studios are now continuously deploying updated versions of their games and employing analytics to measure and optimize the product’s usage. Accelerators can help studios learn and maintain these practices which will help grow their studio in the long run. Developing the game might be the fun, exciting part, but for the game to be successful it needs to be marketed which means having a strong understanding of the industry.

There are hundreds of accelerators worldwide, all offering varying programs to help startups get their feet off the ground. There are, of course, the more well-known accelerators such as Y-Combinator and TechStars, which are extremely competitive, but can offer a huge network of alumni. These larger accelerators are always looking at ways to diversify their portfolios, so just remember it never hurts to apply.

Startup Accelerators: The Big Guys

Y-Combinator
Founded: 2005Airbnb_Logo
Located: Mountain View, CA
Batches per year: 2 (Summer + Winter)
Logistics:
• Invests $120K in return for 7% equity
• 3-month program – must relocate and live in the Bay Area, CA for the duration of the program
Notable Startups: Dropbox, Airbnb, and Reddit

techstars logoTechStars
Founded: 2006
Located: Boulder, CO
Batches per year: 2 (Winter + Spring)
Logistics:
• Invests $100K in return for 6% common stock
• 3-month program – must relocate and live on site for the duration of the program (have programs in a variety of locations)
Notable Startups: Contently, Localytics, and Kinvey

Founders Institute
Founded: 2009
Located: San Francisco, CA
Batches per year: 4 (Fall + Winter + Spring + Summer)founder-institute
Logistics:
Shared Liquidity Pool
• 4-month, part-time program
Notable Startups: Udemy, Appota, and PetHub

500 Startups
Founded: 2010
Located: Mountain View, CA
Batches per year: 4 (Fall + Winter + Spring + Summer)
Logistics:
• Invests $125k in return for 5% equity
• 4-month program
Notable startups: Tamatem (mobile apps & games), PicCollage, and Punchd (acquired by Google)

DreamIt VenturesDreamIt-logo
Founded: 2007
Located: Philadelphia, PA
Batches per year: 3 (Winter + Spring + Fall)
Logistics:
• Custom seed investments when required
• 3-month program – relocation is not required
Notable startups: Meerkat, SeatGeek, and BioBots

Microsoft Ventures – Accelerators
Founded: N/A
Located: Redmond, WA (have offices all over the world)
Batches per year: 2
Logistics:
• No funding and does not take equity, provides all software, tools, and cloud access needed.
• 4-month program – prefer to be on site
Notable startups: Ranku, Mobli, and RunMobile

AngelPad
Founded: 2010
Located: San Francisco, CA
Batches per year: 2 (Fall + Spring)Postmates-Logo
Logistics:
• 10-week program
Notable startups: Postmates, Mopub, and Adku

LaunchPad LA
Founded: 2009
Located: Santa Monica, CA
Logistics:
• Invests $25-$100k in return for 6% equity
• 4-month program – must relocate to LA for the duration of the program
Notable startups: GameSalad (formerly Gendai Games), Melon, and Flipgloss (acquired by Fordes)

AlphaLab
Founded: 2008
Located: Pittsburgh, PA
Logistics:
• Invests $25K in return for 5% equity
• 5-month program – must relocate during the program
Notable startups: ModCloth, Mobile Technologies (acquired by Facebook), and ShowClix

The Brandery
Founded: 2010
Located: Cincinnati, OH
Logistics:
• Invests $50K in return for 6% equity
• 4-month program – must relocate to Cincinnati for the duration of the program
Notable startups: Cintric, HireWheel, and Off Track Planet

MassChallenge
Founded: 2009masschallenge_logo
Located: Boston, MA (have offices in US, Israel, and UK)
Logistics:
• Uses a competition framework to shape their accelerator therefore they do not take any equity and companies are eligible to win $2 million.
• 4-month program – must relocate to the city of the accelerator for the duration of the program
Notable startups: Gameblyr, Anfiro, and Grapevine

MuckerLab
Founded: 2012
Located: Santa Monica, CA
Logistics:
• Invests $21K in return for 6-8% equity
• 3-12 month program – must relocate to LA for duration of program
Notable startups: Surf Air, Twenty20, and Retention Science

Blue Startups
Founded: 2012blue startups
Located: Honolulu, HI
Logistics:
• Invests up to $50K in return for 6% equity
• 4-month program – must relocate to Honolulu for the duration of the program
Notable startups: Pharmly, Wicked Loot (game development company), and Comprendio

Amplify
Founded: 2011
Located: Venice, CA
Logistics:
• Invests $50K-$200K in return for 5% equity
• 4-8 month program
Notable startups: Gear Frontier, Alphadraft, and Repost NetworkThe Amplify community

BoomStartup
Founded: 2010
Located: Salt Lake City, UT
Logistics:
• Invests $20K in return for 6% equity
• 3-month program
Notable startups: 7 Generation Games, Flying Software Labs, and Parakeet

Capital Innovators
Founded: April 2011
Located: St. Louis, MO
Batches per year: 2 (Fall + Spring)
Logistics:
• Invests $50K in return for 5-10% equity
• 3-month program – must relocate to St. Louis for the duration of the program

Tech Wildcatters
Founded: 2009
Located: Dallas, TX
Logistics:
• Invests $25K in return for 8% equity
• 3-month program
Notable startups: Yoolod, Game Time Giving, and Jackpot Rising

They Might be Little, but They’re Mighty

While the larger accelerators, of course, have the big names and at times larger budgets, the smaller accelerators are just as successful. There are also many smaller accelerators that are geared only for gaming studios.

Game Studio Accelerators

YetiZen (only accepts Game Studios, Game Platforms, Game Publishers, and Game Tools)
Founded: 2010yetizen
Located: San Francisco, CA
Logistics:
• 3-11% equity
• 3-month program
Notable startups: Grantoo, Frenzoo, and YesGnome

GameFounders
Founded: 2012
Located: Malaysia
Logistics:
• Invests approximately $17K in return for 9% equity
• 3-month program – must relocate for the duration of the program

Core Labs (part of GSVlabs)core labs
Founded: 2015
Located: Redwood City, CA
Logistics:
• 10% revenue share
• 6-month program – prefer studios to relocate, but do not require it
Notable startups: Spread Shot Studios, Dream Harvest, and Aze Games

Global Top Round Accelerator
Founded: N/A
Located: Foster City, CA
Logistics:
• Invests $35K in return for either 7% net revenue share OR 3.5% equity
• 6-month program
Notable startups: Headup Games, 1506 Studios, and KBJGames

Stugan
Founded: 2015
Located: Stockholm, Sweden
Logistics:
• 2-month program – must relocate to the cabin in the woods

Game Dojos
Founded: N/Agame-dojos logo
Located: San Francisco, CA
Logistics:
• 3-month program – not required to relocate
Notable startups: Little Think Tank, Plain Vanilla Games, and Focused Apps LLC

Execution Labs
Founded: 2012
Located: Montreal, CanadaXL_Logo_rendered_positive
Batches per year: 2 (Winter + Summer)
Logistics:
• Maximum investment of $50K with a max. return of 14% equity
• 3-month program – must relocate for the duration of the program
Notable games: PewDiePie: Legend of the Brofist, WinterForts: Exiled Kingdom, Shattered Planet, and Big Action Mega Fight!

Accelerators for All (Including Game Studios)

Bizdom
Founded: N/A
Located: Cleveland, OH or Detroit, MI
Batches per year: 2 (Winter + Fall)
Logistics:
• Invests $25K in return for 8% equity
• 3-month program – must live for the duration of the program in either Cleveland or Detroit
Notable startups: Deck of Dice Gaming, Greenlancer, and Passage

RevUp by Betaspring
Founded: 2009
Located: Providence, RI
Batches per year: 2 (Spring + Fall)
Logistics:
• Invests $75K, takes no equity, but return the investment as a percentage of revenue over a 36-month period.
• 3-month program – do not need to relocate
Notable startups: Mavrck, Modelo, and Splitwise

Chinaccelerator
Founded: 2010
Located: Shanghai
Logistics:
• Invests $30K with the option to invest up to a predetermined amount in the company
• 3-month program – must relocate for the duration of the program
Notable startups: FancyCellar, Shophop, and App2ez.com

FounderFuel
Founded: 2011
Located: Montreal, QC
Batches per year: 2 (Fall + Spring)
Logistics:
• Invests $50K in return for 6% equity
• 3-month program – not required to relocate
Notable startups: Spot, DoBundle, and Playerizeworking picture

Nxtp Labs
Founded: 2011
Located: Buenos Aires
Logistics:
• Invests $25K in return for 2-10% equity
• 3.5-month program – must relocate for the duration of the program
Notable startups: TinyBytes Games, Moblabs, and Populy Games

StartUp42
Founded: 2013
Located: Paris, France
Batches per year: 2 (Fall + Spring)
Logistics:
• Invests $5K and 0% equity (but access up to $100K of government funding)
• 4-month program – must relocate for the duration of the program
Notable startups: Pistache, defab, and Themecloud.io

SeedSumo
Founded: 2013
Located: College Station, TX
Logistics:
• Invests $50K in return for 10% equity
• 3-month program – should try and be on site for the majority of the program
Notable startups: askU, Fanout, and Gazoo

Lightning Lab
Founded: 2012
Located: New Zealand
Logistics:lightning lab logo
• Invests $18K in return for 8% equity
• 3-month program – must relocate for the duration of the program
Notable startups: Future Insight, Tomato, and Promoki

SparkLabs
Founded: 2012
Located: Seoul, South Korea
Logistics:
• Invests $25K in return for 6% equity
• 3-month program – must relocate for the duration of the program
Notable startups: Dropbeat, DoubleMe, and Rap Wanted

For More Game Studio Accelerators

There are still hundreds of accelerators that weren’t mentioned, but are also viable options. If you’re interested in finding more here are a few other resources to help you find the perfect accelerator for your studio:

Accelerat.io
MyStartupLand
Global Accelerator Network

It is important to evaluate what you’re looking for and hoping to achieve before applying to accelerator programs.

Feel free to share:

5 COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here