Four new startup incubators/accelerators you should know about

by Anne Field 6/14/2012

These days, the hot way to launch a startup is by joining an incubator or venture accelerator. There are dozens of these enterprises around now, some offering Y Combinator-style three-month boot camps, along with a small investment stake, others providing cheap space and access to advisors, many of which are housed at or sponsored by universities. While many focus on tech companies, others target anything from fashion to social entrepreneurship.

And that’s not to mention all those co-working sites out there.

With that mind, here’s a look at four notable incubators/accelerators/or other programs you should know about.

The Public Media Accelerator

Announced late last year and formally launched at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in March, its tagline is: “seeking mission-driven entrepreneurs changing media for good.”

The goal is to groom companies and organizations interested in furthering the values and increasing the impact of public service media, not to create blockbuster profit-makers. Launched and operated by Public Radio Exchange (PRX), it’s supported by a $2.5 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and is open to for-profits and non-profits (hybrids, too).

Criteria include the usual (ability to be disruptive, scalability). But participants also must have a larger social mission related to the role of public media that’s part of the venture’s raison d’etre, not an add-on. There’s also a big emphasis on using mobile technology. Applications will be open starting this summer.

The Sustainable Entrepreneur Training Program

This one is more of a program than an incubator/accelerator. It’s also a pilot, for now. The program will be held over four consecutive Saturdays in New York City starting June 23 with a group of about 18 entrepreneurs. Ten days after the last session, founders will pitch their companies to a group of potential investors.



About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit