9 hot startup accelerators

From energy and education to robots and food, these specialty programs offer startups seed money, mentoring and connections in exchange for equity.

Environmental and social

accelerator program sunfunder
Several of the SunFunder founders in Africa.

Better Ventures

Better Ventures (formerly Hub Ventures) is unique because it's also a venture fund, which opens the door for later investments. It also focuses exclusively on "tech for good" companies that want to solve social and environmental problems. Startups receive $20,000 for a 6% stake; 29 have graduated so far.

The accelerator's focus was key for Ryan Levinson, cofounder of SunFunder, a financing platform for off-grid solar projects in developing countries.

"They really encouraged us to talk to potential customers and share ideas and ask questions," he says. The company now has $500,000 in private investment and has helped provide energy to 95,000 people in developing countries.

Other graduates

  • SharePractice: A reference tool that helps doctors identify and understand treatments based on other doctors' success. It has $1.3 million from investors.
  • Project Repat: Converts used textiles into new products (think unwanted T-shirts into a blanket). With nearly $1 million in revenue, it has diverted 250,000 T-shirts from landfills.

- Last updated January 21 2014 10:52 AM ET
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