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.


accelerator program crop crop
CorpCROP built an herb and vegetable garden in Boulder, Colo. The produce is used in the cafe's dishes.

Local Food Lab

Krysia Zajonc started Local Food Lab in 2012 as a "mini MBA" in food business. Founders of food companies learn how to put together a marketing plan, draft legal and financial agreements and fine-tune pitches. The six-week accelerator operates out of San Francisco but just launched a three-month virtual program. It doesn't take an equity stake but charges a flat fee between $300 to $3,000.

Before joining Local Food Lab, Jennifer Klafin worked as a software manager in Boulder, Colo. Her startup CorpCROP helps employers implement organic gardening as part of a corporate wellness program. Local Food Lab gave her the confidence to pitch her first customers. "I really captured their attention, and I owe it to Local Food Lab," Klafin says.

Other graduates

  • Valley Girl Foodstuffs: Teaches at-risk teens culinary cooking skills and farming.
  • Hungry Globetrotter: Recipe subscription service that sends customers ingredients and recipes from a different region each month.

  @CNNMoney - Last updated January 21 2014 10:52 AM ET
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