Monthly archives of “July 2012

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Introducing Seed-DB: a database of seed accelerators and their companies

SeedDBlogo

I’m pleased to announce Seed-DB, a database of seed accelerators and the companies they have accelerated.  I originally started assembling this data in the summer of 2009 as part of the research paper I wrote for my MBA thesis at the University of Cambridge: “Copying Y Combinator: a framework for developing Seed Accelerator programs.”  Ever since, I’ve been keeping it up-to-date in a number of Google Spreadsheets.

Seed-DB puts all of the best information I have and puts it in a much more digestible format for easy viewing and comparison.  I have integrated Crunchbase data to get up-to-date information on funding rounds, number of employees, and more.  I believe that Seed-DB is the most useful and comprehensive resource on seed accelerators around the world.

Economic impact

One of the clear things that stands out to me is the economic impact of seed accelerators.  Even though the data is far from complete for some programs, these are some key statistics as they stand today:

  • >100 programs world-wide
  • >1300 companies have been accelerated
  • ~65 companies have already exited for an estimated $930million
  • >3000 jobs created
  • >$1billion in angel and venture capital funding raised
In particular, as the data becomes more complete I estimate that the number of jobs created could easily double.  And as the companies mature and have exit events for investors, the exit values will be much, much larger.  (Paul Graham has publicly stated that just the top 21 Y Combinator companies have a combined value approaching $5billion.)

Key disclaimers

Incomplete data

As hard as I’ve tried, the information on Seed-DB is NOT 100% complete.  There are three reasons for this:

  • Missing startups.  Some accelerators have made it very difficult to find lists of startups that have gone through their programs, so there are many startups missing in less visible programs.  Please contact me if you can provide me with any details.
  • Missing data in Crunchbase.  Many companies have not entered any information in Crunchbase.  That’s where I get details on funding and number of employees, so if you want this information to be accurate please update it there.  (If you run an accelerator, it would be ideal if you could encourage your startups to do this.)
  • Missing accelerators.  I believe I’ve tracked down all of the seed accelerators world-wide, but please let me know if I’ve missed some.  Note that I’m using a pretty strict definition of a seed accelerator.  I hope to eventually track other types of programs, too.

MVP

To use a buzzword, this is a minimum viable product.  Reid Hoffman has been quoted as saying “if you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”  Well, I’m at that point.  There’s a lot that I still want to do, some of user-visible projects and tasks are on the roadmap, but what’s launching today is the core of my vision.

Valuations

Please note that while exits are often publicized, the price paid for most companies is NOT public.  So for the vast majority of companies I’ve simply had to guess.  I’ve put a confidence level by each guess, with the highest-level confidence reserved for the cases where the price was public or widely reported.  These values do not come from any of the companies involved.

Final word

If you’ve made it this far, I’d ask you for three things.

  1. Sign up to my seed accelerators newsletter.  (It’s very low traffic, and I don’t share or sell e-mail addresses… ever.)
  2. Send me feedback.  I want to make this useful for startups interested in accelerators, people founding/running accelerators, and investors interested in companies from accelerators.
  3. If you’re interested in collaborating with me on the technical side of things, please get in touch.  I’m new to web applications, and could use an experienced partner.

Thanks for your attention!

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Your go-to London Olympics form guide

I’m really looking forward to the London 2012 Olympics.  But if you’re like me, you only have half a clue as to who’s been performing well in a couple of sports at best.  And there are over 300 medals being awarded at this years’ Olympic Games.

I recently received a forwarded e-mail from a guy named James Hingston that says this:

Dear all,

Prompted by Richard, and my own desperate fanaticism, I’ve spent the past year putting together a complete form guide for the London 2012. The idea is that for any event… even the really random ones… you can dip in, get a solid idea of the form of athletes and teams coming into the Games, as well as some overviews on developments and changes that have taken place in the sport.

I’ve ended up developing it into a reasonably complete and semi-professional looking document (in for a penny, in for a pound) and so would not only encourage you to use it, but, if you think it’s any good, please distribute it as widely as possible amongst your friends and colleagues.

Many thanks as well (because she’ll kill me if I don’t credit her) to Lindsay for helping proof the document. It’s been designed so that you can dip in and out and use it as a reference guide – you don’t have to read all 184 pages…. She did.

Cheers,
James

This is the link to the document (http://bit.ly/OlyData) so that you can read/download/print it at your leisure.

(I will say that from the little I do know of various sports his medal predictions are a fair bit off, but the data he compiled is absolutely amazing.)

Get it here: http://bit.ly/OlyData