An accelerator is a support programme for early-stage businesses that offers financial support, as well as training and mentorship.
Accelerators also help startups get demo day ready and help them with their pitch. Accelerators are open to everyone, but are highly competitive due to a high volume of applicants.
As the word accelerator suggests, startups are provided with the necessary tools to grow and accelerate their business making them market ready in exchange for equity.
Startups are picked in batches so another benefit of accelerators is that they are a meeting point for founders to share their experiences, struggles and form new partnerships.
The most popular accelerators are Y Combinator (the first accelerator programme in the world), TechStars, Seedcamp, AngelPad, Startupbootcamp and others. Some of the world-wide known companies that have gone through accelerators in the beginning of their journeys are AirBnB, Postmates, Sendgrid, Pipedrive.