Accelerator programs are all the hype these days. Given the wide array of benefits they offer--including mentorship, networking opportunities, and funding--these programs are very enticing for new companies. And, while many companies come into accelerators and reap the benefits, only a few walk out successful. Even with all the resources an accelerator provides, few companies are able to produce huge returns. Those that do, though, often see continued benefits down the road.
With that said, here are a few top accelerator companies that have caught my eye this year. ones we can't know which startups will become the all stars, these are the companies I would place my bets on.
1. FantasyHub from TechStars
FantasyHub is a new online company that came out of TechStars. FantasyHub is the first-ever fantasy sports site that contributes money to charity. Unlike other fantasy sports leagues, FantasyHub allows members to play one-day games, rather than waiting through a whole season. Better yet, FantasyHub donates money to charity, thereby promoting a social good.
Not only do players draft their favorite players, they also draft their favorite charity. If they win, a portion of the winnings will be donated to the player's chosen charity.
Interestingly enough, the players are able to elect what percentage of their earning go to charity, in addition to several other variables.
While FantasyHub is currently available online, make sure look out for it this fall as it becomes available in the app store.
2. Publishizer from 500 Startups
Publishizer is an online crowdfunding platform that brings authors and readers together to provide authors with a cost-effective and easy process for publishing and marketing their books. While the existing publication process is a complicated, convoluted, expensive journey that often results in little attention and few purchases, Publishizer offers authors a revolutionized way to get their book out there.
To date, authors have earned over $390,000 in pre-orders from Publishizer, and have published over 110 books. But this is just the beginning--having just graduated from one of the country's top accelerator program, 500 Startups, Publishizer is on its way to becoming the go-to for online publishing and crowdfunding.
The benefits are all there for the authors to grab; all they need to do is create a proposal. Once they build a proposal, publishizer will help them launch a preorders campaign to help them gain an audience. To incentivize these readers, the author can offer rewards through publishizer, such as a discounted book, or a free signing. From the campaign, the author gains recognition, a mailing list of their readers, and will be connected to hundreds of agents. Thus, once the author has successfully completed the campaign, they will be in a position to effectively improve and sell their book to an already established audience.
It's not just novelists who use Publishizer. Speakers, storytellers, artists, bloggers, and entrepreneurs are frequent users of the platform as well. This versatility has enabled Publishizier to grab the attentions of different writers from all over the world.
3. SidePrize from the LA Dodgers Accelerator
The first thing you will notice when going to SidePrize.com is how user-friendly and intuitive its website is. The page is sleek, informative, and gives the viewer an accurate snapshot of why so many people are choosing Sideprize over other online fantasy sports platforms.
The novelty? SidePrize offers its members weekly cash prizes, by competing in weekly matches within their league. This is a considerable boost from what was originally thought of as a fun, lucrative fantasy gaming series. SidePrize offers users an entirely new way to reap the benefit of their success.
For these reasons, it is apparent that "SidePrize represents the next multi-billion dollor opportunity [and] frontier in the white-hot fantasy industry" according to Adam Wexler, SidePrize's CEO.
Getting started is easy. First, connect your league. All you have to do is sign-in with your fantasy league, and SidePrize will begin tracking the matches instantly.
Once you've signed in, you can then initiate a challenge. You can challenge anyone within your league; all you have to do is choose and opponent and identify a side prize.
SidePrize takes care of all the logistics and distribution of cash prizes.
For a fun, simple, and new way to have fun with fantasy sports (and make some money,) SidePrize is becoming popular through their app and website.