The world of startup accelerators is at a maturity stage, some will argue passed its prime time.
Since 2005, when YCombinator, the first relevant accelerator, moved its first steps in the backyard of Harvard University, a myriad of other accelerators started populating the planet: with or without equity, government supported or commercial, fee based or run by a corporation.
In this cacophony of models in search of sustainability, one keeps standing out for its consistent record of success: StartX the Stanford University accelerator.
Here are some of its metrics that help it score at the top of the market:
▹ 2.6× higher chance of reaching $100M+ valuation than the best accelerators
▹ 1.7× higher seed valuation than the average Stanford startup
▹ +60% more successful at reaching Series A than industry average
▹ $11M average venture funding raised by StartX companies
▹ 92% of StartX’s venture-backed startups still growing or acquisition over 10yrs
Its alumni include companies such as Lime, Patreon, Osmo, Eero, Protocol Labs, etc. After 10 years of activity, the combined market cap of its alumni is $25B+, 80 acquisitions, 92% VC success rate.
In my conversation with Joseph Huang StartX current, very energetic CEO, I try to dig deeper on what’s the secret juice of StartX and why is that difficult to replicate.
I let you draw your own conclusions, but mine is embedded in one of Joseph insights: What are you optimizing for?
In the case of StartX, its non-profit DNA (AKA asks 0% equity, no fees) it’s really its differentiator. It’s Community-Driven Peer-learning mission, it’s really an extension of its Alma Mater’s (and sponsor), Stanford University: life-long learning and the creation of success stories (that will then feed back into Stanford’s ecosystem).
While some of this is at the core of what Tier1 US universities are all about, Stanford and its unique culture, take it to another level.
Here’s the full timeline. Enjoy the chat!
1:08 From Univ. of Waterloo and its internship requirement
4:46 only people that can’t get job offer go to grad school
7:41 joining Stanford CS meeting co-founder
13:14 in 2009 using Qualcomm grant to the join StartX
17:38 Acquired and joining Apple
22:02 Forced to focus on fixing privacy, battery usage, Cell data plan
24:02 Why Google culture did not work for me
29:42 2016 Joining StartX, to give back
34:34 How StartX became a platform for also industry experts/more mature startups
36:30 Application rate in 9% over thousands of applications
37:13 Now new Student Resident scholarship ($250K) program for student-entrepreneurs
41:30 Why MIT (or the likes) is not building a StartX?
45:52 We filter for Culture – each team reviewed by 50 judges
47:30 What are StartX KPIs – and importance of measuring short term cycles
52:20 What is Stanford measuring of StartX
55:30 Why entrepreneurs should *not* try to sell their products