What are accelerators?

“The startup accelerator remains one of tech’s most popular ways to get a business up and running. But which ones are the best for new startups?”

With hundreds of programs to choose from — the most popular receive more than 5,000 applications for each class — and the average program taking 6% of equity in any hosted company, not all accelerators are created equal.”



Local Accelerators


AlphaLab provides early-stage technology companies with an extensive mentor network, educational sessions with industry leaders, and a rich entrepreneurial work environment within a nationally ranked accelerator program.


AlphaLab Gear is consistently ranked as a top-20 accelerator nationwide. They provide early-stage physical product companies with an extensive mentor network, educational sessions with industry leaders, and a rich entrepreneurial work environment.

Ascender is a Pittsburgh-based non-profit organization providing mentorship, programming, strategic partnerships, funding and collaborative workspace to early-stage startups across all industries and growth models.


The Blast Furnace is the Pitt student accelerator providing access to a deep mentor network, inspirational co-working space, and a rich curriculum preparing students for creating and growing their business ideas.



Idea Foundry is an accelerator program intended to help speed up the process of commercialization.


Other Pittsburgh Accelerators

BHiveLab doesn’t provide financing, but they will invest the best and brightest resources in your digital idea. That includes seasoned MBAs and brand strategists to help you with business planning and positioning. They also have the creative thinkers, designers, and developers (front end and back end) to move your idea from concept to commercialization.

Entrepreneurial Fellows Class is hosted by the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence and offers a competitive, yearlong certificate program open to CEOs, founders, and business leaders looking to enhance their knowledge and expertise in managing and growing their business. Requirements are at least $1M in revenue.
Smallman Galley is the first food hall and restaurant accelerator from Galley Group, is the launch pad for the most exciting new restaurant concepts in Pittsburgh.

SteelBridge Labs  is an early-stage FinTech incubator.

Startable Pittsburgh is a free eight-week summer program that teaches students ages 16-18 entrepreneurship and maker skills.
New Sun Rising designs and implements programs that create economic opportunity, solve social challenges, and strengthen the vibrancy of place. As a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, we serve as an educator, resource provider, connector, and activator of neighborhood-scale innovation. Their focus is on under-served communities and how regenerative growth strategies can be utilized for equitable development.
Pantherlab Works is the premier resource for innovative companies in Western Pennsylvania looking to bring new technologies, services and products into the marketplace.
Project Olympus is CMU’s startup incubator program that encourages and supports entrepreneurship on campus.  It helps faculty, students, and staff turn their cutting-edge research and great ideas into startups.

Other Area Accelerators

ECenter@LindenPointe is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping early-stage startups. They accomplish this by providing office space, mentorship, connections with investors and so much more to ensure you have all of the necessary tools to grow your business and benefit the community.
Youngstown Business Incubator maintains a focus on developing successful digital businesses, advancing women’s & minority entrepreneurship, and furthering advanced manufacturing technologies.

Learn More: Best U.S. Accelerators of 2019