The Alchemist Accelerator

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The Alchemist Accelerator
Industry
Founded 2012
Headquarters San Francisco, California
Key people
  • Ravi Belani (Founder & Managing Partner)
  • Danielle D'Agostaro (Partner)
Website alchemistaccelerator.com

The Alchemist Accelerator is a venture-backed business incubator focused on accelerating startups whose revenue comes from enterprises.[1] The accelerator backs teams with distinctive technical founders, and provides startup capital investments of around $60k. The program includes a structured path to sales, customer development and fundraising, along with mentorship and a community of founders. The Alchemist Accelerator is backed by: Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Khosla Ventures, US Venture Partners, Foundation Capital, alongside strategic corporate investors: Cisco Systems,[2] SAP Ventures, and Salesforce.com. The accelerator seeds around 40 enterprise-monetizing ventures per year.

History[edit]

The Alchemist Accelerator was founded in 2012 by Stanford University professor Ravi Belani.[3] Prior to starting the program, Belani was part of a 3-year entrepreneurship education & outreach program started in the Harvard Club of San Francisco, which transitioned into the formation of the accelerator. Upon formation of the program, Belani's former firm, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, backed the program with an initial investment. Shortly after, Khosla Ventures and US Venture Partners invested in the program. In late 2013, the company entered into a strategic partnership with Salesforce.com providing enough capital to fund the program through 2017.[4]

Following an investment from partner, Cisco Systems in 2014, the accelerator launched a special program targeted at Internet of Things startups.[5][6] The program opened up a special track of services available for IoT companies, including mentors, technology support, and facilitated access to key partners.

In 2014, the program partnered with investment site, AngelList, to launch a syndicate fund. Much like an index fund, this partnership allowed virtually any investor to invest in every member of the Alchemist class all at once.

The Program[edit]

The program provides a small cash investment in the form of a convertible note. Even though the program funds startups, they do take a tuition charge, but provide additional capital in the note to cover the tuition charge.[7]

Co-working space for companies in the program is provided in San Francisco, Santa Clara, and limited space in Menlo Park. All elements of the program including mentors, meetings and check-ins are optional. The only exception is the Demo-Day, a one-day event that attracts roughly 200 venture capitalists to view the pitches of the startups in the program.

At the beginning of the program, companies submit a profile snapshot of their company and needs. The accelerator team syndicates the profile with customer prospects (typically Fortune 100 companies), Feedback Coaches for Fundraising (typically trusted Venture Capitalists), and Mentors. The program provides an opportunity for companies to casually meet all of these people during a meet and greet. Then, 1:1 meetings are set up, with a core focus on customers (who could do a proof of concept if it's a right fit) and VC's (who will give feedback). The intent is for startups to meet 1:1 with investors and customers throughout the first half of the program to fine tune their offering and pitch.[8]

Throughout the program, the accelerator holds day-long summits. These day-long events provide startups with an opportunity to meet one on one with high level executives of companies that could be potential customers. Additionally, many venture capitalists attend the summits, providing feedback and introductions to companies looking to raise capital.

The accelerator hosts a demo day towards the end of the program where companies get access to pitch funding sources. They also host guest lectures, roundtable discussions, and other social events intended for networking.[9]

Notable Investments[edit]

The Alchemist Accelerator has backed approximately 80 startups to date. Notable acquisitions include General Electric's purchase of Berkeley-based machine learning startup, Wise.io,[10][11] Cisco's purchase of real-time collaboration software, Assemblage,[12] and the acquisition of cloud security company Mobilespan by Dropbox.[13]

Other notable investments include the winner of Salesforce's $1 Million Hackathon prize, UPSHOT,[14] influencer marketing platform, NeoReach,[15] and data protection startup CryptoMove.[16]

Statistics[edit]

As of September 2014, the program has invested in approximately 80 startups. Of those, 54 companies have presented at their respective Demo Day, an event which occurs once per class at the completion of the program. 29 of the 54 graduating companies proceeded to raise over 1 Million USD in venture capital financing. The mean financing amount for those 29 companies was $2.1 Million USD.

Since its formation in 2012, 12 of its incubation companies have been acquired.[17][18][19][20]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://techcrunch.com/2012/09/06/enterprise-startup-accelerator-gets-boost-from-cisco/
  2. ^ https://blogs.wsj.com/venturecapital/2014/04/30/cisco-systems-boosts-investments-in-startups-by-150m/
  3. ^ http://go.bloomberg.com/tech-deals/2012-05-08-stanford-instructor-to-launch-accelerator-for-enterprise-startups/
  4. ^ http://pevc.dowjones.com/Article?an=DJFVW00020140117ea1haorw6&cid=32135016&ctype=ts&pid=32&ReturnUrl=http%3a%2f%2fpevc.dowjones.com%2fArticle%3fan%3dDJFVW00020140117ea1haorw6%26cid%3d32135016%26ctype%3dts%26pid%3d32
  5. ^ https://venturebeat.com/2014/04/30/alchemist-launches-a-special-accelerator-for-internet-of-things-startups/
  6. ^ http://www.citeworld.com/article/2150320/internet-of-things/here-are-two-internet-of-things-startups-cisco-will-soon-help-fund.html
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-09-23. Retrieved 2014-09-22.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-09-23. Retrieved 2014-09-22.
  9. ^ http://gigaom.com/2013/01/18/alchemist-accelerator-shows-off-as-enterprise-investment-picks-up/
  10. ^ https://blogs.wsj.com/venturecapital/2014/03/17/inspired-by-astrophysics-machine-learning-startup-wise-io-raises-2-5m/
  11. ^ Frederic, Lardinois (November 2016). "GE acquires Wise.io to deepen its machine learning stack". Techcrunch.
  12. ^ http://blogs.cisco.com/news/cisco-announces-acquisition-of-assemblage
  13. ^ https://techcrunch.com/2014/06/10/dropbox-mobilespan/
  14. ^ https://venturebeat.com/2013/11/21/salesforce-announces-its-1m-hackathon-winner/
  15. ^ http://www.pehub.com/2014/09/neoreach-snags-1-5-mln-seed/
  16. ^ "CryptoMove | crunchbase". www.crunchbase.com. Retrieved 2016-12-24.
  17. ^ https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/alchemist-accelerator/exits
  18. ^ http://blogs.cisco.com/news/cisco-announces-acquisition-of-assemblage
  19. ^ https://techcrunch.com/2014/06/10/dropbox-mobilespan/
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-27. Retrieved 2014-09-24.

External links[edit]