Bootstrapping · Accelerators

Is there an "Accelerator" designed for the unique challenges of bootstrappers?

Douglas Tarr Entrepreneur and Software Architect

August 25th, 2013

I've got a bootstrapped B2B SaaS startup and like many bootstrappers, my time is constrained and I have several challenges that are not the same as I would have with a funded (or pre-funded) startup.  Ie, I don't think much about my "pitch" or how to talk to investors, I have to balance my efforts with paid work, etc.

Is there an organization or website that is geared towards bootstrappers, that can give me some of the same benefits (network, advice, visibility) as an accelerator, without the time commitment, investment expectation, or high fees?  

Lilia Tovbin Co-founder at

August 25th, 2013

This is a great question Douglas. Founder Institute - the world's largest accelerator doesn't require raising of capital and is actually a part-time (!) program designed for those still in a day job. They also welcome anyone to apply - have an idea or not or already running a company with revenue. They only ask for 3.5% of equity.

Mohammad, I disagree with you. t's not about how much time you throw on your idea, but rather how smart you are about spending the time. Throwing 40-60 hours a week onto chasing funding doesn't compare to building your MVP on nights and weekends and validating your idea on a tight budget. The later is a respectable path in the right circles. 

Helen Adeosun

August 25th, 2013

MassChallenge the one I'm in and a couple other folks on here are in accept a huge swath of entrepreneurs at every level including bootstrappers. I am a single founder that worked full time and I recently left my job and have started to looking/accepting angel funding. I have no savings after this summer and I love what I'm doing and no debt except for student loans so decided just to go for it. They don't take equity and there is a chance to win money at the end and there is A LOT of exposure. Best of luck, Helen A


September 1st, 2013

We built one called nReduce but had to shut it down as didn't make money :)

Helen Adeosun

August 25th, 2013

If you are here in Boston there's also RamenCamp a one day conference for bootstrappers.

It will probably be next early summer.

Andra Keay Director at Silicon Valley Robotics

August 26th, 2013

In a nutshell, if you want relevant information and promotion without having to wade through a lot of noise, it's a premium service. Of course Angel List is the standard way to promote your startup regardless of funding, but being seen is not easy. Hackers and Founders started a peer based accelerator, but even they are now charging 2% equity for coop participants. I hear good things about it - as long as you can make weekly Monday meetings in Bay Area and get accepted into the program. Perhaps you'll inspire someone to create the platform you describe. ~A