Programs

PSL Startup Accelerator

PSL’s educational programs enlist experts from the local community to mentor and support Philadelphia’s growing population of startup founders.

Our annual Accelerator program is a fast track for full-time founders who are focused on building their companies in Philadelphia. In addition to providing founders with the knowledge and tools they need to grow their businesses, we pair each Accelerator company with an experienced mentor to help guide the way on a more personal level.

The program concludes with PSL Pitches, a celebratory event that gives each startup the opportunity to tell their story, pitch their business, and share what’s next for building their company in Philly. While PSL Pitches is the culmination event to our annual Accelerator, it is only the beginning for these passionate founders and their promising startups.

2018 Startup Accelerator

How do I apply?
Applications for the 2019 Accelerator will open in September 2018. Follow us on social media or join the PSL community for announcements and updates on the PSL Accelerator program!

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Curriculum We Cover…

  • Setting Goals and Tracking Metrics
  • Market Research
  • Customer Discovery
  • Product Mapping & Design
  • Product Marketing & Launch
  • Business Modeling and Lean Thinking
  • Financial Modeling
  • Business Operations
  • Traction and Growth
  • Team Building
  • Fundraising
  • Pitch Preparation

Testimonials

“The Accelerator was an awesome group of founders and mentors working together. In collaboration with the PSL team, we identified a sales strategy that increased our MRR by 500%. We still use this strategy today.”
-Jeremy Peskin, CEO of Borderwise

“The previous Fishbox pricing model wasn’t working. Because my mentor had experience with the same issue at his current company, he recommended a change that simplified things. That update led to a 20% increase in MRR.”
-Napoleon Suarez, CEO of Fishbox

“The PSL Accelerator made me accountable, on a weekly basis, to work towards a goal that was designed to improve and grow my business. PSL is an amazing and supportive community to be a part of.”
-Debbie Schwartz, CEO of College Money Search

“We launched our product half way through the Accelerator. We got the opportunity to speak with investors and receive strategic insights, and more importantly we made connections with the rest of the Accelerator companies!”
-Danish Dhamani, CEO of Orai

“The PSL Accelerator was and will continue to be one of the greatest catalysts of our organization’s growth. The in-depth exposure to local and far-reaching entrepreneurs and financiers offered perspective, encouragement, and best approaches.”
-Mark Switaj, CEO of Roundtrip


FAQ’s

Q: How much time each week will I spend on accelerator-related activities?
A: You’ll spend two hours on educational programming each week and one hour with your team’s mentor every week. The rest of the time is spent building your company.

Q: How many companies will be accepted into the program?
A: 6 to 8

Q: Do I have to give up any equity?
A: No

Q: Will we receive any funding?
A: Not from the accelerator; however, you will develop strategies and tactics for pitching to investors. The program also includes a demo day where teams will meet with and pitch to local investors.

Q: Will you sign an NDA? How do I know you won’t steal my idea?
A: Just like other accelerators and VC firms, we do not sign NDAs. We will respect the confidentiality of your venture / idea.

Q: We’ve been working on our startup for a while. Is the accelerator appropriate for us?
A: We are happy to work with more established startups. In fact, you are required to have a product or at least an MVP that’s ready to market and iterate on.

Q: Do I have to be in the Philly area?
A: Yes, all of the events will take place in Philly, and we don’t have a way for people to participate remotely.

Q: Does our company need to be incorporated?
A: No, the current legal status of your startup does not matter to us.

Q: Where will the events take place?
A: Center City, Philadelphia

Q: Do I need co-founders?
A: Teams of two or more are more likely to succeed, and that’s what we recommend for startups.

Q: What is the timeline of the program?
A: The application window is open for the month of September. October and November is application review, in-person interviews, and final company selections. Accepted companies will be introduced during our annual Founder Factory in December. The program begins in mid-late January and ends in early-mid April.

Still have questions? No problem. Contact us at engage@phillystartupleaders.org.

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