Cambridge's top accelerators and incubators handpicked for you

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Choosing The Right Accelerator

Start-ups are hard. Choose an accelerator that guides you in the right direction.

Patrick Collison, Founder of Stripe

"I doubt that Stripe would have worked without YC. It's that simple."

Patrick Collison, Founder, Stripe

Chris Lynch, Founder of Atlas Venture

"Accelerators claim they are in it for the long haul — I call bullshit"

Chris Lynch, Founder, Atlas Venture

Raj Aggarwal, Founder of Localytics

"The network we built with Techstars was incredibly valuable during and after the program."

Raj Aggarwal, Founder, Localytics

What truly matters

Strategic depth in their thinking

Accelerator’s brand power

Do they really value your time?

Understand your equity’s true worth

Discover your perfect match

No accelerator or incubator is perfect for every start-up. Your business’s context and constraints matter. Identify your perfect match by answering this short questionnaire.

Cambridge's Top Accelerators By Neighborhoods

Comparing Accelerators

NameAerial ScoreStandard DealAddress#Investments#ExitsDetails
MIT Solve4.8$50K77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA255Learn more
MIT Venture Mentoring Service4.8E38-600, Suffolk Bldg, 292 Main St, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA255Learn more
MIT Innovation Initiative4.8292 Main St, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA255Learn more
MIT Sandbox4.8292 Main St, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA255Learn more
Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Martin Trust Center4.8Muckley Bldg, 1 Amherst St, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA255Learn more
MIT Global Startup Labs4.875 Amherst St, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA255Learn more
Stex254.81 Main St 12th Floor, E90-1201, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA255Learn more
Hult International Business School - Master of Social Entrepreneurship4.51 Education St, Cambridge, MA 02141, USALearn more
Cambridge Innovation Center4.51 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02142, USALearn more
German Accelerator - Life Sciences4.5CIC Cambridge @ 1 Broadway, 1 Broadway 4th floor, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA1Learn more
Cogo Labs4.4One Kendall Square, Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA 02139, USALearn more
MassBio - Massachusetts Biotechnology Council4.2700 Technology Square 5th floor, Cambridge, MA 02139, USALearn more
swissnex Boston2.8420 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138, USALearn more
ScaleUp Latam2.1One Broadway, 1 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02142, USALearn more
ScaleUp Labs2.11 Broadway 14th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02142, USALearn more

This page covers the top accelerators and incubators in Cambridge.

If you would like to check out our top rated accelerators in Massachusetts, please check here. And if geography isn’t a constraint for you, discover the best incubators and accelerators across the US here.

Brief Overview Of Different Accelerators

1) MIT Solve

MIT Solve - building Cambridge's entrepreneurial future

MIT Solve is a marketplace for social impact and social entrepreneurship, connecting startups with the funding and resources to solve global challenges. As a research university specializing in science, technology, and engineering, it also conducts educational courses. The Unbundle Policing: Reimagine Public Safety Challenge by MIT Solve focuses on reducing unnecessary law enforcement encounters in the US to promote community well-being. The six-month accelerator program offers $50,000 per team, with additional funding available from a pool of over $1 million. The challenge seeks solutions such as alternatives to armed responses for certain 911 calls, improving police transparency, and supporting officers better. Unbundling policing aims to create community-based alternatives for public safety. The initiative is in partnership with the Stand Together Ventures Lab to foster innovative approaches to crisis situations. Notable industries involved include Healthcare Tech and Edtech.

MIT Solve's Website
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2) MIT Venture Mentoring Service

MIT Venture Mentoring Service - Cambridge's true entrepreneurial hub

MIT Venture Mentoring Service is a free and confidential mentoring program for entrepreneurs within the MIT community. It connects aspiring entrepreneurs with carefully selected mentors to develop for-profit, for-benefit, or non-profit ventures, ensuring all interactions are confidential and under nondisclosure. Founded in 2000, the organization has mentored over 4,400 entrepreneurs, offering ongoing support as needed. With nearly 200 volunteer mentors, it covers various aspects of entrepreneurship such as marketing, branding, and funding. The program is open to Boston-based MIT students, faculty, postdocs, staff, and alumni, supporting innovation across all industries without domain limitations. Notable startups associated with MIT Venture Mentoring Service have progressed to accelerators like Y Combinator. The organization provides additional perks by offering a network of experienced professionals, resources, and collaborations with the National Science Foundation's I-Corps program at MIT. Overall, MIT Venture Mentoring Service plays a vital role in nurturing entrepreneurship, supporting startups, and fostering innovation within the MIT community.

MIT Venture Mentoring Service's Website
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3) MIT Innovation Initiative

MIT Innovation Initiative - supporting founders in their growth journey

The MIT Innovation Initiative, operated by the MIT Office of Innovation, nurtures innovation from ideation to implementation through MIT InnovationHQ, engaging the community in groundbreaking discoveries. Collaborating across MIT's five schools, the initiative fosters a culture of innovation and principled entrepreneurship, aiming to propel impactful ideas from conception to reality. With a focus on cross-disciplinary collaboration, it leverages MIT's expertise in science, engineering, technology, and business, spanning domains like artificial intelligence, biotechnology, clean energy, and robotics. MIT has a track record of launching successful ventures such as Dropbox, Akamai, and HubSpot. The initiative offers a supportive ecosystem with access to cutting-edge research, top-tier faculty, and networking opportunities, further enhanced by mentorship, workshops, and pitch competitions. Benefiting from MIT's extensive alumni and industry connections, start-ups access varied funding sources for their development. The MIT Innovation Initiative is renowned for championing entrepreneurship and technological innovation, positioning itself as a catalyst for transformative ideas in industries like robotics, artificial intelligence, edtech, and clean energy.

MIT Innovation Initiative's Website
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4) MIT Sandbox

MIT Sandbox - a prominent start-up growth supporter in Cambridge

MIT Sandbox is an innovative program empowering student innovators to explore entrepreneurial ideas. It offers seed funding, mentorship from MIT and partners, and tailored educational experiences to support student-initiated innovation. Open to both undergraduate and graduate students at MIT, the program seamlessly integrates with their academic pursuits. The program backs multiple student-led ventures and connects students with a broad network of partners, providing opportunities in diverse fields. Participants benefit from mentoring, tailored educational experiences, internship opportunities with Sandbox teams, and access to MIT InnovationHQ's co-working space on the 4th floor. In a supportive ecosystem, students can develop their entrepreneurial ventures, with notable industries including Edtech and General Tech.

MIT Sandbox's Website
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5) Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Martin Trust Center

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Martin Trust Center - a prominent start-up growth supporter in Cambridge

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship provides expertise, support, and connections to MIT students from all schools and disciplines, helping them become effective entrepreneurs. As a research university specializing in science, technology, and engineering, MIT offers the MIT delta v Educational Accelerator through the Martin Trust Center. This capstone entrepreneurial experience runs from June to early September, where student teams work full-time on launching their ventures, either at the Trust Center on the MIT campus or at MIT delta v NYC in Manhattan. Throughout the program, teams define and refine their target market, conduct primary market research, validate hypotheses, and build founding teams. Peer learning, mentorship, and 1x1 coaching sessions are key components, along with simulated 'Board Meetings' for feedback. Additionally, teams can participate in guest talks, seminars, and networking opportunities, with an optional fundraising extension available. The MIT delta v organizing team, in conjunction with the advisory board, awards milestone money to teams monthly. Notable industries touched by this accelerator include Edtech, and it has successfully propelled numerous MIT student ventures into the real world.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Martin Trust Center's Website
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6) MIT Global Startup Labs

MIT Global Startup Labs - enabling start-ups to fundraise successfully

MIT Global Startup Labs is a program under MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) that focuses on fostering technology entrepreneurship in emerging regions. It aims to cultivate young technology entrepreneurs by partnering with universities worldwide, leveraging MIT students and alumni as instructors, mentors, and facilitators. The program offers global incubator courses where top MIT students and alumni are trained to mentor startups, network with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, and gain hands-on experience in various technology domains like mobile applications and Internet technologies. GSL courses have successfully contributed to revenue-generating startups and emphasize practical skills. The program's duration varies but typically spans several weeks in diverse locations globally, providing participants with the opportunity to explore different environments. Participants receive a travel allowance and stipend while engaging with startups, VCs, and local communities, ultimately building skills and sustainable programs in partner universities. Industries covered by the program include Mobile Apps, Edtech, and General Tech.

MIT Global Startup Labs's Website
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7) Stex25

Stex25 - Cambridge's true entrepreneurial hub

STEX25 is a startup accelerator program hosted within MIT Startup Exchange. It features 25 'industry-ready' startups that have demonstrated exceptional performance. Startups in the program remain for twelve months and benefit from various perks including connections within MIT's corporate network through the Industrial Liaison Program (ILP), speaking opportunities at events held at MIT and globally, workshops, and exclusive access to the STEX25 Founders Group. The accelerator focuses on startups across different industries like Edtech and General Tech, offering them the chance to refine their presentations and explore collaborations with corporations. Each startup is assigned a team member from Startup Exchange to assist in making connections. Additionally, startups get the opportunity to pitch executives at workshop events and receive a travel stipend when participating in events away from MIT. Notable for its supportive ecosystem, the program has been the launchpad for numerous successful startups by providing a platform for industry partnerships and growth opportunities. Founders and executives of startups in the program benefit from the curated support and exposure gained through the accelerator, helping them establish a strong foundation for future success.

Stex25's Website
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8) Hult International Business School - Master of Social Entrepreneurship

Hult International Business School - Master of Social Entrepreneurship - supporting Cambridge's best founders

Hult International Business School offers the Master of Social Entrepreneurship (MSE) program. The program focuses on equipping students with the skills to create social impact through profitable ventures, transforming ideas into high-impact social ventures. Emphasis is placed on the balance between profit, people, and the planet. Core skills taught in the program include futures thinking, design thinking, theory of change, and social impact metrics. The program is structured into three modules - Ideate, Plan, and Launch, which culminate in an investment pitch for a new social venture. Specialization domains in social business and impact investing are encouraged. Students also benefit from real-world challenges, problem-solving emphasis, and the opportunity to customize their degree with electives or pursue dual degrees. The MSE program was founded by Arthur Dehon Little, preparing graduates to positively impact the world while building successful ventures in industries like Edtech.

Hult International Business School - Master of Social Entrepreneurship's Website
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9) Cambridge Innovation Center

Cambridge Innovation Center - accelerating exceptional start-ups in Cambridge

Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) is an office space facility in Cambridge that aims to 'fix the world through innovation' by fostering growth and connection among startups, scale-ups, corporations, and public entities. It offers various innovation-focused communities and workspaces, hosting programs like Accelerate Cambridge by the Judge Business School for entrepreneurial teams. The Impulse Programme, conducted annually, includes workshops, mentoring, advice, pitch sessions, and networking. The virtual Accelerator to Net Zero II targets sustainability-driven startups with bespoke mentoring and a Demo Day. Specializing in technology, sustainability, and entrepreneurship, the center's flagship incubator supports AI-focused ventures. It provides communal labs, mentor guidance, investor connections, and a supportive innovator community. Founded by Dougan Sherwood, Stas Gayshan, and Tim Rowe, the organization nurtures startups, fosters innovation, and connects entrepreneurs in fields like Artificial Intelligence, General Tech, Environmental Tech, and Real Estate Tech.

Cambridge Innovation Center's Website
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10) German Accelerator - Life Sciences

German Accelerator - Life Sciences - a prominent start-up growth supporter in Cambridge

German Accelerator - Life Sciences is located in Cambridge, at the heart of a prominent life sciences innovation cluster within the Cambridge Innovation Center. The program supports German life science startups in expanding globally, focusing on bringing effective therapies, medical products, and technologies to patients worldwide. It caters to startups in diagnostics, digital health, medical devices, therapeutics, and platform technologies. The initiative offers market access, a global network, resource savings, and unbiased advice, without fees or equity taken. The program's timeline includes mentoring, strategic leads, workshops, and tailored support to accelerate global expansion. The institution was founded by Andy Goldstein, Dietmar Harhoff, Dirk Kanngiesser, and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy BMWi. Notable industries covered by the program include Healthcare Tech and Fintech, and it falls under the category of Startup Accelerator.

German Accelerator - Life Sciences's Website
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11) Cogo Labs

Cogo Labs - a prominent start-up growth supporter in Cambridge

Cogo Labs is a technology-driven venture accelerator based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded by David Blundin and Micah Adler, the company focuses on building and supporting startups through a multi-faceted technology and operations platform. They specialize in leveraging algorithmic marketing, data mining, and quantitative business analytics to drive innovation in the Boston tech community and entrepreneurial ecosystem. Some of the fastest-growing web companies in the Boston area have emerged from the Cogo Labs accelerator program. Startups associated with Cogo Labs benefit from 'Incubation as a Service', which provides access to the company's technology and operations platform, as well as shared insights and lessons from other firms within the incubator. While specific metrics such as the number of startups associated, investors, and program duration are not available, Cogo Labs continues to pioneer innovative, data-driven approaches to support and transform the local tech scene and startup landscape.

Cogo Labs's Website
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12) MassBio - Massachusetts Biotechnology Council

MassBio - Massachusetts Biotechnology Council - a prominent start-up growth supporter in Cambridge

MassBio - Massachusetts Biotechnology Council is an association of over 650 biotechnology companies dedicated to advancing the state's leadership in the life sciences industry. The organization's mission is to grow the industry, enhance the healthcare system, and ultimately improve patient lives. One of its key initiatives is the MassBioDrive biotech accelerator program, which recently announced the Spring 2024 cohort featuring five emerging biotech companies from Massachusetts and California. The cohort includes startups such as DoriNano, Hestia Therapeutics, Koi Biotherapeutics, Nucyrna Therapeutics, and Sphinxion Therapeutics, each specializing in different areas within the life sciences field. These startups will benefit from a program running from April to May, culminating in a Demo Day on May 22, where they will pitch their innovations. MassBioDrive offers these startups a market-focused launchpad with training, resources, and networks, all without taking equity, to support their growth and development. By nurturing early-stage startups and academic founders, MassBio plays a crucial role in driving innovation and delivering better treatments to patients in the biotech industry.

MassBio - Massachusetts Biotechnology Council's Website
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13) swissnex Boston

swissnex Boston - building Cambridge's entrepreneurial future

Swissnex Boston is an initiative that fosters connections between Switzerland and the global landscape in education, research, innovation, and the arts. Their accelerator programs cater to Swiss startups and include the Climate Collider exchange program focusing on energy transition solutions, Innosuisse Internationalization Camps for global expansion, and Venture Leaders program supporting startups in achieving international success. These programs typically run for several weeks, providing networking, mentorship, and collaboration opportunities. Swissnex Boston specializes in areas such as climate and sustainability, highlighted by the Climate Collider program, quantum science and technology through Project Quantum, and arts, design, and innovation with cross-cultural exchanges. Startups benefit from networking opportunities, access to resources like research institutions and innovation hubs, and an international network spanning locations in Boston, New York, and beyond. Additionally, the organization participates in innovation roadshows for global exposure. While specific metrics are not publicly disclosed, the success of their initiatives is evident through impactful collaborations and programs. Industries of interest include Environmental Tech and Edtech.

swissnex Boston's Website
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14) ScaleUp Latam

ScaleUp Latam - promoting the start-ups of tomorrow

ScaleUp Latam is an international accelerator focused on connecting high potential Latin American startups with global markets, networks, and capital. Operating as a network of advanced cross-border accelerator platforms, the organization currently has accelerators in Boston, Colombia, and Mexico, with plans to open additional ones in Chile and Peru. Entrepreneurs who join ScaleUp Latam become lifelong members of a community comprising mentors, fellow entrepreneurs, and industry experts. While specific metrics like the number of associated startups, investors, funded startups, and program duration are not explicitly provided, the accelerator aims to support Latin American startups across various sectors. Benefits for participants typically include mentorship, networking opportunities, workshops, investor connections, and resources to facilitate international scaling. The institution is sector agnostic and seeks to foster the growth and international expansion of startups from the region.

ScaleUp Latam's Website
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15) ScaleUp Labs

ScaleUp Labs - promoting the start-ups of tomorrow

ScaleUp Labs is an accelerator and startup studio firm founded in 2022 and located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They specialize in investing in startups across various sectors such as Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Mobility, Clean Technology, Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, Software, Industrials, and Health Technology. While the number of investments made by ScaleUp Labs is currently at 0, the accelerator program's duration is not explicitly stated. However, similar programs typically span several months. Portfolio companies benefit from perks like a one-week accelerator bootcamp, interactive workshops, consulting sessions, business support services, and one-on-one or group mentoring sessions with experienced sector faculty members and advisors. Industries that the organization focuses on include Artificial Intelligence, Clean Energy, Healthcare Tech, Blockchain, and Robotics.

ScaleUp Labs's Website
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Top Reasons Start-ups Participate In Accelerators

Business management skills

Reaching the top is relatively easy. Staying there for years is difficult.

Peer learning

There’s not enough time in the world to learn from one’s own mistakes. Peer learning helps.

Rapid learning curve

There’s a reason accelerators are called accelerators. It’s a fast ride.

Accelerator brand power

Like Ivy-League credentials, your start-up’s story benefits from an accelerators’ brand.

Why an accelerator might not be right for you

It's usually helpful to consider potential pitfalls. Some common misconceptions

Rome wasn't built in 12-16 weeks

Every business needs a strong foundation, but while some businesses can figure the basics in 3 months, others need > 1 year.

What's the real value of your equity

There's a math behind how accelerators decide whether your start-up is worth investing. Did you run the calculation for diluting your equity?

Correlation isn't causation

What worked for Airbnb might not work for you. If the accelerator playbook was 100% full-proof, they would have been running a start-up and not an accelerator. After all, everyone's chasing a unicorn.

FAQs About Start-up Accelerators

Author Bio

Michael Li

Michael Li

For the last 10+ years Michael has helped start-ups of all scales and sizes succeed. A 2X entrepreneur, he is now working on Aerial to help founders avoid costly mistakes. He regularly writes for publications like the Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, Harvard Business Review and others.

Last updated date 4/5/2024

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Accelerators and Incubators in cambridge

Looking for the best accelerators in Cambridge? Here are some top reasons to choose an accelerator in this innovative city. Cambridge is known for its vibrant start-up culture, providing a supportive ecosystem for new businesses to thrive. The city is home to a diverse range of industries, from tech to biotech, offering a wealth of opportunities for start-ups to network and collaborate. When choosing the right accelerator for your business, consider factors such as mentorship, funding opportunities, and networking events. With so many accelerators to choose from in Cambridge, finding the right fit for your start-up is crucial to its success. Look for programs that align with your business goals and values, and don't be afraid to ask for references from past participants. Some notable start-ups that have emerged from Cambridge include Darktrace, an AI cyber defense company valued at over $1 billion, and Raspberry Pi, a popular single-board computer used by educators and hobbyists worldwide. These success stories showcase the potential for growth and innovation that accelerators in Cambridge can offer. So if you're ready to take your start-up to the next level, consider exploring the top accelerators in Cambridge for the support and resources you need to succeed.

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