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August, 2012

Startup businesses pitch to investors at Excelerate Labs’ Demo Day

Graduation day for a tech startup means trading pomp and circumstance for T-shirts and a polished, high-energy slideshow presentation aimed at persuading investors to get out their checkbooks.

Wednesday marked such an occasion for 10 startups that have spent the summer at Chicago-based Excelerate Labs, an annual boot camp program for entrepreneurs. The companies’ owners, from places as far away as France and India, attended seminars and met with more than 100 mentors to prepare to pitch potential investors…

Read entire article at the

Filed under: Excelerate in the News — August 30, 2012

Chicago’s Excelerate Labs Graduates Ten Startups

Chicago’s local incubator, Excelerate Labs, held its demo day yesterday, with the program’s ten startups set to graduate. Excelerate, which offers startups $50,000 in convertible debt from New World Ventures (similar to The Start Fund model), counts Lightbank, New World, DFJ Mercury, OCA Ventures, Draper Associates, Sam Yagan and Troy Henikoff as limited partners.

Here’s a brief look at the startups that are graduating from the incubator.

Read the entire article on TechCrunch

Filed under: Excelerate in the News reviews Demo Day 2012



Meet the Newest Crop of Chicago Start-ups:

It’s Demo Day at Chicago-based Excelerate Labs. Here’s a sneak peak at the companies on deck to pitch at the city’s iconic House of Blues.

Another incubator, another high-stakes Demo Day.

This time it’s Chicago-based Excelerate Labs, the incubator run by entrepreneurs Sam Yagan (of OKCupid and Sparknotes) and Troy Henikoff (of SurePayroll). On Wednesday, the program’s 10 start-ups will pitch their ideas in front of an audience of investors at the city’s iconic House of Blues nightclub.

The intensive, three-month program, gives start-ups $25,000 in exchange for 6% common stock plus $50,000 in the form of convertible debt from Chicago VC firm New World Ventures. The real perk for the start-ups, however, is access to nearly 150 mentors, including Opentable’s Chuck Templeton, Groupon’s Brad Keywell, and TechStars’ David Cohen–all to help the young companies refine their business plans and pitches before Demo Day.

Read the rest of the article on here

Filed under: Excelerate in the News

So You Missed Demo Day?

Yesterday was Demo Day: the culmination of a summer of hard work and learning by the Excelerate 2012 class. They presented flawless pitches to a room filled with over 500 investors, entrepreneurs, and press. You can read about it on IncGigaOMFastCompany, and many others later today.

Excelerate companies have raised over $25 million in total and have had two successful exits in just three years. So what do these pitches look like, and how can the community get involved?

This year we are throwing the doors open to the startup community and presenting an Excelerate Labs Community Showcase. Companies will present their pitches from Demo Day to the community, emphasizing their experience throughout the summer and opportunities to get involved.

You should attend if:

1) You are an entrepreneur and you are curious what top pitches look like

2) You want to be an entrepreneur but are just starting to learn what that means

3) You want to work at an amazing early stage startup and are wondering what opportunities are available

4) You want to support the Chicago startup community

5) You’d like to learn about new technologies and concepts coming out of our great city

REGISTER NOW: The Community Demo Day will be held at the UP Comedy Club at Second City on September 18th. There are a limited number of seats available so make sure to get yours today.

Filed under: Events

5 Startups that stood out at Excelerate’s demo day


Chicago’s Excelerate Labs held its annual demo day on Wednesday, trotting out the 10 fledgling companies that underwent its intensive accelerator program this summer. At the end of that program come $50,000 grants investments from Chicago’s New World Ventures as well as the chance to pitch their companies to 200 angel and early-stage venture capital investors from both the Midwest and other regions of the country.

While Excelerate focuses on Chicago-based startups ,this particular class had a much broader background with entrepreneurs temporarily relocating to the Windy City from as far away from India and France.

Read entire post on GIGAOM

Filed under: Excelerate in the News,Excelerate Programming — August 29, 2012