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Excelerate in the News’ Category

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 — August 30, 2012 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

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

SpotHero, already parked at Excelerate, snares 500 Startups investment

The ten companies participating in Chicago-based tech accelerator Excelerate Labs get to make their formal pitches to investors next Wednesday. That hasn’t stopped one of the participating companies, parking-reservations startup SpotHero, from securing an initial round of funding beforehand from Silicon Valley venture-capital firm 500 Startups.

SpotHero met with 500 Startups founder Dave McClure when Mr. McClure visited Excelerate last month, and finalized the deal shortly thereafter…

Read more:

Filed under: Excelerate in the News — August 23, 2012

SpotHero Partnership Featured in Crain’s

Parking startup SpotHero launching new partnership

By Steve Hendershot

SpotHero logo

SpotHero, a parking-reservations startup that’s one of the participants in this summer’s Excelerate Labs tech-business incubator, is partnering with another local tech business,, in an effort to attract Internet search traffic. The idea is that the new SpotHero-sponsored site will rank high in Google searches for terms such as “Chicago Parking” and “Wrigley Field Parking.”

SpotHero debuted its branded site in May. The site is heavily branded by SpotHero but also includes free parking options and even lists rivals…

Read the rest of the article in Crain’s here! 

Filed under: Excelerate in the News — August 3, 2012