edtech incubators, edtech accelerators, edtech startup ecosystem

10 North American Edtech Accelerators And Incubators You Need To Know

Education is among the industries that have seen a lot of transformation over the past century. It has gone from being accessed by a few of society’s richest, to becoming to a right for everyone. The sector’s revolution can be attributed to companies, learning institutions and the transformative and disruptive technologies that they’ve introduced. The North American region has one of the top edtech ecosystems connecting startup ventures with leading industry partners, mentors and experts. Here is a list of the 10 leading accelerators and incubators from the region.

Top 10 Edtech Incubators and Accelerators in North America

1. BoomStartup

BoomStartup, edtech accelerator

Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, BoomStartup Accelerator is among the top Edtech accelerators in the U.S and the North American region at large. Utah is home to a vibrant Edtech startup scene and ecosystem. It’s also home to successful Edtech startups such Kimono, Mastery Connect, Pluralsight and Degreed, Impact Hub, and others. BoomStartup has an impressive portfolio that includes Ardusat, Cleverywhere and iFlipd, which are among the top companies in the industry.

BoomStartup focuses on education technology startups, offering them access to resources such as funding, mentors and leading industry experts. Startups enjoy the accelerators benefits in return for 6-9% equity stakes.

BoomStartup’s Benefits

  • Up to $100K in seed funding
  • Up to $1M in services such as IBM or Azure hosting among others
  • An opportunity to raise $500K to $1.5M in financing during Demo day
  • Access to a 5-level program where startups find the optimal business model and create minimal viable products ready for market
  • Access to banking services, among others

Application Deadline

Applications are currently open; each cohort batch starts at the beginning of every business quarter.

2. Iowa Startup Accelerator

Iowa Startup Accelerator

The Iowa Startup Accelerator is based in Cedar Springs. Each year, 10 startups enroll in a 90-day program where they get access to mentors, funding and development expertise. They focus on techs in education, healthcare, transportation and manufacturing. IOWA startup accelerator only accepts startups of 2 to 5 founders that are pre-revenue or up to $1M in revenue, and have an interest in Iowa. Once admitted into the program, you’ll be expected to spend the first week in Cedar Springs, and then every Friday and any other, although you can work from anywhere.

Iowa Startup Accelerator’s Benefits

  • Initial seed capital of $20K, with an addition of up to $50K
  • Workshops
  • Founder firesides
  • Mentors
  • Coaching
  • Lab space
  • Discounted technology services of up to $250K

Application Deadline

Different dates are available for the fall and spring batch. 3rd February 2018 is the next application deadline.

3. Summer Institute

Summer Institute, edtech accelerator

Summer Institute runs a 3-month program where startups learn the “process of turning your vision into a livelihood.” They are based in Fredericton, Canada. The program runs from the University of New Brunswick at the J. Herbert Smith Centre for Technology Management & Entrepreneurship. They have a focus on different industries including SaaS, IoT, Transport/Logistics, Sustainability, Education, Healthcare, eCommerce and Fintech, among others.

Summer Institute’s Benefits

  • Skills training and coaching on creating a viable venture
  • Access to working space
  • Funding for living expenses and prototyping
  • As a member of the Global Accelerator Network (GAN), startups also have access to global partners
  • All these in return for zero equity

Application Deadline

The next applications close on 5 February 2018; the program will run from April 28th to July 20th, 2018.

4. The Michelson Runway EdTech Accelerator

Michelson Runway EdTech Accelerator

The Michelson Runway EdTech Accelerator is a partnership initiative between Michelson 20MM Foundation and Runway incubator. Its goal is to support innovations in higher education and career training. They are based in San Francisco, California. They have a 4-month long program where startups enjoy a list of benefits.

Michelson Runway EdTech Accelerator Benefits

  • Virtual workshops and entrepreneurial community
  • Partnerships
  • Working space
  • Between $25K to $150K equity funding using safe note, with an additional 150K in follow-up funding
  • Mentorship and expert advice on best industry practices
  • Legal advice
  • Product feedback and guidance

Their main agenda is to serve as a middleman between innovators, higher learning institutions, and policymakers with the aim of solving issues faced by institutions of higher learning and vocational training.

Application Deadline

Applications are currently open and will close on 5 January 2018. The next program will run from February to May 2018.

5. LearnLaunch Accelerator

LearnLaunch edtech accelerator

LearnLaunch Accelerator is based in Boston, US. They are among the leading startup accelerators in the edtech sector with a highly selective application process to their 2 programs. The programs are tailored to suit startups in different stages. These are:

  • Boost Accelerator Program – A 3-month program that focuses on early-stage ventures with the intention of helping them grow. The program runs during spring.
  • Breakthrough Accelerator Program – A 4-week program that seeks to help edtech ventures that are already past the seed stage. The program runs during autumn.

LearnLaunch Accelerator’s Benefits

(in return for 6% equity)

  • They accept startups from across the globe, as long as members have legal clearance to travel to the US
  • Mentorship network of more than 150
  • Seed funding of up to 20K plus additional $50K (breakthrough programs receive up to $120K)
  • Discounted services and office space
  • Intensive coaching
  • Access to partnerships and investors

Application Deadline

Boost Accelerator application is currently closed but will be opening on October 1, 2018. Email accelerator@learnlaunch.com for application details for both programs.

6. Y Combinator

Y Combinator edtech accelerator

Y Combinator is a leading accelerator that is interested in startups in AI, Edtech, Biotech and Hardware. Together with Imagine K12, they are funding startups in edtech with innovative ideas and products for educators, learners and parents. Y Combinator and Imagine K12 both have an impressive portfolio of 50+startup companies. They are based in Silicon Valley and offer a 3-month program.

Y Combinator’s Benefits

  • They accept single founders
  • Funding of $12K in return for 7% equity stake
  • Access to a market for pilot product testing
  • Mentorship
  • Expert advice on product design, technical and business strategy

They accept startups from other countries. However, you must be in Silicon Valley during the 3-month program. Your company will also need to join the US market.

Application Deadline

Applications are currently closed for the winter 2018 program, which will run from January – March 2018.

7. The Intel® Education Accelerator

The Intel Education Accelerator program

The Intel® Education Accelerator program is located in Silicon Valley. They have an interest in education startup ventures that offer students new transformative ideas and products.

Benefits of The Intel® Education Accelerator

  • Access to a global network of partners and investors
  • Access to funding of up to $100K from Intel Capital
  • Help in gaining market insight
  • Access to leading industry experts
  • Access to office space at the heart of Silicon Valley


Visit their website for further details on applying to the program.

8. NYU Steinhardt Edtech Accelerator

NYU Steinhardt edtech accelerator

NYU has partnered with StarEd to form NYU Steinhardt Edtech Accelerator. They fund companies that solve real issues facing education. Therefore, startups applying must possess diverse minds with a genuine passion for education; they can also have just one founding member onsite if the rest of the team can’t be present. They offer up to $170K in funding and mentorship-driven programs. Ventures must be capable of growing in value and are a post-beta product, but pre-Series A in funding. They look for companies offering products that transform education and that the world needs! It’s a 3-month program.

Application Deadline

Applications are currently closed. More information can in their Google doc answering FAQs.

9. NYU Steinhardt Edtech Incubator

NYU Steinhardt edtech incubator

The NYU Steinhardt Edtech Incubator is headquartered in New York at the New York University. The incubator space offers a meeting ground for educators, edtech mentors and founders. Perks of joining the incubator include access to a long list of partners, mentors and leading industry experts. Plus, you’ll get admission to the NY Edtech Week. The incubator doesn’t make any investments.

Application Deadline: Applications are open, though very competitive for a standard fee of $299/month/team. The incubator offers also answers FAQs in a Google doc.

10. Telluride Venture Accelerator (TVA)

Telluride Venture Accelerator

Telluride Venture Accelerator (TVA) is based in Mountain Village, Colorado. They’re an accelerator offering startups a new way of doing things. Their hybrid model focuses on working 11-weeks remotely and 6-weeks onsite. Benefits to joining the TVA include access to capital of $30K in return for 5% equity or a loan debt. They also give access to a network of 100+ mentors.

Application Deadline: Applications for the 2018 cohort group closed on 1 December 2017.


Startups are spoilt for choice; there’s a long list of accelerators looking for such ventures within the edtech sector. Edtech is a vibrant sector that sees new entries, all with innovations and ideas that seek to improve learning for greater academic success. They impact learning at all levels. There are more accelerators with interest in edtech startups across the globe; this list just focuses on the North American Region. We also compiled a list of the top 9 edtech incubators and accelerators in Europe.

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Theresa Kern

Ecosystem Basics, Startup Ecosystem