The South is home to an array of startup accelerators and coding bootcamps — competitive programs that provide growth-stage companies and emerging software developers with the mentorship, connections, and resources they need to succeed. As the year comes to an end, many of these accelerators and code schools will host Demo Days, often complete with investments, cash prizes, or job offers to propel the next generation of innovators towards post-program success. We know your holiday season calendars are already filling up, but you definitely don’t want to miss these 11 events around the South, listed below in chronological order.
Mach37 is a 90-day cybersecurity startup accelerator located just outside of Washington, D.C. in Herdon, Virginia. The program focuses on product validation, customer discovery, and investment readiness. Five companies will graduate from the fall cohort during a Demo Day on December 5th (tonight!).
StartUP FIU is an entrepreneurship initiative at Miami-based Florida International University. Its inaugural Empower Accelerator is a free, no-equity 14-week program focused on developing traditional and social entrepreneurship among students, faculty, staff, alumni and the South Florida community. Nineteen university and local startups will graduate during a Pitch Night on December 6th.
DivInc is a newly launched 12-week pre-accelerator in Austin that helps foster the growth and development of ethnically diverse and women-led tech companies. Their first-ever cohort, made of ten entrepreneurs at nine companies, graduates during a Demo Day on December 8th.
While it’s not technically a startup accelerator, The Iron Yard is an accelerated coding school that prepares the next generation of developer talent during a 12-week immersive program. Each course culminates in a Demo Day, featuring final presentations by the Front End Engineering and UI students. Check out the Columbia cohort during Demo Day on December 8th.
The Raleigh Innovators Program is a 12-week accelerator hosted in partnership with Citrix, Red Hat, HQ Raleigh, and the City of Raleigh. The cohort includes five external technology startups and five “intrapreneurial” teams developing solutions within Red Hat and Citrix. Companies receive a $10K grant with a chance at up to $50K in additional funding when the program ends on December 12th.
Triad Startup Lab is 10-week intensive immersion program located in Greensboro, North Carolina. The accelerator uses small-group mentorship sessions, peer and expert feedback, and design thinking to help Triad-area startups grow rapidly. Eight companies will graduate from the Fall cohort during a Demo Day on December 13th.
Propeller New Orleans focuses on driving social, environmental, and economic impact in New Orleans by incubating early-stage ventures that have the potential to solve the city’s most pressing issues. The current cohort includes 30 entrepreneurs, all who will take the stage during a unique, crowdfunded Demo Day on December 13th.
Venture Forth is a 10-week accelerator program hosted by Tech Ranch Austin. The program is limited to 20 startups per cohort, and focuses on collaborative weekly coaching and pitch sessions. It was ranked in the top 20 active accelerators in Gust’s 2015 Global Accelerator Report. The fall session culminates in a Pitch Night on December 14th.
PreFlight is the Nashville Entrepreneur Center’s pre-accelerator program for idea-stage startups looking to create a foundation for launching their businesses. PreFlight provides weekly coaching sessions on value proposition, product-market fit, and customer development, as well as workspace, mentorship, and industry-specific programming. See how far the current cohort has come during Pitch Night on January 5th.
DigitalCrafts is a 16-week programming bootcamp based in Atlanta and Houston. Their Atlanta cohort has been hard at work since September mastering UI and UX design in their Atlanta Tech Village campus. Catch presentations from the South’s newest software engineers during Demo Day on January 6th.
Goodie Nation is a six-month social impact hybrid incubator and accelerator program based in Atlanta. The program is designed to help social entrepreneurs launch technologies that will help raise basic need averages of under-served communities. 11 companies have been working this year to solve issues of gentrification and economic inclusion in Atlanta and beyond. See their progress during a Demo Day on January 12th.
Is there another startup accelerator or coding bootcamp Demo Day happening soon? Let us know on Twitter!
Photo credit: The Iron Yard