America’s startup scene is getting bigger by the day. Hundreds of incubators and accelerators are helping businesses around the country, with many of the biggest programs centered in New York or the San Francisco Bay Area. But that doesn’t mean you have to go to the coasts to get your business started. Plus, taking your business to a smaller city means a cheaper cost of living for you and your team and cities on the up-and-up often offer tax incentives for new businesses as well.
What’s the difference between incubators and accelerators? Generally speaking, incubators work with just-formed companies and accelerators work with existing businesses, offering mentorship, training, professional services and capital funding in exchange for equity. The programs are competitive and can last anywhere from a few months to more than a year. (This list excludes accelerator-esque programs that are membership-based campuses, such as 1776 in DC. You can find more incubators and accelerators around the U.S. and around the world on F6S.com and atGan.co.)
Here’s a list of 26 accelerators and incubators outside of NYC or San Francisco organized by region with cost-of-living information from Forbes’ Best Places for Business and Careers so you can find the place that’s right for your company. For comparison, the cost of living is 54.3 percent above the national average in San Francisco and 29.8 percent above the national average in New York City. The average home price is $742,500 in San Francisco and $442,600 in New York.
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