The leading civic Accelerator
The Accelerator provides startups with the network and training to grow their businesses. In past years, startups have received 200+ hours of mentorship from industry leaders, pitched to numerous government officials and gained access to civic tech investors and sales leads.
Startups accepted into the Accelerator have access to the Code for America Summit. Other startups may gain access to the Summit by becoming a Startup Sponsor.
What is unique about the CfA Accelerator?
The CfA Accelerator focuses the civic space – that is, government, community, and the interaction between the two. Increasingly the way in which we engage with government is channeled through technology, which means there's a tremendous opportunity for entrepreneurs to build new, successful, and profitable startups that make the experience more like the consumer web. The CfA Accelerator aims to help early-stage civic startups get the financial, strategic, and operational support they need to succeed.
What do I have access to through the Accelerator?
Training and mentorship: You'll receive training from a variety of leaders in the technology and public administration space. Last year’s startups had a 10:1 mentor ratio, and mentors spent over 200 hours with the companies on topics such as sales, lead generation, UX, marketing, product and fundraising.
Advisors: The Accelerator has two advisors who work with selected companies: Ron Bouganim and Tim O’Reilly.
Network and publicity: Access to CfA’s extensive government network, including an opportunity to present, as well as participate in the Civic Tech Fair at the 2014 CfA Summit. Your team will receive 3 tickets to the Summit, which included over 80 governments in 2013.
In-kind services and support: Access to product credits and training from some of our donors and sponsors
Where would I be working?
Selected startups have access to our coworking space and meeting rooms. Every month for the course of the program, successful applicants will convene at Code for America HQ in downtown San Francisco for a week of mentorship, meetings and training. Many teams travel back and forth between SF and their hometowns for the duration of this program.
Will I receive funding from the Accelerator?
Startups receive $25,000 USD per team to grow their businesses.
What type of companies are you looking for?
We are seeking civic startups that help to further Code for America’s mission to help cities use modern technology tools and approaches to foster collaboration with their community, improve internal government processes and service delivery, and more effectively and efficiently address community needs.
We’re especially excited to work with companies that have a defined focus on issues that matter to cities and communities such as improving public health outcomes, increasing access to affordable housing, or driving economic development.
For example, those that help governments drive transparency, accountability, and community engagement; draw on the knowledge, skills, and experiences of community members; leverage open data; or create easy, convenient, and effective access to public services and information.
Is my company eligible to apply?
Additionally, preference will be given to applicants who:
- Are products/services focused vs. consulting oriented
- Have generated some amount of revenue from customers
We encourage for-profit and non-profit companies to apply, however in prior classes the majority have been for-profit companies. Many, though not all, of our alumni sell directly (not necessarily exclusively) to government.
What is the application and selection timeline?
The application is open from April 15th-May 15th, and the selected companies will be announced at the beginning of July.
When is the Accelerator?
The Accelerator is a four month program (July-October) providing civic startups with the network and training to grow their businesses. Startups present onstage at the Code for America Summit on September 24th-25th to an audience of influential mayors, city managers, civic officials and peers. We've recently launched our 2014 Accelerator.