What is a Private Startup Accelerator?

Denis Shatalin
Founder of SaaS Camp
If you are the founder of a SaaS company you’ve probably considered the potential benefits of applying to a startup accelerator. After all, companies that graduate from an Accelerator program have a 23% greater survival rate and raise 171% more funding than startups that don’t.

However, only 1%-3% of startups applying to a traditional accelerator get accepted, and it always costs founders a significant chunk of equity. Private Accelerators like Saas Camp have chosen to do things differently.

In the remainder of this article, we will examine how private accelerators operate differently from traditional accelerators and see how they shape up.

What is a Private Startup Accelerator Program?

A private startup accelerator program is an ongoing, personalized, coaching and mastermind program that is driven by the specific requirements of the startup. The program fits you, rather than you fitting the program.

Private accelerators are often focused on one key industry or sector to ensure that everything they provide is relevant to their participant’s specific needs and goals. SaaS Camp, for example, only works with SaaS startups - SaaS is what they know, SaaS is where they thrive, and they won’t waste anyone’s time by pretending they are experts in other areas when they aren’t.

In most cases, the number of participants in a private startup accelerator program is deliberately restricted to ensure the program can deliver maximum value to all of its participants.

Private Vs General Startup Accelerators

When comparing the usual kind of accelerators to a private startup accelerator there are three fundamental differences to be aware of:

1. Equity

A traditional startup accelerator will take equity from your business just to allow you in the room.

A private startup accelerator program is provided for a flat upfront fee. Equity will not be discussed until the private accelerator has delivered value to your business. Only then will it incorporate equity into a continued, ongoing partnership agreement.

2. Timetable

If you’re lucky enough to be in the 1%-3% of startups that get accepted to a general accelerator, you’d better be willing (and able) to give up 3-6 months of your life whenever the accelerator program happens to be running.

With a private accelerator, you determine the timetable - they are there to service you, not vice versa.

3. Dedicated Resources

In a typical accelerator, there could be literally hundreds of founders all vying for the attention and input of the handful of mentors assigned to the program.

With a private startup accelerator program, places are restricted to a much lower level. Additionally, each participant is assigned a dedicated support team that’s available whenever they’re needed.

Imagine the difference between a school classroom with one teacher and 40 students compared to another class with ten teachers and only 15 students…

Solving the Shortcomings of General Startup Accelerators

Risk vs Reward

Private startup accelerators reduce the risk to founders by delaying any equity deals until they have proven themselves as a true value-add business partner.

The only risk to founders is the initial fee for the program. However, some private accelerators (such as SaaS Camp) are so confident in what they do, they offer a money back guarantee if you’re unsatisfied with the service or don’t achieve a minimum increase in monthly recurring revenue (MRR).

Unparalleled Support

As we have previously touched upon, the levels of support and access to expert advice available in a private startup accelerator dwarfs those available in traditional accelerators.

This is because private accelerators are designed to be ongoing programs rather than time-limited courses. Once you graduate from a normal accelerator, you get to keep the contacts you made, but that’s about it.

With a private accelerator, the primary concern is the success of its participant’s businesses. You can check in with your support team whenever you need even once your assigned modules are complete.

It is in their interest to provide as much value and progress to your business as they can because once they do, the chances of forming an equity-based ongoing partnership in the future increase dramatically.

An Overview of my Private Accelerator Program

At SaaS Camp, we begin with a 1-1 GTM (go-to-market) strategy consultation.

Following this, we develop a bespoke coaching and mentoring plan consisting of multiple modules for you to complete at your discretion.

Once you are enrolled in the program you will be assigned a dedicated support team to assist you whenever you need any help.

After you complete the course you are still considered part of the family. You can always seek out assistance from the team and you get to keep all the frameworks, tools, and guides provided throughout the program.


Few startups get accepted to the usual accelerator programs and those that do must sacrifice equity in their business upfront with no guarantees of added value or success.

Private accelerators were conceived to address the inherent shortcomings of the traditional startup accelerator model and ensure that delivering tangible value to the participants is the main focus of the course.

If you feel your SaaS business could benefit from ongoing mentoring and support from SaaS industry experts without needing to stake part of your company for the privilege, why not see what SaaS Camp can do for you with an initial consultation?
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✋ Hey, it's Denis! Thanks for reading :) If you want my help with your startup, the quickest way to reach me is at denis@saascamp.com. I upload my best content on YouTube. Let's connect on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.