ACCELERATOR PROGRAM

41
COMPANIES
250
1:1 MENTORSHIP SESSIONS
1K
STRATEGIC INTRODUCTIONS
$60
MILLION RAISED POST-ACCELERATOR

One of the most well-known and high-impact programs at Higher Ground Labs is our Accelerator. We help new companies reach product-market fit, find the right campaigns and funders, and attain quick and effective absorption into the political tech ecosystem.

With five cohorts under our belt, the Accelerator is designed to advance for-profit tech startups creating innovation in politics and advocacy. We provide founders with intensive training, connections, and community.

Accelerator companies join a vibrant group of 50+ HGL startups — such as Mobilize, BallotReady and Impactive — that have reshaped political technology and helped win critical races.

Operating at the center of political technology, Higher Ground Labs vets and connects candidates, causes, and funders on the Left with best-in-class tech. The Accelerator program anchors this work by sourcing and investing in companies that add value to the ecosystem and helping them grow sustainably.

Startups invited to the Accelerator receive investment capital and access to an intensive program that will run between April and July. Founders will learn from experts on sales, marketing and product, dive deep into the political market, and meet with key clients and investors.

WE PROVIDE STARTUPS WITH 4 MONTHS OF INTENSIVE PROGRAMMING TO ACCELERATE THEIR PRODUCT, SALES & MARKETING, FUNDRAISING AND HIRING.

KEY ACCELERATOR FUNCTIONS

Achieve rapid product-market fit
HGL arranges trainings and briefings with top thought leaders from VC, tech, campaigns and organizations to give founders a deep understanding of the needs, budgets and timelines of top prospects.

Open doors for pitch opportunities
HGL hosts/cohosts multiple demo/pitch events with key prospects on committees, campaigns and nonprofits through multiple Demo Day, Showcase, & briefing events.

Build cohort community in the political tech space
Founders join a flourishing community of political tech practitioners to understand and inspire what will drive progressive wins in future cycles.

Train, prep, and build an Investor Pitch Event
Founders can expect to round out accelerator pitch training, business planning and intros to investors with a roomful of investors on Demo Day.

Graduation into the full HGL Portfolio
Founders graduate from Accelerator to Portfolio and receive the ongoing benefits of community and HGL support.

SAMPLE SPEAKERS

Higher Ground Labs was transformative for our team. Over four months…. we built out and piloted a revamped product, gained significant market traction and network support, and generated a strong pipeline of investors and clients. The industry insight, continuous support and network connections…have been key to our success. The pace of the accelerator pushed us to the edge of what was possible, with the right balance of ambitious and achievable, and propelled us forward in terms of both our learning and our offering.

AVALANCHE STRATEGY

HGL accelerated our progress tremendously. As a result…we have met potential partners, customers, supporters, and advisors. We’ve learned how to better tell our story and we have set a vision for where we want to be – in 2018 and beyond. We would not be where we are, heading into next year’s midterms, without their support.

BALLOT READY

ACCELERATOR FAQ: COMMON QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

For 2022, our investment thesis builds on our thesis for 2021, with a continued focus on election tech — particularly around content creation, voter contact and data sharing. We are also seeking technologies that harness the power of Web3 to improve progressive organizing. Find our 2022 investment thesis here.
No. Higher Ground Labs is focused on investing in for-profit vehicles that have a business model and see a path to making returns in this market. We believe this structure is more effective for collaboration and more rigorous for running your companies. We know that not all political tech should be created in a for-profit structure, but we are only investing in the ones that are.
In past cohorts, our average seed investment was $100k. Our average follow-on investment into companies post-accelerator was $1 million. The actual amount will vary by company based on need, stage, and team. Sometimes we will structure that amount based on milestones during or after the accelerator program.
We invest through a standard convertible note or revenue-based financing with a cap that can be negotiated by the company.
The 2022 accelerator program will start in April and run through July. The program will include both virtual programming and two in-person intensives, designed to rapidly prepare new companies to reach product-market fit and be quickly + effectively absorbed into the political tech ecosystem. In addition, the program includes regular coaching calls, access to the HGL Advisory Board, and introductions to potential clients and investors.
We expect this year’s accelerator program to be composed of two in-person, multi-day intensives, including one week in DC, together with multiple online training sessions, community-building activities and pitch events. As with our 2021 accelerator, adaptability during COVID is essential. We will assess and conduct our programming in accordance with the latest CDC guidelines.
We plan to make offers on investments in late March 2022. We commit to clear and timely communication with all applicants throughout the open call process.