Entrepreneurship has never been hotter.
For the first time in five years, the Kauffman Foundation's Startup Activity Index is on the rise in 2015—with the largest year-over-year increase in the past two decades. The group estimates that every month, some 530,000 people become new business owners.
Most of those start-ups, of course, will fail. But to increase their odds, a select handful will enlist the help of an incubator or accelerator. But that's hardly a guarantee of prosperity. The overall success rate of those accelerated organizations is mixed at best, even though many mentor seed-stage companies and help them attract equity funding.
Historically, picking an accelerator has been a combination of gut instinct and luck. But for the past four years, the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project has been helping to cut the wheat from the chaff, ranking accelerators by performance. Run by Yael Hochberg, an entrepreneurship and finance professor at Rice University's Jones Graduate School of Business, the group gathers metrics such as fundraising, participant feedback and valuations in confidence, then offers a wider look at the relative success of the programs without breaking down the deals individually. (You can find the group's full methodology here.)
If you're thinking about aligning your start-up with an accelerator, here are the 10 best for 2015, per the project. (Note: Y Combinator was not included in the list by its own request, as it now classifies itself as a seed fund rather than an accelerator.)