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Waiting for the Accelerator Bubble to Pop

Paul Graham of Y Combinator and Charlie Rose talk during TechCrunch Disrupt New York in 2011



Paul Graham of Y Combinator and Charlie Rose talk during TechCrunch Disrupt New York in 2011 Photograph by Joe Corrigan/Getty Images

Since Paul Graham launched Y Combinator in 2005, the field of startup incubators and accelerators has exploded in the U.S. and overseas, with new entries emerging in all manner of oddball shapes and sizes, from a 80,000-square-foot space in San Jose, Calif., dedicated to tech companies hoping to do business in China, to a program that offers entrepreneurs cash to develop their business in Chile.

There are accelerators for green tech, health tech, ed tech, the cloud, and every other tech flavor du jour, and accelerators everywhere from Baton Rouge to Durham, N.H., as cities across the country lay claim to the title of the Silicon Valley of [insert industry here].