GitHub Accelerator: Jump-starting the open source projects

The version control service GitHub has been involved in the financial support of developers in the open source community for a few years. In addition to the individual support program GitHub Sponsors, the company has launched another initiative that is also intended to help open source projects to create an economically viable basis: GitHub Accelerator. The first 20 projects from 16 countries – including Germany – are already benefiting from the support.

The GitHub Accelerator program, officially announced last November, is aimed at open source projects and maintainers who want to build a sustainable business model based on their development concept. As part of the GitHub Accelerator, applicants can expect not only seed funding of $20,000, but also a ten-week program in which they receive guidance from experienced open source leaders and workshops to learn how to sustainable business model can be implemented.

For the first round of the accelerator program, which starts on April 17, 2023, the eight-person selection committee selected 20 projects with a total of 32 participants from over 1,000 applications. The projects are dedicated to a wide variety of topics, from tools and frameworks for web development to libraries and terminal emulators to CAD tools for fashion design. A full overview with links to the 20 projects can be found in the announcement on the GitHub blog.

Together with the GitHub accelerator team, the selected projects will develop a business strategy over the next few weeks. In addition to the ongoing work on the code, topics such as governance and the licensing of open source are on the agenda. In addition, attendees will learn fundamental skills that will help them get their projects off the ground—including how to set funding goals, attract sponsors, form partnerships, and prepare for difficult conversations.

In the end, GitHub wants to incorporate the experience gained from working with the first 20 projects into the further development of the accelerator program so that even more open source projects can benefit. For more information on GitHub Accelerator, see the November 2022 announcement and blog post showcasing the first 20 projects. Microsoft supports the program with its M12 GitHub Fund, which provides an investment of 10 million US dollars.


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