Global Accelerator Survey

Accelerators share a set of program characteristics that distinguish them from other forms of capacity development services. Specifically, they are time-limited programs that work with cohorts or “classes” of ventures to provide mentorship and training, with a special emphasis on connecting early stage ventures with investment.

The global accelerator landscape is growing and changing at a rapid pace. We conducted this research to add clarity to the recent phenomenon and to provide insight into what acceleration looks like in various geographies and contexts.

Access the directory below to identify accelerators based in various regions, or review our survey results to see how accelerators differ based on location and mission.

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About the Respondents

115 organizations completed the survey in 2016, including 83 that met the criteria for inclusion. View Methodology

70%
Operate in an emerging market
47,901
Ventures Accelerated

Report Highlights

  • The majority of respondents launched their first accelerator program after 2010.
  • 60% of respondents run programs that last between 3 and 6 months.
  • Respondents had a median acceptance rate of less than 10% in 2015.
  • 43% of respondents focus on a particular sector or set of sectors, the most popular being Information & Communication Technology.
  • Nearly half of respondents relied on philanthropy as a funding source in 2015. Less than 10% of respondents received returns from equity.
  • 90% of respondents feature an investor event as part of their programs.
  • Nearly 70% of respondents guarantee investment to some or all program participants, and equity is the most common source of capital provided.
  • The median total invested by each organization in 2015 was $100,000.

Respondent Geography

We received the most responses from organizations headquartered in Latin America & the Caribbean, with slightly less representation from North America and Europe & Central Asia.  About 50% are headquartered in an emerging market, and 70% operate at least one program in an emerging market. 1

  • Region
    Respondents
  • Latin America & Caribbean
    34
  • North America
    24
  • Europe & Central Asia
    13
  • South Asia
    4
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
    4
  • East Asia & Pacific
    3
  • Middle East & North Africa
    1
  • Total
    83
  • 1 Since accelerators typically place less emphasis on a physical coworking space and run shorter programs compared to incubators, they often operate programs in multiple countries in addition to their headquarters location.
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The Accelerator Model Gained Traction after 2010

  • HQ in High Income Country
  • HQ in Emerging Market
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Typical Program Duration Is between 3-6 Months

HQ in High Income Country

HQ in Emerging Market

Impact-Oriented

Not Impact-Oriented

  • More than 6 months
  • 3-6 months
  • Less than 3 months
  • 2 Respondents who listed a typical program duration of less than one month or greater than one year were excluded from the study.
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Programs Accepted Less than 10% of Applicants

  •  
    All Data
  • Median acceptance rate in 2015
    8%
  • Sample Size
    56
  •  
    HQ in High Income Country HQ in Emerging Market
  • Median acceptance rate in 2015
    6%13%
  • Sample Size
    3026
  •  
    Impact-Oriented Not Impact-Oriented
  • Median acceptance rate in 2015
    14%5%
  • Sample Size
    2432
  • 3 Acceptance rate was calculated as number of participants divided by number of applicants in 2015.

Information and Communication Technology Was the Top Sector

  • Not Sector Specific
  • Sector Specific

Sector Focus Area

  •  
    All Data
  • Information and Communication Technologies
    25%
  • Health
    16%
  • Financial Services
    10%
  • Education
    8%
  • Agriculture
    7%
  • Energy
    7%
  • Environment
    6%
  • Tourism
    2%
  • Water
    2%
  • Supply Chain Services
    1%
  • Technical Assistance Services
    1%
  • Artisanal
    0%
  • Culture
    0%
  • Housing Development
    0%
  • Infrastructure/Facilities Development
    0%
  • Other
    14%

HQ in High Income Country

HQ in Emerging Market

  • Not Sector Specific
  • Sector Specific

Sector Focus Area

  •  
    HQ in High Income Country HQ in Emerging Market
  • Information and Communication Technologies
    29%21%
  • Health
    22%10%
  • Financial Services
    12%7%
  • Education
    7%10%
  • Agriculture
    5%10%
  • Energy
    2%12%
  • Supply Chain Services
    2%0%
  • Technical Assistance Services
    2%0%
  • Tourism
    2%2%
  • Water
    2%2%
  • Artisanal
    0%0%
  • Culture
    0%0%
  • Environment
    0%12%
  • Housing Development
    0%0%
  • Infrastructure/Facilities Development
    0%0%
  • Other
    17%12%

Impact-Oriented

Not Impact-Oriented

  • Not Sector Specific
  • Sector Specific

Sector Focus Area

  •  
    Impact-Oriented Not Impact-Oriented
  • Information and Communication Technologies
    24%26%
  • Agriculture
    14%2%
  • Environment
    14%7%
  • Financial Services
    14%7%
  • Health
    14%17%
  • Education
    11%0%
  • Energy
    11%4%
  • Water
    5%0%
  • Technical Assistance Services
    3%0%
  • Tourism
    0%4%
  • Supply Chain Services
    0%2%
  • Artisanal
    0%0%
  • Culture
    0%0%
  • Housing Development
    0%0%
  • Infrastructure/Facilities Development
    0%0%
  • Other
    14%14%
  • 4 Respondents were asked to select their top three sectors of focus in 2015.
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Philanthropy Was the Most Common Funding Source

HQ in High Income Country

HQ in Emerging Market

Impact-Oriented

Not Impact-Oriented

  • Major Source (≥50% of 2015 funding)
  • Minor Source (<50% of 2015 funding)
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Investor Events Are a Staple Among Accelerators

HQ in High Income Country

HQ in Emerging Market

Impact-Oriented

Not Impact-Oriented

  • None
  • Demo Day/Pitch Night
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Most Accelerators Guarantee Investment

HQ in High Income Country

HQ in Emerging Market

Impact-Oriented

Not Impact-Oriented

  • Do not guarantee investment
  • Guarantee investment
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Equity Is the Most Common Investment Instrument

  • HQ in High Income Country
  • HQ in Emerging Market
  • Impact-Oriented
  • Not Impact-Oriented
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Median Total Investment Was $100,000

  •  
    All Data
  • Median
    $100,000
  • Sample Size
    39
  •  
    HQ in High Income Country HQ in Emerging Market
  • Median
    $215,000$45,000
  • Sample Size
    2217
  •  
    Impact-Oriented Not Impact-Oriented
  • Median
    $52,500$200,000
  • Sample Size
    1623
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