The Accelerator Landscape

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 identify accelerators around the world 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.

Think your organization should be part of this project? Contribute Data

To see the previous year's survey results, click here.

About the 2016 Global Accelerator Survey

The Global Accelerator Survey provides a snapshot of the structure and focus of acceleration programs around the world. Filter the results by geography and impact orientation for more specific insights.

About the Respondents

164 organizations completed the survey with information about all of their accelerator programs as a whole. These organizations are headquartered in 41 different countries and supported more than 8,000 ventures in 2016. Eighty-six are headquartered in an emerging market, and 86 focus explicitly on supporting ventures with a social or environmental mission. The majority ran their first accelerator program after 2010.

Region of Headquarters

  • HQ Region
    Respondents
  • North America
    41
  • Latin America & Caribbean
    35
  • South Asia
    33
  • Europe & Central Asia
    23
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
    14
  • East Asia & Pacific
    13
  • Middle East & North Africa
    5
  • Total
    164
Download (Headquarters) Download (First Accelerator)

Program Focus and Goals

The Top Sectors of Focus Are Healthcare/Life Sciences and Agriculture & Food

  •  
    Full Sample
  • Healthcare/Life Sciences
    26%
  • Agriculture & Food
    25%
  • Information and Communication Technology
    21%
  • Energy
    18%
  • Financial Services
    16%
  • Environment
    15%
  • Consumer/Retail
    13%
  • Education
    13%
  • Water & Sanitation
    12%
  • Business Services
    10%
  • Logistics & Distribution
    9%
  • Media & Entertainment
    8%
  • Hospitality/Travel/Tourism
    7%
  • Real Estate
    1%
  • Other
    19%
  • No Sector Focus
    40%
  •  
    HQ in High Income Country HQ in Emerging Market
  • Healthcare/Life Sciences
    22%29%
  • Agriculture & Food
    23%27%
  • Information and Communication Technology
    17%26%
  • Energy
    13%23%
  • Financial Services
    17%16%
  • Environment
    10%20%
  • Consumer/Retail
    14%13%
  • Education
    12%14%
  • Water & Sanitation
    4%20%
  • Business Services
    10%10%
  • Logistics & Distribution
    6%10%
  • Media & Entertainment
    9%7%
  • Hospitality/Travel/Tourism
    8%6%
  • Real Estate
    1%0%
  • Other
    19%19%
  • No Sector Focus
    37%43%
  •  
    Impact-Oriented Not Impact-Oriented
  • Healthcare/Life Sciences
    27%24%
  • Agriculture & Food
    33%17%
  • Information and Communication Technology
    20%23%
  • Energy
    26%10%
  • Financial Services
    14%19%
  • Environment
    20%10%
  • Consumer/Retail
    9%18%
  • Education
    16%9%
  • Water & Sanitation
    19%5%
  • Business Services
    9%12%
  • Logistics & Distribution
    9%8%
  • Media & Entertainment
    6%10%
  • Hospitality/Travel/Tourism
    8%5%
  • Real Estate
    0%1%
  • Other
    20%18%
  • No Sector Focus
    35%46%
Download Table

Most Accelerators Support Ventures in the Startup or Early-stages

Accelerator Support

Accelerator Support

  • HQ in High Income Country
  • HQ in Emerging Market

Accelerator Support

  • Impact-Oriented
  • Not Impact-Oriented
Download Table

Accelerators Prioritize Market Traction

Accelerator Priorities

Accelerator Priorities

  • HQ in High Income Country
  • HQ in Emerging Market

Accelerator Priorities

  • Impact-Oriented
  • Not Impact-Oriented
  • 1 Respondents were asked to rate each goal on a scale from 1 to 10. The bar chart displays the percent of respondents that rated each goal above the average of their ratings of all the listed goals.
Download Table

Program Structure and Acceptance Rates

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, based on the criteria for the study.
Download Table

Over 30% of Accelerators Run Programs that Combine In-Person and Remote Components

HQ in High Income Country

HQ in Emerging Market

Impact-Oriented

Not Impact-Oriented

  • Hybrid
  • Remote
  • In-person
Download Table

Accelerators Accepted 10% of Applicants on Average

  •  
    Full Sample
  • Acceptance Rate (Median)
    10%
  • Sample Size
    139
  •  
    HQ in High Income Country HQ in Emerging Market
  • Acceptance Rate (Median)
    10%11%
  • Sample Size
    6970
  •  
    Impact-Oriented Not Impact-Oriented
  • Acceptance Rate (Median)
    15%8%
  • Sample Size
    7366
  • 3 We asked respondents if they have a selection process for their programs, and what their average acceptance rate was in 2016. 96% of respondents reported to have a selection process, but only 85% provide selection rates for 2016.
Download Table

Funding Sources

Corporates Are the Most Common Funding Source

Funding Sources

HQ in High Income Country

HQ in Emerging Market

Impact-Oriented

Not Impact-Oriented

  • Major Source ( 50% of total funding)
  • Minor Source (<50% of total funding)
Download Table

Most Accelerators Rely on Multiple Types of Funding

Number of Funding Types

Number of Funding Types

  • HQ in High Income Country
  • HQ in Emerging Market

Number of Funding Types

  • Impact-Oriented
  • Not Impact-Oriented
  • 4 “Investor-backed” refers to accelerators that are funded solely by the investors that either run or support the accelerator, and does not infer any returns on equity investments or investor fees, which were their own categories.
Download Table

Program Services and Direct Investments

Networking Connections and Mentoring Are the Most Common Services Provided

Services Provided

Services Provided

  • HQ in High Income Country
  • HQ in Emerging Market

Services Provided

  • Impact-Oriented
  • Not Impact-Oriented
Download Table

Investor Connections Are Facilitated through Pitch Events and One-on-one Matchmaking

Investor Connections

Investor Connections

  • HQ in High Income Country
  • HQ in Emerging Market

Investor Connections

  • Impact-Oriented
  • Not Impact-Oriented
Download Table

Equity Is the Most Common Investment Instrument

Investment Instrument

Investment Instrument

  • HQ in High Income Country
  • HQ in Emerging Market

Investment Instrument

  • Impact-Oriented
  • Not Impact-Oriented
Download Table

Median Amount Invested in 2016 Was $250,000

  •  
    Full Sample
  • Total Investment (Median)
    $250,000
  • Sample Size
    71
  • Investment per Venture (Median)
    $28,393
  • Sample Size
    63
  •  
    HQ in High Income Country HQ in Emerging Market
  • Total Investment (Median)
    $400,000$200,000
  • Sample Size
    3833
  • Investment per Venture (Median)
    $30,000$25,833
  • Sample Size
    3726
  •  
    Impact-Oriented Not Impact-Oriented
  • Total Investment (Median)
    $102,263$375,000
  • Sample Size
    3338
  • Investment per Venture (Median)
    $18,611$36,667
  • Sample Size
    2537
  • 5 A small portion of these investment values reflect 2015 investment amounts rather than 2016.
Download Table
GALI is a collective effort by leaders in the field to improve the work we do. Join us!