In 2014 and 2015, ANDE conducted web research to generate a global list of organizations that run accelerator programs. To gather more detailed information about the accelerator landscape and to verify our web research, we created the Global Accelerator Survey. Through this survey, we sought to gain a better understanding of who these accelerators are, where they are located, and how they are structured.

Many organizations run multiple accelerator programs, so the survey was conducted at the organization level and asked questions about each organization’s accelerator programs as a whole.  From May to November 2016, we sent the survey to over 300 organizations and received 115 responses (a 37% response rate).  We excluded those that did not meet the basic accelerator critieria, resulting in a sample of 83 organizations included in the study.

This report is meant to provide insight about the global accelerator landscape as of December 2015.  We will continue to survey accelerators throughout 2017 and will provide updated results each year.

Filter Variables

  1. HQ Location
    • Indicates whether the organization is headquartered in a High-Income Economy or an Emerging Market (Low-Income, Lower-Middle-Income, or Upper-Middle-Income Economy) as defined by the World Bank Country and Lending Groups.
    • Q: Currently, where is your organization headquartered?
  2. Impact
    • Indicates whether the organization focuses specifically on ventures with a social or environmental mission.
    • Q: Do your accelerator programs have the explicit intent of supporting ventures with social or environmental objectives?

Criteria for Inclusion

To verify that the respondents were indeed accelerators and not other types of entrepreneurial support programs, we asked questions related to three common criteria 1 :

  1. Cohort-based model
    • Q: Do your accelerator programs accelerate a cohort or batch of ventures at a time?
  2. Time-bound program
    • Q: What is the typical duration of your accelerator programs?  Please enter the duration (in days, weeks, or months) that each venture spends in your accelerator program.  
  3. Investor day/pitch day
    • Q: Do your accelerator programs feature a "Demo Day," "Pitch Night," or offer any other opportunities at the end of the program to connect participants to potential investors?

We included in the study respondents who reported to follow a cohort-based model and whose typical program duration is between 30 – 360 days.  We did not exclude those who do not have an investor event, as there is early evidence that this element is less common in emerging markets 2 (although we see in the results above that only 10% of respondents do not have this feature as part of their programs).

  • 1 Cohen, S. & Hochberg, Y. V. (2014). Accelerating startups: The seed accelerator phenomenon. Available at SSRN 2418000.
  • 2 Dempwolf, C. S., Auer, J., and D'Ippolito, M. (2014). Innovation Accelerators: Defining Characteristics Among Startup Assistance Organizations. Report developed for the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy.