Since 2015, GALI has been collecting data and conducting analysis of accelerator effectiveness. Read a summary of our initial insights.

What is an accelerator?

Accelerators are time-limited programs, typically 3-6 months long, that work with cohorts or “classes” of ventures to provide mentorship and training, with a special emphasis on connecting early stage ventures with investment. Read more

Do accelerators work?

Initial data indicates that they do. Accelerated ventures outpaced rejected ventures in terms of revenue earned, employees hired, and investment capital raised during their year of acceleration. Read more

Revenue grew 50% for accelerated ventures, compared to 30% for rejected

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The number of employees grew 47% for accelerated ventures, compared to 30% for rejected

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Debt and equity financing grew 38% for accelerated ventures, compared to 22% for rejected

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Does the impact of acceleration differ in emerging markets?

Our research shows that the effects of acceleration are remarkably similar for entrepreneurs across several different countries. The average change in revenue, employees, and investment capital is consistent for emerging market and high-income country programs.

That said, emerging market ventures demonstrate more market traction in terms of revenue and number of employees, but attract less equity and debt compared to their high-income country peers. Accelerators help narrow the investment gap, but challenges in the entrepreneurial ecosystem prevent them from closing it fully. Read more

Does the impact of acceleration change depending on program structure?

We compared high and low-performing programs and find few programmatic differences between them. High-performing programs have diverse structures and focus, and additionally may succeed through stimulating primarily revenue growth or increasing the supply of outside equity investment. 

However, some broad trends do emerge. While there is no clear recipe for designing a successful program, high-performing programs in general seem to focus on the value of connecting entrepreneurs to one another. Those that accomplish superior outcomes through revenue growth tend to be longer and work with more growth-stage ventures, while those that draw equity growth tend to specialize in a sector and focus on network development over other program benefits. Read more

GALI research has also uncovered patterns for early stage entrepreneurs generally, including that:

  • Despite being more likely to report revenue in the early stages, founding teams with women are significantly less likely to raise equity investment. Read More
  • Ventures that hold patents raise more equity, but this difference is less pronounced in emerging markets. Read More
  • Entrepreneurs who are “transplants,” or new to the venture’s country of operations, report greater amounts of startup financing than local entrepreneurs in emerging markets, but the opposite is true in high-income countries. Read More

Who else is using the GALI data?

We think the data can be applied to a broad range of research questions, and are excited to see others’ publications that reference GALI and the Entrepreneurship Database Program.