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

  • Application
  • 1 Year Later

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

  • Application
  • 1 Year Later

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

  • Application
  • 1 Year Later

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 plan to explore this question in the coming year. But we have examined differences in programs run by one organization, Village Capital. We found that some of the program elements that may factor into success are: a focus on applicant quality over quantity, the importance of actively engaged partners over those with the most brand recognition, and an emphasis on soft skills, such as presentation and communication skills and networking, over financial skills building and business plan development. 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.