UNDERSTAND | May 25, 2018

Accelerating the Flow of Funds

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We are excited to share with the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) community the latest report of the Global Accelerator Learning Initiative (GALI)

The new report, “Accelerating the Flow of Funds into Early-Stage Ventures: An Initial Look at Program Differences and Design Choices,” is our first report examining performance at the program level across the whole GALI dataset containing data from more than 2,300 early stage ventures that applied to 52 acceleration programs run by 20 different organizations in a range of geographies and sectors.

The report compares high-performing and low-performing programs to assess common perceptions about what matters most in successful accelerator programs. The research also identifies whether certain program design choices correspond with greater equity or revenue growth for accelerated ventures. The report’s main findings are that:

  • Accelerated ventures perform better on average, but programs vary greatly in how effectively they help their cohorts grow.  In addition, the way they succeed is different: some strong programs succeed through stimulating revenue growth while others stimulate equity investment.
  • High-performing programs understand the power and value of people, connections, and networks: We did not identify many clear choices in curriculum design or program structure that differentiate high and low-performing programs.  While there is no one recipe for designing a successful program, high-performing programs in general seem to focus on the value of connecting entrepreneurs to one another.  They also are more likely to provide guaranteed investments, and focus on women and minority applicants.
  • The highest performing accelerators in emerging markets help their entrepreneurs grow revenue. Programs that stimulate primarily revenue tend to be longer and work with growth-stage ventures, while those that stimulate equity tend to specialize in a sector and focus on network development over other program benefits. Unsurprisingly, programs where equity growth dominates are more common in North America, while those where revenue growth dominates are more common in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The report has raised many new questions.  As we grow the dataset, the GALI team will continue to address these questions. If you wish to help identify accelerators in your ecosystem and sign up new accelerators to the study, please email peter@genglobal.org

GALI is a collaborative project of Global Entrepreneurship Reserach Network (GERN) members: ANDE, Emory University, USAID, the Kauffman Foundation, Argidius and Omidyar. 

Below is an Executive Summary of the report. For the full report, please visit www.galidata.org/2018report.

This report marks the third in a series of annual reports about the effectiveness of startup acceleration. To access previous reports, please visit the GALI publications site.

Genevieve is the Director of Research & Impact at the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs. There, she manages the Global Accelerator… About the author