Analysis of Accelerator Companies: An Exploratory Case Study of Their Programs, Processes, and Early Results

Nina Radojevich-Kelley, David Lynn Hoffman


The current study utilizes an exploratory case study approach to examine leading accelerator companies in the United States. Specifically, five of the top seed capital companies or accelerators in America were selected and analyzed for purposes of this study. Due to the brief existence of accelerator companies, the limited number of graduates from accelerator programs, and limited quantitative data available, three extensive within-case and three between-case analyses were conducted. The accelerators were examined through case studies, interviews, website analysis, and observation. The results led to propositions that accelerator companies use unique selection criteria and have higher success rates for their graduates. Success rates were based on new ventures that continued to receive subsequent funding or continued to pursue business endeavors versus those who failed. Findings indicate that mentorship driven programs increase the overall success rates of start-ups by providing entrepreneurs with access to angel investors and venture capitalists which tend to increase success rates.

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