The Cambridge Accelerator Project: Research on Global Accelerator Program Best Practices

In 2005 Y Combinator created the first modern accelerator program, inviting a class of eight startup founders to join a three month program during which they would receive seed funding and grow their businesses. Now, 8 years later, over 150 accelerator programs exist globally. Due to the early stage of this industry, little research has been written to date on the best practices of such programs and their impact on startups.

This website was created by a team of MBA students at the University of Cambridge’s Judge School of Business. We have undertaken an effort to research the accelerator market from three perspectives: that of startups, that of venture capital investors and that of the accelerator founders themselves. During the course of our research, we interviewed the managers of 15 accelerator programs, 15 investors and surveyed 100+ entrepreneurs to gain insight into the impact of accelerator programs at all levels of the startup ecosystem. We have posted our complete research report here and continue to write blog posts based on our findings.