What do accelerators do? Broadly speaking, they help ventures define and build their initial products, identify promising customer segments, and secure resources, including capital and employees. More specifically, accelerator programs are programs of limited-duration—lasting about three months—that help cohorts of startups with the new venture process. They usually provide a small amount of seed capital, plus working space. They also offer a plethora of networking opportunities, with both peer ventures and mentors, who might be successful entrepreneurs, program graduates, venture capitalists, angel investors, or even corporate executives. Finally, most programs end with a grand event, a “demo day” where ventures pitch to a large audience of qualified investors.

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Publication Date

Summer 2013

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2013 Susan Cohen. This article first appeared in Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization 8, no. 3-4 (Summer-Fall 2013): 19-25. doi:10.1162/inov_a_00184.

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