Saturday, June 23, 2012

Venture Capital: Startup Accelerators Don't Work

I knew it!
The only version I can think of that produces results is Y Combinator and I don't think it's correct to call them an accelerator

From ReadWrite:
Startup Accelerator Fail: Most Graduates Go Nowhere
Startup accelerators continue to grow in popularity. There are now more than 200 around the world attracting twice as many applicants as they did just two years ago. But there’s a dirty little secret: A lot of accelerators are just spinning their wheels.

Last year, Aziz Gilani, a director at Houston venture capital firm DFJ Mercury, ran a study of 29 North American accelerators for the Kauffman Fellows Program. He found that 45% of them produced not a single graduate who went on to raise venture funding.
Not Enough Exits to Evaluate
But wait, it gets worse. The original goal of Gilani’s study was to evaluate accelerators based on the number of exits achieved by their graduates. That aim proved to be “delusional,” he says. “There were not enough exits to evaluate. The only two accelerators that had any meaningful exits were Y Combinator and TechStars.”

But wait, it gets worse. Hoping to find some standard by which to judge accelerators, Gilani added a third criterion, VC perceptions. His team assembled a panel of 10 VCs and asked them a series of questions. Have you heard of this accelerator? Would you invest in a startup from its program? Again, he came up empty. “A good chunk of accelerators did not register on any of the criteria,” Gilani says....MORE