Over the past six years, a new method of incubating technology startups has emerged, driven by investors and successful tech entrepreneurs: the accelerator programme. The number of accelerator programmes has grown rapidly in the US over the past few years and there are signs that more recently, the trend is being replicated in Europe. Early evidence suggests they have a positive impact on founders, helping them learn rapidly, create powerful networks and become better entrepreneurs.
Despite growing interest in the model from the investment, business education and policy communities, there have been few attempts at formal analysis. The Startup Factories report is a first step towards a more informed critique of the phenomenon, as part of a broader effort among both public and private sectors to understand how to better support the growth of innovative startups.