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Accelerating Success
               A Study of Seed Accelerators and
                 Their Defining Characteristics




         May 15th, 2012 - Gothenburg, Sweden

Accelerating Success       - Intro -       acceleratorstudy.com
Dropbox - an Accelerated Success
    • Participated in Y Combinator in 2007
    • Now valued at over $5 billion




Accelerating Success   - Intro -    acceleratorstudy.com
Outline of Presentation
       • Background to thesis and accelerators
       • Research question
       • Method and research design
       • Case studies of accelerators
       • Findings from research
          – Stakeholder Perspective
          – Organization Perspective
          – Process Perspective
       • Conclusion



Accelerating Success           - Intro -         acceleratorstudy.com
Why Study Accelerators?
    • Explore a new phenomena – little has been
      written about accelerators
    • Chalmers Innovation, our stakeholder,
      interested in the accelerator model




Accelerating Success   - Background -   acceleratorstudy.com
Chalmers Innovation
 • A business incubator and seed fund in
   Gothenburg, started in 1999
 • Picking up new trends from Silicon Valley,
   Lean Startup and accelerators
 • Startup Spring Camp 2012
 • Interest in further developing their activities
   related to early-stage software startups


Accelerating Success   - Background -   acceleratorstudy.com
Software Startups in the Past
        • Boo.com – an internet clothing retailer
        • Burnt over $125 million of venture capital
          in 18 months
        • 8 offices and over 400 employees
        • Launched in 18 countries simultaneously
          in November 1999, bankrupt in May 2000



Accelerating Success   - Background -   acceleratorstudy.com
Incubators
      – the Predecessor of Accelerators
    • First incubator established in 1959
    • Provides basic necessities for operating,
      such as office space and administrative aid
    • In some cases also provides access to
      advisors and investors



Accelerating Success   - Background -   acceleratorstudy.com
New Methodologies




   Customer Development                 Lean Startup


Accelerating Success   - Background -     acceleratorstudy.com
Decreasing Costs for Starting New
                  Ventures
    • Cloud services enable instant scalability
    • Open source software provides cheap
      ready-made solutions
    • The huge venture capital investments not
      necessary at the early stage anymore




Accelerating Success   - Background -   acceleratorstudy.com
The First Accelerator: Y Combinator




    • Founded in 2005 in Silicon Valley
    • Today over 200 different accelerators world-
      wide



Accelerating Success   - Background -   acceleratorstudy.com
Characteristics of an Accelerator from
            Startup Factories
 • An application process that is open yet highly
   competitive.
 • Provision of pre-seed investment, usually in
   exchange for equity.
 • A focus on small teams not individuals.
 • Time-limited support comprising programmed
   events and intensive mentoring.
 • Startups supported in cohort batches or
   ‘classes’.
Accelerating Success   - Background -   acceleratorstudy.com
Research Question

    What defines a seed accelerator and which
     aspects are useful for Chalmers Innovation?




Accelerating Success   - Research Question -   acceleratorstudy.com
Method Used for Thesis
    • Roadmap created using secondary
      information from articles and blogs
    • Built theory from case studies on
      accelerators in Europe and the US
    • Collected material was used to form the
      analysis consisting of three perspectives



Accelerating Success   - Method -    acceleratorstudy.com
Iterative Method Used




Accelerating Success   - Method -   acceleratorstudy.com
Case Studies of Accelerators
    • American: Y Combinator and TechStars, data
      collected from secondary sources
    • European: The German Silicon Valley
      Accelerator, Springboard, Startupbootcamp,
      Nordic Startups, betaFACTORY and Startup
      Sauna, data collected from interviews



Accelerating Success   - Case Studies -   acceleratorstudy.com
Y Combinator and TechStars
 • Two of the first accelerators, now defining the
   standard of an accelerator



        Founded in 2005                      Founded in 2007
        Mountain View, California (Silicon   Boulder, Colorado
        Valley)                              6% equity
        2-10% equity                         6 000-18 000 USD funding
        11 000 – 20 000 USD funding          9-12 teams in each batch
        65 teams in last batch


Accelerating Success            - Case Studies -          acceleratorstudy.com
European Accelerators

   Founded in 2012         Founded in 2009            Founded in 2010
   Berlin, Germany         Cambridge, UK              Copenhagen, Denmark
   No equity               6% equity                  8% equity
   No seed funding         £5 000 - £15 000 funding   15 000 € funding
   6 teams in each batch   10 teams in each batch     10 teams in each batch




   Founded in 2011         Founded in 2011            Founded in 2010
   Stockholm, Sweden       Oslo, Norway               Helsinki, Finland
   Not operational         6-8% equity                No equity
                           5000 – 15 000 € funding    1500 € funding
                           5 teams in first batch     15 teams in each batch

Accelerating Success         - Case Studies -           acceleratorstudy.com
Analysis of Accelerators
 • The collected data was analyzed and common
   themes in the accelerators was triangulated
 • These were summed up in three perspectives
    – Stakeholder
    – Organizational
    – Process




Accelerating Success   - Analysis -   acceleratorstudy.com
Stakeholder Perspective
 • Startups: contact with mentors and investors, quality
   assurance
 • Investors: due diligence, deal flow
 • Mentors: pay-it-forward, keeping up-to-date, meet
   with interesting people
 • Society: innovative environment, job creation




Accelerating Success    - Analysis -    acceleratorstudy.com
Stakeholder Pyramid




Accelerating Success   - Analysis -   acceleratorstudy.com
Organizational Perspective
 • Few employees in the organization
 • Mentors work for free
 • Business model differs, often equity-based
   with private investors but sometimes
   government or universities




Accelerating Success   - Analysis -   acceleratorstudy.com
Process Perspective




Accelerating Success   - Analysis -   acceleratorstudy.com
Conclusion Reached in Thesis
 • An accelerator act as a hub, connecting the three main
   stakeholders: mentors, investors and startups.
 • The accelerator organization consists of a few employees that run
   the day-to-day operations and facilitate the interaction between
   the stakeholders. Mentors do not receive monetary compensation
   from the accelerator.
 • The processes in an accelerator can be divided into five distinct
   phases; awareness, application, program, Demo day and post
   Demo day.
 • The accelerator accept teams based on the composition of the
   teams rather than their idea.
 • The teams in an accelerator are small consisting of two or three
   people and the team is at an early stage that require intensive
   mentoring and iteration of their idea.
 • An accelerator can be seen as a service provided to investors

Accelerating Success       - Conclusion -        acceleratorstudy.com
Thank you!

     Download a copy at
   www.acceleratorstudy.com




Accelerating Success     - The End -   acceleratorstudy.com

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Accelerating Success: A Study of Seed Accelerators

  • 1. Accelerating Success A Study of Seed Accelerators and Their Defining Characteristics May 15th, 2012 - Gothenburg, Sweden Accelerating Success - Intro - acceleratorstudy.com
  • 2. Dropbox - an Accelerated Success • Participated in Y Combinator in 2007 • Now valued at over $5 billion Accelerating Success - Intro - acceleratorstudy.com
  • 3. Outline of Presentation • Background to thesis and accelerators • Research question • Method and research design • Case studies of accelerators • Findings from research – Stakeholder Perspective – Organization Perspective – Process Perspective • Conclusion Accelerating Success - Intro - acceleratorstudy.com
  • 4. Why Study Accelerators? • Explore a new phenomena – little has been written about accelerators • Chalmers Innovation, our stakeholder, interested in the accelerator model Accelerating Success - Background - acceleratorstudy.com
  • 5. Chalmers Innovation • A business incubator and seed fund in Gothenburg, started in 1999 • Picking up new trends from Silicon Valley, Lean Startup and accelerators • Startup Spring Camp 2012 • Interest in further developing their activities related to early-stage software startups Accelerating Success - Background - acceleratorstudy.com
  • 6. Software Startups in the Past • Boo.com – an internet clothing retailer • Burnt over $125 million of venture capital in 18 months • 8 offices and over 400 employees • Launched in 18 countries simultaneously in November 1999, bankrupt in May 2000 Accelerating Success - Background - acceleratorstudy.com
  • 7. Incubators – the Predecessor of Accelerators • First incubator established in 1959 • Provides basic necessities for operating, such as office space and administrative aid • In some cases also provides access to advisors and investors Accelerating Success - Background - acceleratorstudy.com
  • 8. New Methodologies Customer Development Lean Startup Accelerating Success - Background - acceleratorstudy.com
  • 9. Decreasing Costs for Starting New Ventures • Cloud services enable instant scalability • Open source software provides cheap ready-made solutions • The huge venture capital investments not necessary at the early stage anymore Accelerating Success - Background - acceleratorstudy.com
  • 10. The First Accelerator: Y Combinator • Founded in 2005 in Silicon Valley • Today over 200 different accelerators world- wide Accelerating Success - Background - acceleratorstudy.com
  • 11. Characteristics of an Accelerator from Startup Factories • An application process that is open yet highly competitive. • Provision of pre-seed investment, usually in exchange for equity. • A focus on small teams not individuals. • Time-limited support comprising programmed events and intensive mentoring. • Startups supported in cohort batches or ‘classes’. Accelerating Success - Background - acceleratorstudy.com
  • 12. Research Question What defines a seed accelerator and which aspects are useful for Chalmers Innovation? Accelerating Success - Research Question - acceleratorstudy.com
  • 13. Method Used for Thesis • Roadmap created using secondary information from articles and blogs • Built theory from case studies on accelerators in Europe and the US • Collected material was used to form the analysis consisting of three perspectives Accelerating Success - Method - acceleratorstudy.com
  • 14. Iterative Method Used Accelerating Success - Method - acceleratorstudy.com
  • 15. Case Studies of Accelerators • American: Y Combinator and TechStars, data collected from secondary sources • European: The German Silicon Valley Accelerator, Springboard, Startupbootcamp, Nordic Startups, betaFACTORY and Startup Sauna, data collected from interviews Accelerating Success - Case Studies - acceleratorstudy.com
  • 16. Y Combinator and TechStars • Two of the first accelerators, now defining the standard of an accelerator Founded in 2005 Founded in 2007 Mountain View, California (Silicon Boulder, Colorado Valley) 6% equity 2-10% equity 6 000-18 000 USD funding 11 000 – 20 000 USD funding 9-12 teams in each batch 65 teams in last batch Accelerating Success - Case Studies - acceleratorstudy.com
  • 17. European Accelerators Founded in 2012 Founded in 2009 Founded in 2010 Berlin, Germany Cambridge, UK Copenhagen, Denmark No equity 6% equity 8% equity No seed funding £5 000 - £15 000 funding 15 000 € funding 6 teams in each batch 10 teams in each batch 10 teams in each batch Founded in 2011 Founded in 2011 Founded in 2010 Stockholm, Sweden Oslo, Norway Helsinki, Finland Not operational 6-8% equity No equity 5000 – 15 000 € funding 1500 € funding 5 teams in first batch 15 teams in each batch Accelerating Success - Case Studies - acceleratorstudy.com
  • 18. Analysis of Accelerators • The collected data was analyzed and common themes in the accelerators was triangulated • These were summed up in three perspectives – Stakeholder – Organizational – Process Accelerating Success - Analysis - acceleratorstudy.com
  • 19. Stakeholder Perspective • Startups: contact with mentors and investors, quality assurance • Investors: due diligence, deal flow • Mentors: pay-it-forward, keeping up-to-date, meet with interesting people • Society: innovative environment, job creation Accelerating Success - Analysis - acceleratorstudy.com
  • 20. Stakeholder Pyramid Accelerating Success - Analysis - acceleratorstudy.com
  • 21. Organizational Perspective • Few employees in the organization • Mentors work for free • Business model differs, often equity-based with private investors but sometimes government or universities Accelerating Success - Analysis - acceleratorstudy.com
  • 22. Process Perspective Accelerating Success - Analysis - acceleratorstudy.com
  • 23. Conclusion Reached in Thesis • An accelerator act as a hub, connecting the three main stakeholders: mentors, investors and startups. • The accelerator organization consists of a few employees that run the day-to-day operations and facilitate the interaction between the stakeholders. Mentors do not receive monetary compensation from the accelerator. • The processes in an accelerator can be divided into five distinct phases; awareness, application, program, Demo day and post Demo day. • The accelerator accept teams based on the composition of the teams rather than their idea. • The teams in an accelerator are small consisting of two or three people and the team is at an early stage that require intensive mentoring and iteration of their idea. • An accelerator can be seen as a service provided to investors Accelerating Success - Conclusion - acceleratorstudy.com
  • 24. Thank you! Download a copy at www.acceleratorstudy.com Accelerating Success - The End - acceleratorstudy.com

Editor's Notes

  1. Hej hej Kort om acceleratorer: nytt sätt att investera I och utveckla IT-startups
  2. Exempel på ett företag som gått igenom en accelerator Deltog I Y Combinator 2007 Pratas om värderingar på runt 5 miljarder dollar
  3. Såhär ser vår presentation ut idag Jag ska prata lite om bakgrunden till acceleratorer och varför vi gör detta arbete – vilket leder fram till vår frågeställning Alexander ska berätta mer om vår metod och hur vi gick tillväga för att komma in på själva studien av ett antal acceleratorer Lisa tar vår analys och vilka slutsatser vi har kommit fram till
  4. Men varför ska vi då studera acceleratorer? Först och främst är det ett nytt fenomen, väldigt lite akademiskt skrivet om dem. Vi bidrar åtminstone med 30 tusen ord och förhoppningsvis en gnutta insikter Vi har också vår externa intressent, Chalmers Innovation – KLICK -
  5. De är alltså en inkubator kopplade till Chalmers, startades 1999 – sysslar framförallt med längre forskningsbaserade projekt Plockar upp nya trender från Silicon Valley – de nya sätten att bygga IT-startups på Pilotprojekt – Startup Spring Camp 2012 – Mini accelerator Intresserade av att fortsätta utveckla dessa – och möjligen starta en egen accelerator – därav detta kandidatarbete
  6. Men för förstå vad det handlar om så tar vi ett steg tillbaka till IT-bubblan I slutet av 90-talet Boo.com försökte bygga en innovativ e-handel för kläder De lyckades bränna över 125 miljoner dollar av riskkapital på 18 månader För detta fick dom bland annat 8 stycken kontor och 400 anställda. Och detta var innan de sålt en enda produkt De lanserade sajten I 18 länder samtidigt I November 1999 och I Maj 2000 gick bolaget I konkurs Det som hände var att sajten dels inte fungerade för hälften av besökarna och dels var alldeles för krånglig,
  7. En accelerator är en typ av en inkubator En vanlig inkubator tillhandahåller kontorsutrymme, telefon, och skrivare.
  8. Olika trender – en trend är nya metodiker … Iterativa processer som bygger på att hitta kunder innan man bygger sin produkt och sedan lära utav det man bygger. Tvärt emot vad boo.com gjorde alltså.
  9. En annan trend är de minskande utvecklingskostnader – skala upp – cloud – open source – summa summarum – jätte investeringar krävs inte längre I den inledande fasen
  10. Dessa trender är vad som ledde fram till Y Combinator Tar in 65 startups på en och samma gång
  11. En rapport som beskriver dessa karaktärsdrag
  12. Upprepa RQ?