Director of Research and Impact
Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs
The Global Accelerator Learning Initiative (GALI) is a collaboration between the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) and Emory University focused on gaining a better understanding of the impact that startup accelerators are having on new firm formation and success.
GALI is made possible through the support of the Global Development Lab at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Omidyar Network, The Lemelson Foundation, and the Argidius Foundation. This public-private partnership has committed more than U.S. $2.3 million to scale the program by collecting data on more than 10,000 firms globally. In addition, the Kauffman Foundation, Banamex and Stitching DOEN have provided complementary support to the initiative.
During the past decade, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of accelerators have been launched around the world. Yet, scant research exists assessing these early-stage support vehicles or the effect they are having on business development, especially those in emerging markets.
GALI is exploring and answering key questions about business accelerators, including:
- Do accelerators contribute to revenue growth?
- Do they lead to new and better investment opportunities?
- Do they work as well for developing-world impact entrepreneurs as they do for developed-world tech entrepreneurs?
By collecting and organizing data about accelerators, GALI empowers those seeking to propel entrepreneurship-led economic growth efforts. For example, entrepreneur support program leaders are now able to make better informed, evidence-based decisions about the design and execution of accelerator programs.
The GALI dataset also enables entrepreneurship researchers around the world to undertake more in-depth studies at the intersection of entrepreneurial ecosystem development, market-dynamics, and public-sector support efforts – adding to the body of knowledge around what works and what does not in terms of fostering entrepreneurial ventures.
For a list of publications analyzing GALI data, please visit the GALI publications site.
The program collects data from an accelerator’s entire applicant pool, and then conducts follow-on surveys every six months of the entire applicant pool (both those who are selected and those who are not). Key benefits for participating accelerators include:
- Statistical intake analysis of the applicant pool – useful for determining whether the accelerator is attracting the right kinds of entrepreneurs.
- Analysis of selected vs. unselected entrepreneurs – comparing the characteristics of accepted entrepreneurs against those who are not accepted, which is useful for revealing (or confirming) selection biases.
- Follow-up surveying every six months – to obtain data on specific variables and measure specific impact metrics.
- Comparative analysis of the changes in the selected group of entrepreneurs against those that applied but were not accepted – useful for understanding the impact an accelerator program has on participating entrepreneurs.
- Financial incentives for participating entrepreneurs – all entrepreneurs who agree to share their data are entered into a draw (every six months) for a U.S. $5,000 grant.
- Regional/multi-accelerator analysis – comparing applicant pools and program impacts from one program to other programs within the dataset (for accelerators with more than one location or program per year).
The program is free of charge to accelerators, and the platform is designed to build better programming over time. Data privacy is a critical consideration – analysis is based on anonymized and aggregated data and no information that may be used to identify an individual entrepreneur or accelerator is ever shared without explicit permission. More information about the initiative is available in the program process guide, and guidelines for accelerators are provided below.
The Global Accelerator Learning Initiative (GALI) is a partnership formed to study the impact of acceleration programs on early stage businesses. As part of this initiative, Emory University manages the Entrepreneurship Database Program (EDP), which helps accelerators track the impact they are having on the businesses they support.
EDP integrates a set of questions in the application phase for an in-depth look at all the businesses applying for the program. EDP transforms this application data into a concise report and returns it to partner accelerators for use. The reports serve as feedback to key decision makers during the application process and for discussions about the future format of the program. The EDP Team is available to provide support and in-depth analysis of the results of the reports.
EDP does annual follow-up on ALL the ventures that have applied for the program. EDP transforms the follow-up data into concise reports comparing and contrasting the program cohort versus those who applied but were not selected. EDP reports can demonstrate value to potential candidates and the community, attract potential mentors or partners to the programs, and attract potential investors.
EDP serves as a reputable external organization, whose reports can be used for grant proposals, impact assessment and reporting. Privacy and data security are our top priority. Reports from partner accelerators are shared only with the partner. Industry-level reports are produced with anonymous data sets. EDP does not provide any sort of acceleration rankings or comparisons.
- Allow EDP to integrate a questionnaire into the program application process.
- Notify EDP of which businesses are selected for the cohort, which ventures actually participated in the cohort and which ended up fulfilling all of the requirements of the program.
- Ensure that 100% of selected entrepreneurs completed the EDP questionnaire.
- Program manager completes a short questionnaire on key program details for EDP.
- Signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the expectations of the partnership.
Benefits for Accelerators:
- Application Report
- Follow-up Report
- Raw data
- Contribute to global database and search for acceleration trends
- Financial Incentives for Entrepreneurs. All entrepreneurs who complete the application research and / or follow-up of EDP are eligible for one of the eight $5,000 awards paid by Emory University.
$0 - There is no cost to partner with EDP
The more accelerators that participate in this effort the better. Please contact Brent Ruth at Emory University (email@example.com) if you are an accelerator program director or manager interested in partnering with GALI.