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Accelerator Research

Global Accelerator Learning Initiative (GALI)

Press Release - Announcing a New Partnership 

ANDE is excited to announce a $2.3 million investment in the Global Accelerator Learning Initiative! The program partners, including the US Global Development Lab at the U.S. Agency for International Development, Omidyar Network, The Lemelson Foundation, and the Argidius Foundation, are eager to examine the effectiveness of accelerators over the course of the next three years. To learn more about the partnership, please read the press release



Institutions funding global development are excited about the potential of accelerators to transform start-ups into industry leading companies, but rigorous research on the effectiveness of acceleration methods has not kept pace with the proliferation of these programs. There are hundreds of accelerators around the world trying to grow early-stage ventures into growing businesses with the potential to scale. Investors, development agencies, and governments are excited by the prospects of these models to spur innovation, solve social problems, and increase employment opportunities in emerging economies.

The Global Accelerator Learning Initiative (GALI), a collaboration between ANDE and Emory University, is designed to explore – and answer - key questions about enterprise acceleration including: Do acceleration programs contribute to revenue growth? Do they help companies attract investment? Do they work as well for developing-world impact entrepreneurs as they do for developed-world tech entrepreneurs? 

This work is comprised of two complementary research programs:

  1. The first is a global market assessment of accelerators, combined with regular surveying and website research, conducted by ANDE to understand who these accelerator programs are, where they are located, and how they are structured. 
  2. The second component is the Entrepreneurship Database, based at Emory University. The program partners with accelerators directly, integrating a core set of questions into the application processes for these programs. Then, it surveys all the entrepreneurs who apply to these programs at six-month intervals, including those who are not accelerated. This allows for a deep understanding of how accelerators affect the growth of entrepreneurs over time. 

Complementary support for the initiative has been provided by the Kauffman Foundation, Stichting DOEN, and Citibanamex.  

This research has been conducted in association with the Global Entrepreneurship Research Network. GERN is a working coalition of institutions funding research as a tool in realizing the full potential of entrepreneurship to create inclusive prosperity on a global scale. Its objectives are to develop a next generation of entrepreneurship research, share lessons and knowledge and establish open, standardized data resources.





All GALI-related publications can now be found in the Publications Library

This includes:


Disrupt Africa
Study Finds Accelerators Have Positive Impact on Investment
March 30, 2016

A New Accelerator Report Suggests that Independent Work Is Most Effective
March 28, 2016

Devex Impact
New Insights on What Makes Emerging Market Entrepreneurship Accelerators Work
March 28, 2016

Demystifying Accelerators
October 8, 2015

Devex Impact
When are incubators and accelerators effective? Hint: We may not know yet
September 14, 2015

$2.3M Partnership Will Study Startup Accelerators, Especially in Emerging Markets
July 28, 2015

Inside Philanthropy
As Business Accelerators Spread Globally, These Funders Want More Data 
July 29, 2015

Wall Street Journal
Do Accelerators Work? Maybe.
April 10, 2015

MIT Innovations Journal
Incubators Are Popping Up Like Wildflowers...But Do They Actually Work?
October 2013



We offer accelerator partners we work with free analysis of their cohorts over time. To learn more about what we offer, check out our benefits guide.  For a detailed description of how we interact with our accelerator partners, visit

What we offer. Our program conducts a baseline survey, and follow-on surveys of the entire applicant pool (both those who are selected for your program and those who are not selected) every six months. In return, we offer analysis on how your cohort performs over time, which can be useful for measurement and evaluation, to drive strategy, or to report to investors. 

Who we work with? We are agnostic as to what your program is called– we have worked with “accelerators”, “incubators”, “fellowship programs” and other similar programs.

What about data privacy? Our program is based out of Emory University, and is bound by guidelines to never (without explicit permission) reveal information that can be used to identify individual entrepreneurs. This means that we will not sell your data, or present to others any specific information that might be used to “steal an idea” from an entrepreneur. 

What we ask of you. Our program is free; there is no financial cost to the entrepreneurs, accelerators or researchers involved. We are designing our platform to be a service to the sector, with the goal of helping accelerators understand their entrepreneurs, and their impacts, so that they can build better programming. 

Express your interest in joining the Entrepreneurship Database Program >

for researchers


Our program was designed to help the sector answer big questions about entrepreneurship and acceleration. If you are a university or industry researcher and would like to use our data to answer your own questions, we are happy to share anonymized datasets with you. These data are free to qualifying researchers.

Updated versions of the anonymized application dataset are released in the first quarter of each year. In the future, we plan to also release files containing the follow-up data.  

Request Anonymized Data >