Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Janet Smith

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Rights Information

© 2013 Cody Chang


The explosive growth of ‘accelerators’ in the United States has given entrepreneurs and their startups the opportunity to pursue seed-stage financing. While the specific economic role of accelerators remains unclear, a study comparing the selection of portfolio companies between accelerators and venture capitalists was performed. A difference of means was performed on the responses per question between the collected 19 accelerators’ response and the 100 venture capitalists’ response, recorded from a prior study. It is found that venture capitalists place significantly more weight, than accelerators, on the potential of the startup’s product or service to be proprietary, to enter a high-growth market with little threat of competition within the first 3 years, and to deliver a high financial return within 5 to 10 years. The results also indicate that both accelerators and venture capitalists emphasize different attributes of the entrepreneur and venture team when considering selection.