Mentorship Processes within Startup Accelerators

21 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2019

See all articles by Gil Avnimelech

Gil Avnimelech

Ono Academic College

Eyal Rechter

Ono Academic College

Date Written: March 28, 2019

Abstract

The last decade has seen the development of a new support infrastructure in the entrepreneurial ecosystem: the startup accelerator. Accelerators offer a structured developmental process that includes an educational component, a bundle of networks and intensive mentorship.

Despite the central place of mentoring in accelerators, current evaluation studies do not explicitly include its contribution to programs’ impact. Moreover, there are no comprehensive descriptions of mentor types, roles and practices within accelerators, and how these should be integrated in their operation. This paper aims to fill this gap in the literature by presenting a comprehensive description and classification of mentors in accelerators and their roles, goals, characteristics and practices. Building on these characteristics, we suggest best practices in terms of mentoring style and mentor-mentee fit. Our review and suggestions are based on 64 in-depth interviews with accelerator managers, mentors, entrepreneurs and key agents that participated in accelerator programs in Israel during the years 2011-2018. It is also based on the open sections of structured interviews we conducted with over 300 entrepreneurs and 150 mentors that participated in accelerators in Israel. We believe this study has important implications for practitioners, researchers in the field and policy makers.

Keywords: accelerator; mentorship; entrepreneurship; startup; ecosystem

JEL Classification: L26; L31; M13; G24

Suggested Citation

Avnimelech, Gil and Rechter, Eyal, Mentorship Processes within Startup Accelerators (March 28, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3361638 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3361638

Gil Avnimelech (Contact Author)

Ono Academic College ( email )

Tzahal Street 104
Kiryat Ono, 55000
Israel

Eyal Rechter

Ono Academic College ( email )

Tzahal Street 104
Kiryat Ono, 55000
Israel

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