The goal of the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project (SARP), now in its fifth year, is to encourage a larger conversation and research about the seed accelerator phenomenon, its effects, and its prospects for the future. The last five years have seen the emergence of hundreds of groups titling themselves ‘accelerator.’ But not all such programs meet the definition of accelerator, and even for those that do, there are often significant differences in program structure and goals. For an entrepreneur considering an accelerator program, finding data regarding the performance of programs is difficult, and there is much confusion and debate regarding how ‘performance’ should be measured for an accelerator.
The goal of our project is to provide greater transparency regarding the relative performance of programs along multiple dimensions that may be of importance to entrepreneurs. Many of the metrics in question, such as fundraising and valuations, are metrics accelerators and startups are reluctant to publicize out of concern for negative competitive effects should they become widely known to investors and competitors. As an independent, non-partisan research entity run by academics, we collect this sensitive data in confidence, distill it down, and provide information on the relative success of the programs and of the phenomenon as a whole – without revealing individual deal details. Our rankings are meant to provide guidance for entrepreneurs who are considering going through an accelerator, and who are wondering how they differ on performance across various categories.
In 2017, R/GA Ventures received a GOLD ranking.