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Michael Leatherbee and Juanita Gonzalez-Uribe

This chapter by Michael Leatherbee and Juanita Gonzalez-Uribe addresses issues relating to the selection of entrepreneurs and their ventures for entry into accelerators. Commonly, accelerators select start-ups among a broader group of applicants. The assumption is that through the selection process, accelerators are able to discriminate between high- and low-potential start-ups. Thus, the expectation is that accelerators are an effective medium for capturing the upside potential of the select few start-ups that promise to deliver the highest value in the future. That upside potential may be materialized through attractive equity investments or increased socio-economic development, depending on the mission of the accelerator. Typically, the selection process relies on a set of objective criteria predetermined by the accelerator, which are applied by one or more entrepreneurship experts who act as judges or evaluators of the applicant pool. First the authors describe the different selection stages and methods typically managed by business accelerators. They then go on to explore the multiple important issues that must be taken into account when designing and managing selection processes. Comprehending these issues may help to understand the challenges and limitations of current selection methods, and to avoid potential pitfalls and unintended consequences.

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Michael Leatherbee and Juanita Gonzalez-Uribe

This chapter by Michael Leatherbee and Juanita Gonzalez-Uribe examines KPIs in accelerators. KPIs can help gauge the health and progress of business accelerators. Their use is fundamental for learning how to improve organizational and programmatic effectiveness, and for building a data-driven shield from program skeptics. However, figuring out which indicators are best, how to develop them and what phenomenon they are actually reflecting is a non-trivial exercise. The authors provide an overview of different KPIs that can be used by accelerator stakeholders. By explaining their value, limitations, methods of construction and potential pitfalls, they aim to provide accelerator stakeholders with a toolkit for building an effective KPI dashboard.