How to choose an accelerator?

This morning I received a call from an entrepreneur I assisted during Covid-19, asking for my recommendation for an accelerator in Israel. We've been in contact regarding questions that arose, concerns, doubts or decisions that needed to be made. Each time we spoke I helped him, providing additional tools and angles, all pro-bono, of course.

I said, to tell you the truth, I work as a mentor with Techstars Tel Aviv Accelerator, one of the largest, leading accelerators in the world (as well as working with four other organizations). Of course, I'd also be glad to listen and give you my opinion, as always.

The entrepreneur presented me with two accelerator options. The first seemed much more focused and appropriate for his content and specialization, with great potential for partnership, de facto familiarization with the market (both local and global); in short- a great home-base, though lacking the commitment offered by the second accelerator to invest against equity.

Given that I don't love to put the cart before the horse (I do use gut feelings, but only to a degree), I suggested comparing apples to apples and then making an informed decision.

Points to examine/consider:

  1. When is the next cohort opening?

  2. Is there a selection process?

  3. Are there minimum requirements, i.e. a ready MVP?

  4. Is there minimum pre-seed initial recruitment?

  5. How long does each cycle last?

  6. Can you spare the time and resources to delve into a long, often exhausting process of 2-3 months?

  7. Accelerator recruitment successes?

  8. Mentor and accelerator management experience? Ask to speak with one or two mentors.

  9. Is the accelerator carried out in English or Hebrew and is this an obstacle?

  10. Accessibility/ traffic jams?

After answering all the questions, the picture will be clearer and decision making much simpler.

Which other questions would you add to the list?

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