Business accelerators have increasingly become a springboard learning mechanism for early-stage new ventures. The study has investigated the relationship between pre-entry knowledge and expertise of new ventures and their learning process, as related to the venture’s success upon graduation and up to two years after graduation.
Data were collected from eleven cohorts of early-stage new ventures participating in an Israeli accelerator with five branches around the country, at four time points: At the beginning of each cohort, in the middle of the accelerator program, at the end of the program, and up to two years after graduation.
Our findings suggest that for very early-stage new ventures participating in accelerators, the pre-entry core product knowledge is a key contributor to the ventures’ success upon graduation and up to two years after graduation. Additionally, tailored-made experiential learning with mentors seems to contribute to those with pre-entry solid core product knowledge and expertise.