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#Acceleratorfest survey report shows program mentorship, alumni support not what it should be

Hockeystick and Startupfest have revealed the results of a report that broke down what startups really think about Canadian accelerators.

Conducted in partnership with BetaKit, the study collected over 100 responses, and asked accelerator alumni to share their thoughts on the quality of mentorship, networking, and startup services they received during their time at their accelerator. While 80 percent of the study included alumni, 20 percent included non-participants, who shared their thoughts on what they would look for if applying to an accelerator.

“Just because somebody graduated…doesn’t mean they’re part of your alumni network.”

While the study does not call out any specific accelerators, it presents a helpful big picture perspective on what startups actually value when going through programs. The results were presented and discussed by Raymond Luk, Hockeystick’s founder and CEO, and BetaKit editor-in-chief Douglas Soltys during the AcceleratorFest kickoff.

Seventy-two percent of accelerator alumni rated mentorship and support as “somewhat valuable” or higher, but this number was 23 percent lower than how non-participants saw the value of mentorship. Hockeystick suggested that this means there is a gap in perceived and actual value.

“I think a big part of what’s happening is that in a lot of programs, the mentor cohort is established before the entrepreneurs are accepted,” said Luk. “Some of the entrepreneurs are saying ‘well, I’m an edtech company. There wasn’t a single edtech mentor, so I thought it was a great group of mentors, but I didn’t really get what I wanted to get.’”

Pitch preparation and networking were also viewed favourably among survey respondents, with 91 percent of grads ranking their accelerator’s pitch preparation positively, and 79 percent of grads viewing the networking aspect of their program favourable.

While office space rarely gets much attention when accelerators are…

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