How valuable is the accelerator experience for startups?

VentureBeat has coverage of a study done that seeks to quantify the value of joining an accelerator program like the HTRLaunchPad and it makes a pretty compelling argument for their value:

“Direct involvement may be the most important factor, even if it cannot be easily quantified. A 2007 Kauffman study found that angel investors can get outsized returns if they offer a high level of diligence and direct involvement. Thus, we think its critical that entrepreneurs and VCs consider an accelerator by whether its leadership has done their homework on their prosective members’ underlying markets, and by whether they have teams ready to dedicate time and resources to help their business.”

And

 “Based on these historical results, we found that companies in accelerator graduating classes from before December 2009 returned 11.3x on capital invested. These are fantastic returns for entrepreneurs, VCs, and accelerators.”

Bear in mind that the programs studied typically took an equity position of 6-9% in exchange for an investment of $15-20k. The numbers also reflect a couple of huge gainers (AirBnB, Dropbox). We don’t currently take equity positions in our startups.