Corporate Accelerators (CA) is a recent but rapidly growing phenomenon. The few academic studies on the topic are largely descriptive and assume CA to be similar to independent startup accelerators or seed accelerators which are defined as “fixed-term, cohort-based programs, including mentorship and educational components that culminates in a public pitch event, often referred to as demo-day.” But there is a strong and growing belief that CA is different from independent startup accelerators. There is also limited understanding on the process perspective of acceleration at large and CA in specific. While the benefits of acceleration on startups remains mixed, how it impacts the corporation is understudied. Research will benefit from exploring the underlying motives behind corporations running CA programs, their manifestations and resulting benefits (if any).

In this paper we explore the following research questions: (a) why do some organizations create corporate accelerators? (b) How are corporate acceleration programs organized and run and (c) to what effect?