The growth of impact accelerators

On Tuesday of last week, I went along to a couple of Demo Days for impact accelerator programmes in San Francisco. First up was Code for America’s Accelerator and then a little trail of investors headed straight from there to Greenstart later in the afternoon. Both were really interesting and congratulations to the teams and organisers for putting on such a great show. Just how many Demo Days there are over here (Imagine K-12′s was the previous Friday) made me realise how normal they’ve become as part of the startup ecosystem.

It also got me thinking about the reasons for the growth in these programmes – there weren’t really any social impact programmes when we did the research for the Startup Factories but there are now tens of them in the US and an increasing number in the rest of the world. This map includes co-working spaces and accelerator programmes:

I think three main reasons came through from the demo days: