The first accelerators started in 2005, they gained popularity among start-up founders and
researchers just recently. The number of different accelerators in number and form has grown
significantly all around the word. The accelerators provide help to start-up founder who try to
create successful businesses by funding, networking, mentoring and supporting and
infrastructure. The objective of this research is finding the motives of the start-up founders
while they are choosing an accelerator program. The emergence of this objective in recent
literature, combined with the scarcity in this field of literature, implies that there is a need to
explore the motives of start-up founders.
By exploring three different cases: start-up founders that have participated in a private
accelerator program, start-up founders that have participated in a public accelerator program
and stat-up founders that have not taken part in an accelerator program have been examined.
Subsequently an explorative research has been done with twelve respondents based in the
Netherlands. These interviews are transcripted and analysed with the inductive data analysis
from Gioia (2013). First a within case analysis was achieved to test whether there is
correspondence in motives. Thereafter, a cross case analysis is performed to search for
similarities and differences in motives between the cases.
The results out of this research imply that there are differences in motives between
start-up founders that participated in a public accelerator program and a private accelerator
program. The start-up founders in a private program base their motives on their feeling,
strategic decision and acknowledgement of the program. While, start-up founders in a public
accelerator program base their motives on the network that comes with the program and the
acquisition of knowledge.