Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date




Publication Title

Academy of Management Proceedings






14274 (1-28)

Conference Name

2021 Academy of Management Annual Meeting, July 29, 2021- August 4, 2021, Virtual.


Drawing on signaling theory, we aid in the identification of the rarely acknowledged impact of business owner’s features on acceptance to accelerator programs. Using a multi-national sample of 10,298 observations for startups in 166 countries over 2016-2018, we show that accelerators do not evaluate applicants uniformly. We find that entrepreneurs from developing countries are less likely to be accepted by accelerators than entrepreneurs from developed economies. Counterintuitively, we also find an advantage for female entrepreneurs in accelerator acceptance. Further, our results suggest a positive impact of education. Accelerators are a growing provider of entrepreneurial resources and a main driver of growth and innovativeness. Despite the extant literature demonstrating the benefits of accelerators, determinants of acceptance to these programs, particularly at the individual level, are underexplored. Here, we extend entrepreneurship literature and show some sources of variation in access to international accelerator programs. Our comparative study enhances business owners’ insight for application to entrepreneurial resources.


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This is the Author's Original Manuscript of a conference paper published in Academy of Management Proceedings.

Original Publication Citation

Ermilina, V., Farrell, M., & Askarzadeh, F. (2021). Digging into selection criteria for accelerator acceptance: What kind of owners are more attractive? Academy of Management Proceedings, 2021(1), 1-27, Article 14274.