Innovation: Accelerating What? Assessing Investments in Entrepreneurship

A Hometown Summit event.

Seed accelerators, also known as startup incubators, are generally fixed-term, cohort-based programs, that include mentorship and educational components and culminate in a public pitch event or demo day. According to a 2016 Brookings Institution report, America is home to more than 700 self-declared startup launch programs. Many small cities regard these programs as key ingredients in their economic development strategies, but it is not clear what curricula, culture, or  structures yield viable businesses, nor how different entrepreneurial programs suit the needs of particular communities. This session will explore best practices for accelerators in small cities; what kinds of funding models are most appropriate within different community contexts; and, critically, who these programs are designed to serve.

Founding Partners