An Analysis of the Business Accelerator Programs in Turkey


  • Ceren Cubukcu Informatics Department, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Sevinc Gulsecen Informatics Department, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey


accelerators, incubators, startups, digital entrepreneurship.


This paper analyses the business accelerator programs in Turkey. Business accelerators are new generations of incubation programs born especially to support technology entrepreneurs and help them reach to the next level. There are six startup accelerators in Turkey out of eighteen which fit into the criteria of accelerator programs. These are Kworks, ITU Seed, SuCool, IOT Telco Labs, Pilot and Starter’s Hub programs. All of these programs only accept technology entrepreneurs and help them grow their businesses. Using the interview method, this study provides an inside look into the models of these six programs. It provides detailed analysis about the general structure of the programs, the characteristics of the entrepreneurs in the programs, how the programs operate, information about the graduates of the programs, the mentor networks, the investment possibilities and the performance criteria of the programs. There are studies about accelerators in highly developed countries but the literature lacks information about accelerators in developing countries. Therefore, this study contributes to the literature by filling this gap.


B. Clarysse, M. Wright, and J. Van Hove. “A look inside accelerators.” London, UK.: Nesta, 2015.

N.J. Dee, F. Livesey, D. Gill, and T. Minshall. “Incubation for Growth: A review of the impact of business incubation on new ventures with high growth potential,” Nesta, 2011.

K. Walters, J. Stacey, C. Haley, and I. Roberts. “Startup Accelerator Programmes: A practice guide,” Nesta, 2014.

Y. Hochberg. “Accelerating Entrepreneurs and Ecosystems: The Seed Accelerator Model,” in Proc. National Bureau of Economic Research–16th Innovation Policy and the Economy Conference, April 14, 2015.

P. Miller, and K. Bound. “The startup factories: The rise of accelerator programmes to support new ventures.” Nesta, 2011.

S. Hackett and D. Dilts. “A Systematic Review of Business Incubation Research,” The Journal of Technology Transfer, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 55-82, 2004.

J. Bruneel, T. Ratinho, B. Clarysse and A. Groen. “The Evolution of Business Incubators: Comparing demand and supply of business incubation services across different incubator generations,” Technovation, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 110-121, 2012.

S. Wise and D. Valliere. “The Impact on Management Experience on the Performance of Start-Ups within Accelerators,” The Journal of Private Equity, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 9-19, 2014.

I. Ozkasikci. Dijital cagda girişimcilik ekosistemi [Entrepreneurship ecosystem in digital age]. 1st edition, Butik Yayincilik, Istanbul, 2013.

S. Cohen. “What Do Accelerators Do? Insights from Incubators and Angels,” Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization, vol. 8, no. 3-4, pp. 19-25, 2013.

M. Marangoz. Girisimcilikte guncel konular ve uygulamalar [Current topics and applications in entrepreneurship]. 1st edition, Inkilap Kitabevi Yayincilik, Istanbul, 2016.

S. Mian, W. Lamine and A. Fayolle. “Technology Business Incubation: An overview of the state of knowledge,” Technovation, vol. 50-51, pp. 1-12, 2016.

T. van Huijgevoort. “The ‘Business Accelerator’: Just a Different Name for a Business Incubator,” Thesis (Bachelor), Utrecht School of Economics, Utrecht, The Netherlands, 2012.

C. Pauwels, B. Clarysse, M. Wright and J. Van Hove. “Understanding a new generation incubation model: The accelerator,” Technovation, vol. 50-51, pp. 13-24, 2016.

J. Christiansen. “Copying Y Combinator: A framework for developing seed accelerator programmes,” Thesis(MBA), University of Cambridge, 2009.

P. Lehmann. “Corporate Accelerators: Characteristics and Motives,” Thesis (Masters), Copenhagen Business School, 2013.

D. Isabelle. “Key factors affecting a technology entrepreneur's choice of incubator or accelerator,” Technology innovation management review, 2013(February),16-22, 2013.

E. Salido, M. Sabás, and P. Freixas. “The accelerator and incubator ecosystem in Europe,” Telefónica Europe, 2013.

S. Cohen, and Y.V. Hochberg. “Accelerating Startups: The Seed Accelerator Phenomenon,” SSRN Electronic Journal, 2014.

“Impact Index Survey Guide,” InBia, 2016.

R. Baird, L. Bowles, and S. Lall. “Bridging the ‘Pioneer Gap’: The Role of Accelerators in Launching High-Impact Enterprises,” The Aspen Institute, 2013.

N. Dee, D. Gill, C. Weinberg and S. McTavish. “Startup support programmes: What’s the difference?,” Nesta, 2015.

E. Ries. The lean startup: How today's entrepreneurs use continuous innovation to create radically successful businesses. 1st edition, Crown Business, 2011.

R. Lalkaka, and J. Bishop. “Business incubators in economic development: an initial assessment in industrializing countries,” New York, NY: United Nations Development Programme, 1996.

J. Vanderstraeten, and P. Matthyssens. “Measuring the performance of business incubators: A critical analysis of effectiveness approaches and performance measurement systems,” in Proc. ICSB conference, Cincinnati, US, 24-27 June, 2010

E. Caley, and H. Kula. “Seeding success: Canada’s startup accelerators,” MaRS, Toronto, Canada, 2013.

R. Smilor. “Entrepreneurship: Reflections on a subversive activity”, Journal of Business Venturing, vol. 12, no. 5, pp. 341-346, 1997.

M. Gruber, I. MacMillan and J. Thompson. “Look Before You Leap: Market Opportunity Identification in Emerging Technology Firms,” Management Science, vol. 54, no. 9, pp. 1652-1665, 2008.

C. Zott and Q. Huy. “How Entrepreneurs Use Symbolic Management to Acquire Resources,” Administrative Science Quarterly, vol. 52, no. 1, pp. 70-105, 2007.

T. Ambos and J. Birkinshaw. “How Do New Ventures Evolve? An Inductive Study of Archetype Changes in Science-Based Ventures,” Organization Science, vol. 21, no. 6, pp. 1125-1140, 2010.




How to Cite

Cubukcu, C., & Gulsecen, S. (2018). An Analysis of the Business Accelerator Programs in Turkey. International Journal of Computer (IJC), 29(1), 13–32. Retrieved from