How effective are accelerators in the impact domain?
Wintersemester 2020 - Social Impact Award
Impact Hub Vienna was founded in 2010 and is part of a global network of over 110 Impact Hubs worldwide, comprising of 16.000+ social innovators working on solutions to pressing global issues. This project’s focus was Impact Hub’s start-up accelerator program RE:WIEN, which supports start-ups that are trying to create a positive impact on the city of Vienna and its residents. It is supported by Impact Hub partners OekoBusiness Wien and the Hil-Foundation and takes place over the span of six months, during which workshops and business as well as expert coaching sessions are made available to the participants.
The goal of this project was the measurement of the impact of RE:WIEN. The main focal points for this analysis were the program’s effects on its participants compared to non-participants as well as the respective ventures’ impact on society and the environment.
First, secondary research on 54 participants and 75 non-participants was conducted. Quantitative as well as qualitative data on these ventures was collected through detailed research on the Austrian Business Compass, Aurelia and the various ventures’ online presence. The main part of the research consisted of over 20 interviews with participants of the program. These interviews provided the team with quantitively assessable data as well as stories and in-depth explanations. Following the analysis, recommendations and suggestions for the improvement of future editions of the program were devised.
The research has shown that the survival rate of participants is as high as 70 percent, whereas it only amounts to 32 percent for non-participants, highlighting the outstanding ability of RE:WIEN to select and support impact-oriented ventures. Participating ventures reported very high satisfaction with the program on average.
After a thorough analysis of the interview findings, recommendations were created and split up into three main categories – namely „community“, “organization“ and „curriculum“. These suggestions include ensuring a certain homogeneity amongst each cohort, considering conducting the program in German instead of English, and tailoring the program even further to the participants’ individual needs. Overall, it can be concluded that RE:WIEN is a successful program with a bright future ahead that helps ventures in achieving their goals.
Impact Hub Vienna GmbH
Lindengasse 56, 18-19
Dr. Peter Vandor