What I’ve been working on recently…

I know it’s been a bit quiet here on Mercury’s Blog for a few months. Over the past year I’ve been studying at Cambridge University for my MBA, and this summer I undertook a research project around Y Combinator.

Y Combinator is a very unique seed accelerator program. Startup companies get ~$15–20k in funding in return for ~6% equity, three months of intensive business and product advice, connections to mentors and potential advisors. Inkling Markets was in the second cohort of Y Combinator funded companies, for example.

My hypothesis was that a lot of people/organizations are starting seed accelerators without really examining the full scope of innovations they need to think about in order to achieve their goals. I wanted to take the opportunity to look into why entrepreneurs choose to go into a seed accelerator, why individuals choose to start a seed accelerator, and then propose a framework for designing new programs.

You can click here to view the post on my personal blog that has a bit longer executive summary. But I’ve embedded the paper and data sources below. I hope you find it interesting.

Copying Y Combinator

Appendix A — List of Seed Accelerators

Click here to view the list of seed accelerators. Only seed accelerator programs are listed; see main paper for details.

Appendix B — Example Seed Accelerator financial model

Appendix C — List of all companies founded by Seed Accelerators


Click here to view the list via Google Docs.