02/25/14

The (Tech) Startup Job Machine

According to Seed-DB, the excellent source of data for technology incubators and accelerators, the 191 programs they track worldwide have accelerated 3,284 companies (that's 17 companies per incubator/accelerator). These companies received an impressive total of $3,883,835,645 in funding (about $1.1m of funding per company on average) and created 13,076 jobs in the process (which comes down to four (!) jobs per company).

This is precisely why incubators are broken (from a societal perspective) - We simply need more jobs. The World Development Report 2013 published by the World Bank, states that we need to create 600 million new jobs in the next 15 years to sustain current employment rates. 13,076 jobs, created at a cost of nearly $300,000 per job just doesn't cut it.

I strongly believe that we need an entrepreneurship revolution to solve the large societal problems we face. And I see a lot of people talking about incubators and accelerators as a fundamental piece to this puzzle. And yet - current thinking clearly doesn't get us there. 13,076 jobs are not even a drop into the ocean.