Self-Accelerating Startups

Is collective bootstrapping with peer selection an effective and scalable model to promote grassroots entrepreneurship? How does it compare with traditional low-cost approaches such as self-learning MOOCs, group commitment devices and participation in startup meetups?

This RCT will pilot Self-Accelerated Startups (SAS), a new peer-selection based entrepreneurship support model for idea-stage companies and student startups that use collective bootstrapping on the lines of self-help groups in the social sector. In this model, prospective entrepreneurs meet regularly in groups for a pre-defined mentorship period and make small monthly contributions to a “seed fund”.

At the end of this phase, the self-mobilised corpus is awarded as startup capital to one or two members by the rest of the peer group in return for equity in these startups. The effectiveness of SAS groups in stimulating entrepreneurship will be evaluated with an RCT that compares it with other popular treatments such as enrolment in self-paced MOOCs, goal setting through commitment contracts and increased startup networking opportunities.