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How design thinking help us to select startups for the acceleration period?

Navid Mohammadi (University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran)
Maysam Shafiee (College of Farabi, Department of Management, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran)

Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies

ISSN: 2053-4604

Article publication date: 7 September 2021

Issue publication date: 1 December 2022




To avoid wastage of resources of a startup accelerator, this paper aims to present a model for accelerator managers’ decision-making to enter startups into acceleration and initial capitalization using a fuzzy Delphi approach and an affinity diagram is one of the design thinking tools.


The high failure rate of startups has led to a waste of resources and a lot of capital. This failure rate is much higher in the early stages of startups and subsequently higher risk. This is where startup accelerators play a role in supporting startups and provide startups with the capital needed to accelerate. The point to note at this point is that choosing the team with the lowest success potential by the accelerators will eliminate their capital and energy. The purpose of this research is to avoid this wastage.


In this research, using the Fuzzy Delphi method and aggregation of opinions of 5 experts and managers of the acceleration field, additional criteria were eliminated and 35 criteria were considered as final criteria of the evaluation model. In the final stage, a 10-member committee of managers, specialists and faculty members was formed and the criteria were grouped using the affinity diagram method. Finally, the final model was presented considering the components of a business plan.


Using design thinking methods and a combination of that with a fuzzy and quantitative method is one of the contributions of this research. Also, making a model for selection startups in the acceleration stage of fundraising is another value of this research.



Mohammadi, N. and Shafiee, M. (2022), "How design thinking help us to select startups for the acceleration period?", Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, Vol. 14 No. 6, pp. 1353-1368.



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