Persistent software-as-a-Service (Saas) start-ups with two male founders are among those most likely to earn a place in a tech accelerator, according to research out yesterday.

The research, published by a web portal called F6S that enables start-ups to apply for multiple accelerator programs, also revealed just how competitive accelerator programs are, with just 3.98 percent of the 62,262 applications made over the F6S platform between February 2013 to February 2014 being accepted.

It also showed that Europe and the US have some of the most competitive accelerators, with just acceptance rates of 3.67 percent and 3.78 percent respectively. Meanwhile, Australia/New Zealand accelerators are slightly easier to get into with acceptance rates of 5.38 percent, while Asia accepted 5.12 percent of applicants and South America accepted 5.09 percent applicants.

However, acceptance rates vary considerably between individual accelerators, with some accepting 0.41 percent of applicants (roughly one in 244) and others accepting just over one in two applicants (55 percent).

Start-ups that apply and successfully enter accelerators, on average, have 2.3 founders and founders that are 86.8 percent male and 13.2 percent female.

The top 10 industry areas for accepted startups are:

  • Web Applications/SaaS 36%
  • Mobile 15.3%
  • Media 12.4%
  • Marketing 12.3%
  • E-Commerce 9.2%
  • Data and Analytics 8.9%
  • Advertising 8.8%
  • Social Networking 7.6%
  • Entertainment 7.5%
  • Education 6.7%

Many successful applicants had failed multiple times before getting a place in an accelerator. Indeed, the start-ups that were accepted into an accelerator tried an average of 3.34 programs on F6S, while unsuccessful applicants tried to apply for only 1.8 programs on average.

Sean Kane, F6S co-founder, said: “These results not only provide the first global view of who gets into an accelerator, but also support key lessons we’ve learned as an ecosystem like success is a group effort and the only way to win is to fail along the way.”

F6S claims that that about 90 percent of all accelerators worldwide, including two-thirds of the top 15 programs, use the platform to take applications.