Business Accreditation


GInI's Businesses Accreditation Program awards six different  accreditations to businesses. Four of these involve a comprehensive  assessment process conducted by GInI Authorized Innovation Assessors  (AInAs). The other two involve an application process, one of which must  be attested by a GInI Authorized Innovation Assessor (AInA)®. These six  accreditations are:

Accredited Accelerator Program (AAP)®

Accreditation of an Accelerator Program by GInI assures all affected stakeholders that this Program has been thoroughly assessed, and that its design and operation therefore conform to GInI’s strict accreditation standards. No other organization prescribes this same level of accreditation standard for Accelerator Programs as does GInI. Accreditation by GInI is therefore the global standard of accreditation for Accelerator Programs.

The world as we know it is changing at an unprecedented pace. As we enter into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, countless new world-changing technologies are being developed and put to use for a wide range of new purposes. In many cases this is changing not only the products and services we consume, but also how our societies operate. For businesses, this opens up a whole new world of opportunity, not only for new offerings, but also for completely new business models that never existed before. And so the time is ripe for new entrepreneurial ventures to rise up – ventures prepared to deliver these fresh new business models and value propositions that stand to move us from the world of yesterday and today into the world of tomorrow. But in order for this to happen, the world needs resources capable of accelerating these nascent young ventures rapidly forward. We need Business Accelerators capable of giving these ventures the knowledge, resources, and leads they need to start life on solid ground and move quickly.

Yet how does one ensure that a given Business Accelerator has the capabilities, resources, and connections needed to get these new ventures up and running in a lean, agile, and effective manner? What indicators are there that a particular Accelerator has what it takes to succeed in getting new business ventures launched, operational, and on their way to scale? For this, a credible and reliable accreditation standard is required.

Yet how does one ensure that a given Business Incubator has the necessary resources and capabilities it needs to get these new ventures off the ground in a robust and effective manner? What indicators are there that a particular Incubator has what it takes to succeed in getting new business ventures launched, operational, and eventually profitable? For this, a credible and reliable accreditation standard is required.

The GInI Accelerator Program Accreditation is such a credible and reliable accreditation standard – a means by which leaders the world over can develop confidence in the design, operation, and capabilities of their Accelerators. The GInI Accelerator Program Accreditation stands alone as the only such standard in the world, setting the benchmark against which all world-class Accelerators are to be measured. GInI awards three levels of accreditation for Accelerator Programs. Each of these represents an increasing level of impact the Accelerator Program produces for its cohorts, and an increasing level of financial return it delivers to its operating organization. These three levels are:

1) Basic.

2) Advanced.

3) Premium.

What Organizations Should Apply?


Any organization operating a dedicated Accelerator Program, whether private, corporate, university, or otherwise.
Confidence that the design, operation, and capabilities of their Accelerator are fully optimized. Affirmation of the operating organization’s ongoing commitment to entrepreneurship and the regional impact this offers. Peer recognition for achievement to a globally-recognized benchmark standard.
Compliance Demonstration

To obtain GInI Accreditation, an Accelerator Program must be able to demonstrate full compliance to GInI’s Accelerator Program accreditation requirements.

Compliance to these requirements is established through an independent third-party assessment carried out by GInI’s Authorized Innovation Assessors (AInAs) working under the direction of a GInI Authorized Innovation Provider (AInP). This assessment is conducted live on site at the Accelerator’s base of operations using GInI’s Accelerator Program Accreditation Assessment Tool (AxPAAT), after which the Assessors submit a summary report (the Accelerator Program Accreditation Assessment Report, or AxPAAR) to GInI for final determination of accreditation status.

The Assessment Process

Organizations wishing to secure accreditation of their Accelerator Program would take the following steps to have the on-site assessment conducted.

  1. They will first identify and retain a GInI Authorized Innovation Provider (AInP) of their choosing to coordinate and oversee the overall assessment process.

  2. This AInP will then retain two independent GInI Authorized Innovation Assessors (AInAs) to conduct the on-site assessment of the Accelerator.

  3. Upon the scheduled date, these two GInI AInAs® will visit the Accelerator and conduct a live on-site walking assessment of the Accelerator. In the process of working through the assessment questions the Assessors will tour throughout the Accelerator’s base of operations. The management and performance sections of the assessment will be conducted with both the operating organization’s leadership and the Accelerator’s management and staff. The five resource sections of the assessment will involve the Assessors engaging select Accelerator cohort teams in order to ensure their answers agree with those of the operating organization’s leadership.

    The Accelerator Program Assessment is done using GInI’s Accelerator Program Accreditation Assessment Tool (AxPAAT), which is comprised of 56 questions focused on the following seven core areas:

    1. The Accelerator’s Management Practices

    2. The Accelerator’s People Resources

    3. The Accelerator’s Ecosystem Resources

    4. The Accelerator’s Community Resources

    5. The Accelerator’s Public Relations Resources

    6. The Accelerator’s Facilities Resources

    7. The Accelerator’s Historical Performance Results.

    These seven areas examine a number of critical areas for the Accelerator, including the following:

    • Profile of the Accelerator and Operating Organization – Eight informational questions.

    • Operating Context – Nine informational questions.

    • Accelerator Management – Four assessment questions.

    • People Resources – Ten assessment questions.

    • Ecosystem Resources – Eight assessment questions.

    • Community Resources – Eight assessment questions.

    • Public Relations Resources – Six assessment questions.

    • Facilities Resources – Nine assessment questions.

    • Historical Performance Results – Eleven assessment questions.

    • Organization’s Target Scores – Used to record the operating organization’s target scores– if established.

    • Comments – Assessors record additional details here to add value to the assessment.

    • Score Calculation – Used to record subsection average scores, subsection weighted scores, and overall score.

    Assessing these factors allows GInI to establish that the Accelerator is in fact of the caliber and quality needed to bear the GInI accreditation.

    So that the operating organization might properly prepare for the assessment ahead of time, it will be supplied with the AxPAAT questions prior to conducting the formal assessment. This allows the organization to prepare clear evidence of its answers to each of the questions addressed.

  4. Once the two Assessors have completed this assessment process, they will then compile a standardized final report – the GInI Accelerator Program Accreditation Assessment Report (AxPAAR) – and submit to GInI for review.

  5. GInI will then review the Assessors’ findings, as documented in the AxPAAR, and based on these findings will make its final determination of whether or not the Accelerator Program satisfies all of its requirements for accreditation.

  6. GInI will subsequently notify the applying organization and their AInP of their determination (pass or fail) and provide both parties with a copy of the Assessment Report.


The bi-annual maintenance fee to maintain GInI Accelerator Program Accreditation is 3,500 USD to be paid every two years upon re-assessment.

The initial fee for the GInI Accelerator Program Accreditation is 3,500 USD.
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GInI – 38 West Fulton, Suite 400, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503, United States – gini@gini.org – Ph: +1 877 276 7701