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Selection Criteria

We are searching for entrepreneurs that have the passion and drive to make a positive difference.

Our selection criteria can be summarized in 3 main categories:

1. The Entrepreneur


Entrepreneurs from our 2013 Accelerator discuss their business plan while at the Entrepreneur Retreat in Managua, Nicaragua.

Key characteristics include:

  • Dedication to a social mission or cause
  • Passion and drive for his or her business
  • Leadership and the ability to execute
  • A clear vision of growth for the business
  • Perseverance

2. The Business

We evaluate the business from an investor’s perspective. Our primary areas of focus include the managing team, the product and/or services, the market, competition, and financial return.

3. The Impact

We look for entrepreneurs that integrate clear, sustainable, and measurable impact into their business model. Our vision of impact is inspired by Michael’s Porter’s concept of shared value. We search for early-stage businesses that create value for all internal and external stakeholders, and unleash their talent to generate sustainable value for society while developing a competitive advantage.


Accelerator entrepreneurs are committed to creating shared value through their businesses.


  • Operations are based in Latin America
  • Early-stage social business with a proven product or market (client base, revenue, and enough working capital  – or investors – to begin growing operations)
  • The potential to grow at a rate of 20% per year for three years (sales)
  • Financial capital needs within the next 6-18 months (starting at $100,000)
  • Basic accounting and bookkeeping (accounting system in place, legally registered, and some types of financial statements)

Common Applicant Profile

On average, those companies that are selected to participate in the Agora Accelerator generate revenue between US$100,000 and US$1,000,000, and are seeking capital from investors for the first time. These social businesses come from a broad range of industries and make different types of social, economic, and/or environmental impact such as empowering artisans from the base of the pyramid or increasing the distribution of clean drinkable water to low income families.


Entrepreneurs work closely with Agora staff throughout the Accelerator program.

Once accepted into the program, a certain level of commitment is necessary on the part of the entrepreneur in order to accelerate the impact company to its peak potential. Participating entrepreneurs agree to the following, when needed:

  • weekly calls with our portfolio managers
  • regular email exchanges
  • an average of three to five hours a week to the program
  • providing updated data for at least another three years. These metrics are essential for us to be able to track the results of our program accurately, and enable us to celebrate and showcase your achievements through our networks.