If you have ever been hired in the US you know that your future employer typically performs a reference check on you — in the process they will speak with former colleagues, bosses and subordinates of yours.
It’s funny how this is typical and normal behavior — and when it comes to our startups we somehow forget to do the same. Not necessarily with hiring people, but with all the other (and often even more important) decisions; such as applying for an accelerator. I know countless entrepreneurs who applied for a specific accelerator without ever talking to any of the companies which went through the program before. Same goes for investors — every day an entrepreneur gets funding from an angel or institutional investor without checking any references.
I believe it’s extremely short-sighted to not do your due diligence and talk to the people who know best — the ones who were in your shoes before and can tell you what it’s like to join accelerator X, get money from investor Y or work with company Z.
Don’t be shy (or a fool) and do your homework!
P.S. From an investors perspective and someone who runs an accelerator — you gain significant respect from me when you show me that you’re doing your due diligence.