Purpose: Business accelerators have recently received increasing attention as important cogs in business ecosystem development. However, their exact role in the ecosystem is not yet well known, especially outside the IT sector. The purpose of this study is, therefore, twofold: to determine the position of life science accelerators in the business ecosystem and the attributes of support for companies and to identify key features of the life science accelerators that contribute to the change in business ecosystems. Design/methodology/approach: The authors offer an exploratory case study of five life science business accelerators and analyze the main factors affecting the companies and the whole business ecosystem. The authors build upon the scarce literature on business accelerators and consider a new type of accelerator that specializes in life science projects and study its role in the transformation and evolution of the life science industry. Findings: The authors have defined the role and key parameters of life science accelerators that influence the existing business ecosystems: (1) cooperation with other regions and countries, (2) development of entrepreneurial skills among participants of the business accelerators program and (3) a project on demand-based approach. Originality/value: The key parameters of the life science accelerators allow to concentrate these efforts on the activities that are most demanded by the market. Business accelerators can increase the created value for other program participants.