The EDUCATE research-based accelerator employs academic mentors to support entrepreneurs to use research in the development of educational technology. Mentorship is a common feature of business accelerators, yet only a few empirical studies have shown or analysed the relationship and how it influences business success outcomes. In EDUCATE, the mentorship adopts a unique approach by focusing the relationship on goals and evidence-based knowledge exchange concerning educational technology. Examining previous literature on mentorship and exploring the novel features of EDUCATE, a qualitative case study was conducted using a semi-structured interview with a mentor and mentee within the programme. Although this was a limited study of only one dyad mentor−mentee relationship, the research elicits findings that may be of interest for future research. The study highlights the importance of the interpersonal process of mentorship, and advances understanding of what constructs effective mentorship relationships for accelerators. Findings suggest that from the perspective of the mentee, the psychosocial function forms a big component of the relationship. Concepts such as trust, decision-making, personality and self-efficacy arise in the analysis. In contrast, the mentor focuses on career functions and aspects of the programme such as frequency of interaction and knowledge about research. In addition, structured goals within the relationship seem to help the research activities expected in the accelerator. In conclusion, mentorship within EDUCATE is key for the programme, the psychosocial functions in the relationship are critical for entrepreneur satisfaction and, consequently, the integration of research and practice. Constructs such as trust and personality are worth exploring as components within training of the psychosocial aspect of mentors’ activity, as opposed to the traditional view of expert and experienced mentors, often acquired in business accelerators. The analysis of the interpersonal process is of importance to further understand the definition of ‘good mentor’ within formal mentoring programmes for evaluation purposes.