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A service incubator business model: external networking orientation

Chiara Cantù (Cattolica University, Milan, Italy)

IMP Journal

ISSN: 0809-7259

Article publication date: 19 October 2015



The purpose of this paper is to investigate the drivers of new incubators’ business model. Several researchers have agreed that incubation is related to the early phase of a venture’s life and identified the incubators as organizations that support start-ups. But only recently has a new generation of incubators emerged.


Using an Italian incubator case study, the research results are mainly ascribable to the ability of the incubator to facilitate not only internal networking, but also external networking.


As described in the findings, the business model of the service incubator is founded on value-added services among networking within incubatees as well as between start-ups and external actors. The service incubator becomes a knowledge intermediary that allows new ventures to identify innovation parties and transform them into innovation partners.


The paper investigates the new business model of incubator founded on external networking orientation. Even if some researches analyzed incubators and cooperation within incubatees, less attention has been focussed on external networking and collaboration among incubators, incubatees, and several stakeholders. Based on such collaboration, incubatees can undertake new entrepreneurial measures, explore new markets, and innovate constantly.



Cantù, C. (2015), "A service incubator business model: external networking orientation", IMP Journal, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 267-285.



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