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Article
Publication date: 11 September 2021

Veronika Ermilina, Matthew Farrell, Fatemeh Askarzadeh and Jing Zhang

For new ventures, access to entrepreneurship assistantship is the main source of growth and innovativeness. Accelerators, a growing provider of entrepreneurial resources…

Abstract

Purpose

For new ventures, access to entrepreneurship assistantship is the main source of growth and innovativeness. Accelerators, a growing provider of entrepreneurial resources, offer such assistantship. This study aims to identify several factors that might account for a startup’s acceptance of accelerator programs. Particularly, this paper examines the impact of a lead founder’s country of birth, gender and education on accelerator acceptance.

Design/methodology/approach

This study tests the framework with logit regression for a sample of 10,298 observations for startups in 166 countries over 2016–2018.

Findings

This study finds that entrepreneurs from developing countries are less likely to be accepted by accelerators than entrepreneurs from developed economies. Counterintuitively, this study also finds an advantage for female entrepreneurs in accelerator acceptance. Further, the results suggest a positive impact on education. Building on signaling theory, this paper argues and shows that accelerators do not evaluate applicants uniformly.

Practical implications

Our comparative study enhances business owners’ insight for application to entrepreneurial resources and has meaningful implications for women’s entrepreneurship. For policy-making purposes, this study offers more insight on economic development for entrepreneurs’ access to global resources.

Originality/value

Despite the extant literature demonstrating the benefits of accelerators, determinants of acceptance to these programs, particularly at the individual level, are underexplored. This is the first study that shows the rarely acknowledged link between a lead founder’s country of birth, gender and education level on accelerator acceptance. Here, this study extends entrepreneurship literature and shows some sources of variation in access to international accelerator programs.

Details

Review of International Business and Strategy, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-6014

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2021

Agnieszka Kwapisz

Business accelerators facilitate new venture creation, and most research on the subject focuses on the performance of accelerated ventures. This paper aims to understand…

Abstract

Purpose

Business accelerators facilitate new venture creation, and most research on the subject focuses on the performance of accelerated ventures. This paper aims to understand what entrepreneurs value in business accelerators and how this differs for women- and men-led ventures. The authors suggest that venture growth stage may play a mediating role in these relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use the resource-based view perspective to develop models of women- and men-led ventures’ valuation for business accelerator services. They also draw upon a database of 2,000 US entrepreneurs.

Findings

The authors found that, compared to men, women entrepreneurs place greater value on knowledge transfer benefits (i.e. business skills education) but lower value on networking benefits offered by accelerators. However, there are no significant differences in the valuations for these services between genders for high-growth ventures. Additionally, compared to men, women leading high-growth ventures place greater value on access to potential investors or funders.

Practical implications

This research serves as a practical guide for accelerator administrators and marketers who seek to adjust their business support offerings based on the value placed for the services by different populations of entrepreneurs.

Originality/value

The authors provide a business accelerator user’s perspective and highlight differences in valuation of accelerator services by women- and men-led ventures at different stages of venture growth.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 16 July 2021

Saeed Heshmati and Maysam Shafiee

This study was designed to detect the failures in Iranian accelerators. This paper attempts to identify these effects from the perspective of accelerator managers and…

Abstract

Purpose

This study was designed to detect the failures in Iranian accelerators. This paper attempts to identify these effects from the perspective of accelerator managers and founders of startups. The main goals of this article are as follows: (1) What are the failures of Iran's acceleration programs from the perspective of accelerator managers? (2) What are the failures of Iran's acceleration programs from the perspective of startup teams? (3) What are some of failures of the acceleration programs that both groups agree on?

Design/methodology/approach

It has been attempted to conduct semi-structured interviews with managers of corporate accelerators on the one hand and startups accelerated in these accelerators on the other. The interviewees were selected using snowball method and consisted of 9 accelerator managers out of 7 accelerators and 15 startups based on 5 accelerators. The analysis of the information extracted from the interviews and coding of the failure identified in the accelerators was performed using the thematic analysis method. In order to assess the validity of this study, an entrepreneurial doctoral student was asked to codify the interviews individually to compare the extracted codes.

Findings

Finally, 34 problems have been identified that are divided into four main themes related to mentorship, acceleration program, acceleration structure and infrastructure and internal startup team problems. Overall, the greatest agreement among the failures identified as wrong orientation by untrained mentors, the lack of complementary in ability and skills of team members, the lack of knowledge of mentors, the lack of acceleration managers in entrepreneurship and the lack of a proper leader in startup teams.

Originality/value

This study aimed to investigate the failures of corporate accelerators in Iran as a developing country, which is the first survey in Iran. We have many researches about the pathology and identify failures of accelerators, but in corporate accelerators, little research has been done. The authors have a classification of failures in corporate accelerators by using thematic analysis. In this study, accelerators' managers and founders of startups were interviewed and 34 failures were identified.

Details

World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-5945

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Book part
Publication date: 16 August 2021

Alia Noor

Situated within a context where high-skilled migration is increasingly being featured in policy debates around the world as part of strategies to foster innovation, this…

Abstract

Situated within a context where high-skilled migration is increasingly being featured in policy debates around the world as part of strategies to foster innovation, this chapter examines the ways highly skilled entrepreneurs in tech traverse their entrepreneurship and their subsequent migration via business accelerators. Business accelerators, which are not just promoted as pre-seed funds in financial circles, but also by migration policy as sponsors of migrant innovation, play an important role in the lives of young migrant ventures. However, based on interviews with entrepreneurs that used policy-endorsed accelerators in the United Kingdom, this chapter emphasises that both finance and migration policy considerations are just tiny specks in a larger picture. This chapter shows the boundary-fluid lives entrepreneurs in tech lead, and puts forth that it is the symbolic capital that they amass through their active use of accelerators, that they then convert to economic value. Consequently, it is argued that discussions around social integration of migrants into ‘mainstream’ society need to be viewed with a new lens, as the symbolic capital thus accrued, is at a truly transnational level.

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Book part
Publication date: 14 August 2020

Vanessa Ratten

In this chapter, the author explore the role of entrepreneurial ecosystems in terms of focusing on the importance of accelerators. Entrepreneurship is crucial for the…

Abstract

In this chapter, the author explore the role of entrepreneurial ecosystems in terms of focusing on the importance of accelerators. Entrepreneurship is crucial for the ongoing success of accelerators but seldom has research focused on the ecosystem perspective. Organizations habitually use their contacts and networks to facilitate business growth through being included in accelerator programs. This means that comprehending how different entities are embedded in an entrepreneurial ecosystem can provide learning benefits. In the ecosystem literature, the role of accelerators has mainly been studied from the individual and firm-level demonstrating the relationship between entrepreneurial behavior and firm performance but there is more need to emphasis the role accelerators play in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Suggestions for managers involved in entrepreneurial ecosystems are suggested in this chapter as a way of encouraging more involvement in accelerator programs.

Details

Entrepreneurship as Empowerment: Knowledge Spillovers and Entrepreneurial Ecosystems
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-551-4

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Article
Publication date: 23 July 2020

Ignat Kulkov, Magnus Hellström and Kim Wikström

Business accelerators have recently received increasing attention as important cogs in business ecosystem development. However, their exact role in the ecosystem is not…

Abstract

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.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 23 April 2020

Lydia Cánovas-Saiz, Isidre March-Chordà and Rosa Maria Yagüe-Perales

Seed accelerators (SAs) appear as a more advanced version of business incubators. These for-profit organizations in exchange of equity, help setting new start-ups by…

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3264

Abstract

Purpose

Seed accelerators (SAs) appear as a more advanced version of business incubators. These for-profit organizations in exchange of equity, help setting new start-ups by providing mentoring and funding during its first months. Due to their emergent nature, the impact and expectations of SAs remains largely unknown. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to throw new light on this field by empirically assessing for the first time the performance and prospects of these organizations through a survey of 116 SAs.

Design/methodology/approach

A model based on the Business Incubators literature is built with four categories covering size, location, age and profitability variables, leading to two hypotheses to be tested empirically over a survey of 116 SAs.

Findings

Some remarkable findings arise after implementation of both bivariate and multivariate analysis. The results confirm a higher size and performance in the US and in the oldest SAs at statistically significant levels.

Research limitations/implications

The study is not free from limitations but the findings make a contribution to the still scarce existing literature on SAs, and provide some managerial implications to their stockholders, to investors and to entrepreneurs.

Practical implications

The findings concerning performance indicators are especially helpful for investors, primarily concerned with the percentage return on investment factor, the period and the investment rounds needed to achieve exit. Another key issue is the SA's role as an employment seedbed. At first glance, the amount of employment, both overall and per company, might seem small given the young age of these firms. The impact of SAs on the generation of new employment is difficult to measure as it usually takes place in further stages of development of the tenant companies, the so-called scale-up process. Nonetheless, at present, the number of new companies being born is remarkable and, in terms of employment, the results are indeed promising. Our findings also offer important implications for entrepreneurs, venture investors and policy-makers. To entrepreneurs, our findings offer insight on the expectations to hold in the accelerator programs.

Social implications

For policy-makers and would-be accelerator founders, our results support the idea shared in the literature that accelerators can be an effective entrepreneurial intervention, even in small entrepreneurial ecosystems, compared to the strongest entrepreneurial hubs (Hallen et al., 2017).

Originality/value

SAs are a very recent phenomenon which is blooming all over the world, especially in developed countries. SAs are therefore considered a key agent in the prospects of any entrepreneurial ecosystem. However, no studies have so far analysed the impact and performance of this emerging instrument. This is precisely the main purpose of this paper, to offer for the first time an approximate and exploratory assessment on the impact and prospects of SAs, based on a database.

目的

種子促進中心,以企業孵化中心的更高級版本的形態出現。這些營利組織、在企業剛開始營運的首數個月內提供指導及資金,以換來股權。由於種子促進中心是從未有過的,故其影響及人們寄予的期望大致仍為未知之數。因此,本研究旨在這範疇內提供新的知識,以實證方法,透過調查116間種子促進中心,首次對這類組織的表現及前景進行了評估。

研究設計/方法/理念

研究人員根據關於企業孵化中心的文獻建立了一個模型,內容包括四個範疇,﹔涵蓋的變量為:規模大小、地域位置、經營年期及盈利狀況。這模型提供了兩個以實證方法、透過調查116間種子促進中心來進行驗證的假設。

研究結果

透過進行二元及多元分析取得卓越的研究結果。研究結果確認了在美國的種子促進中心及歷史最悠久的種子促進中心在統計意義上顯著地呈較具規模及表現更佳。

研究的局限/含意

本研究不是沒有局限的。唯研究結果為現時在種子促進中心方面的探討仍稀少的文獻提供了貢獻,亦為種子促進中心的股東、投資者及企業家提供了管理方面的提示。

實務方面的含意

與表現指數相關的研究結果對投資者尤為有用。他們主要的關注是投資因素的回報率,進行轉讓所需的時間及籌集投資總額。另一主要問題是種子促進中心作為就業苗床所扮演的角色。乍看之下,如考慮到這些公司短暫的歷史,無論整體的就業數量、或是以每間公司計算的就業數量都看似微小。種子促進中心在製造新工作方面的影響是難以量度的。這是因為新工作的產生通常出現在租戶公司發展的進一步階段內, 這就是所謂放大過程。但目前誕生的新公司的數目另人注目。而且, 以就業方面來說,效果實在是相當不錯的。我們的研究結果也為企業家、風險投資者及政策制定者提供重要的暗示。對企業家而言,我們的研究結果為他們就促進中心方案應持甚麼期望提供了啟示。

社會方面的含意

對政策制定者及未來的促進中心始創人而言,我們的研究結果支持文獻所說:促進中心、與最強大的企業樞紐比較之下,即使是在細小的企業生態系統裏,可以是有效的企業介入 (哈倫等人,2017)(Hallen et al., 2017) 。

研究的原創性/價值

種子促進中心是一個頗為近期才出現的現象。這現象在全球興盛起來,特別是在發達國家。因此,種子促進中心被認為是可為任何一個企業生態系統帶來前景的主要媒介。唯至今仍未有分析這新興工具的影響及表現的研究。這正正就是本研究的主要目的,就是首度根據一個數據庫,為種子促進中心的影響及前景提供一個適當和探索性的研究。

Details

European Journal of Management and Business Economics, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2444-8451

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Article
Publication date: 2 April 2020

Ginger S. Lange and Wesley J. Johnston

Inspired by an efficacy debate, this paper aims to understand to what extent do entrepreneurs value business accelerators and what contributes to this value. And as…

Abstract

Purpose

Inspired by an efficacy debate, this paper aims to understand to what extent do entrepreneurs value business accelerators and what contributes to this value. And as entrepreneurs consider accelerators to be a viable alternative to traditional business incubators, the research seeks to compare these startup support options.

Design/methodology/approach

Guided by resource-based theory, the researchers constructed a variance model and analyzed it using quantitative methods based upon data collected from 205 accelerators users as well as 66 incubator users for comparison.

Findings

Results indicate that the accelerator users find the programs to be very valuable for improving their business outcomes. Moreover, the users feel the program experience to be valuable regardless of whether their businesses ultimately survive. Knowledge- and culture-related resources contribute significantly to users’ perceptions of value. Findings indicate notable differences in the perceptions of accelerator versus incubator users.

Research limitations/implications

The research contributes to the ongoing academic debate concerning the efficacy of accelerators and provides a model for predicting user value. The research is limited to the USA.

Practical implications

Research serves as a practical guide for prospective accelerator users, as well as provides valuable insights to accelerator administrators and marketers for enhancing their programs.

Originality/value

The study uniquely provides a user’s perspective and highlights distinct differences in the perceptions between accelerators and incubators users.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 35 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 9 January 2017

Cinzia Battistella, Alberto F. De Toni and Elena Pessot

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the context of open innovation offered by accelerators can affect the successful growth of start-ups. The authors explore…

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3654

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the context of open innovation offered by accelerators can affect the successful growth of start-ups. The authors explore accelerators practices and tools in sustaining start-ups and increasing survival probability in their innovation process, with the aim of addressing the following research question: how can start-ups benefit from participation in an accelerator programme from an open innovation perspective?

Design/methodology/approach

A review of the literature on start-up successes and failures and on major practices in the open innovation paradigm was carried out, delineating them in the context of accelerators. Given the absence of literature on accelerator practices for supporting start-ups, and aiming at a comprehensive understanding of how the open environment within the accelerator influences a start-up’s survival (or even success) by mitigating the probability of failure, the authors conducted an exploratory case study in an English accelerator.

Findings

The open innovation practices mediated by an accelerator and the ones that are not covered, but that can benefit a start-up’s survival, are shown. On the one hand, main effective practices, such as dyadic co-creation with accelerator network partners and crowdsourcing, are revealed to address mostly the lack of, or wrong direction in, product, marketing and relative managerial abilities, which are not usually owned by a start-up due to its “newness”. On the other hand, some causes of failures, such as the intrinsic characteristics of founder teams, do not seem to be addressed by an open approach and neither does participation in an accelerator programme.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to study and link the literature on accelerators, start-ups and open innovation.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

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Article
Publication date: 14 August 2017

Morgan P. Miles, Huibert de Vries, Geoff Harrison, Martin Bliemel, Saskia de Klerk and Chick J. Kasouf

The purpose of this paper is to address the role of accelerators as authentic learning-based entrepreneurial training programs. Accelerators facilitate the development and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the role of accelerators as authentic learning-based entrepreneurial training programs. Accelerators facilitate the development and assessment of entrepreneurial competencies in nascent entrepreneurs through the process of creating a start-up venture.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data from applicants and participants of four start-accelerators are used to explore the linkages between accelerators and the elements of authentic learning. Authentic learning processes are then mapped onto the start-up processes that occur within the accelerators.

Findings

Accelerators take in nascent entrepreneurs and work to create start-ups. This activity develops the participants’ entrepreneurial competencies and facilitates authentic self-reflection.

Research limitations/implications

This study explores how accelerators can be useful as authentic learning platforms for the development of entrepreneurial competencies. Limitations include perceptual measures and the inability to conduct paired sampling.

Practical implications

Entrepreneurship training is studied through the lens of authentic learning activities that occur within an accelerator. Participants develop and assess their mastery of and interest in entrepreneurship through tasks, exposure to experts and mentors, peer learning, and assessments such as pitching to investors at Demo Day.

Originality/value

This paper reports on the authentic learning processes and its usefulness in competency development and self-appraisal by accelerators participants. The opportunity for competency development and self-appraisal by nascent entrepreneurs before escalating their commitment to a start-up may be an accelerator’s raison d’être.

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