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Lisa Ruhanen and Megan Axelsen
Edited by Dimitrios Buhalis
David B. Audretsch
Sarfraz A. Mian, Magnus Klofsten and Wadid Lamine
This chapter introduces the handbook by emphasizing the need for this work, providing an overview of the contributions made, and underscoring the promise of business and technology Incubation and acceleration for entrepreneurial development. It is noted, that 66 well-known scholars and practitioners from around the world have written 29 chapters, which are organized along four themes: (I) Understanding incubation and acceleration (II) Incubation mechanisms and entrepreneurship ecosystem development (III) National and regional incubation policy studies, and (IV) Incubation practice and assessment. The chapter highlights the coverages provided in the volume by featuring various incubation models, with an international scope, and economic as well as social use of business incubation. The authors elaborate that the work deepens our understanding of business incubation and aids policy makers, researchers, and practitioners to handle incubation projects with confidence.
Sarfraz A. Mian
Chapter 1 articulates definitional challenges, presents evolution of incubator models, use of theoretical lenses, and program evaluation for benchmarking. The author asserts that after 6 decades of use incubation mechanisms have matured, and they continue to be popular policy tools for planned entrepreneurial development, preferably as part of an entrepreneurship ecosystem. Future challenges are identified to include refinement in theory, incubator program sustainability, well-developed benchmarking matrices, use as pedagogy for experiential learning, addressing social equity, and better use of digitization and emerging new technologies. The chapter concludes with a call for further consolidation and refinement of the incubation field through authentic study and reflective practice.