Research Handbook on Start-Up Incubation Ecosystems
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Research Handbook on Start-Up Incubation Ecosystems

Edited by Adam Novotny, Einar Rasmussen, Tommy H. Clausen and Johan Wiklund

This insightful and comprehensive Handbook explores the concept of start-up incubation ecosystems, investigating the various factors that interact to provide a nurturing environment suitable for the successful development of start-ups and illustrating the critical part this plays within entrepreneurial ecosystems. Chapters include literature reviews, theoretical studies, and empirical research featuring both quantitative and qualitative methods, using data from a range of countries analyzed by an international team of authors.
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Chapter 10: Distinguishing self-sufficient business incubators in start-up incubation ecosystems

Oliver Straub, Peter M. Bican and Alexander Brem


Prior literature analyzed why incubators exist and how to differentiate the various incubator types. However, measures that lead incubators to run as independent, self-sufficient incubation ecosystems (i.e. without the dependence on subsidies) remain largely absent. Based on a survey of 71 incubators, our results implied differences between the two groups in regard to their business models, with indications of significant differences in the customer value proposition, the profit formula, as well as the key resources and processes provided. The findings support previous claims regarding the need for a profit driven nature, regardless of business profit orientation, as well as generating diverse income streams to cover operational costs. Moreover, new insights on key elements of incubators’ business models within start-up incubation ecosystems are presented. With this chapter, practitioners as well as researchers will gain further understanding of the success factors of self-sufficient incubators that contribute to functioning incubation ecosystems.

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