Handbook of Research on Business and Technology Incubation and Acceleration
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Handbook of Research on Business and Technology Incubation and Acceleration

A Global Perspective

Edited by Sarfraz A. Mian, Magnus Klofsten and Wadid Lamine

This pioneering work explores both the theory and practice of business and technology incubation over the past six decades as an approach to new venture creation and development. With a global scope, the Handbook examines key concepts, models, and mechanisms, providing a research-based analytical foundation from which to understand the emerging role of modern incubation tools in building entrepreneurship ecosystems for promoting targeted economic development.
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Chapter 23: Tenant recruitment at university incubators: a selection conundrum

Ali J. Ahmad


Chapter 23 posits that the client selection decision is arguably the most important consideration in the incubation process. The predominant view in the literature is that client selection ought to be carried out using a robust selection criterion linked to critical success factors. The author points out that in fact incubators do not follow a wholly rational process linking client attributes to critical success factors. Instead, a combination of both rational and non-rational or intuitive processes help assessors select clients which ‘appear’ most promising on a range of both written and un-written criteria. Due to the cognitive computational complexity and the limitations inherent in traditional information collection mechanisms, assessors consistently deploy the heuristic of attribute substitution to make selection decisions. A new “entrepreneurial readiness” heuristic is proposed to aid decision making.

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