Business incubators and accelerators: a co-citation analysis-based, systematic literature review

Abstract

A long and rich research tradition exists on the phenomenon of business incubators since this kind of venture support institution first emerged. One can observe an increasing heterogeneity of incubation beyond the traditional mainstream focus on regional development and university-based incubators. In the last decade, in particular the phenomenon of accelerators as a particular form of incubators received increasing research interest. A few literature reviews started summarizing the field, but left some important issues unanswered. This systematic review study contributes to this effort deriving current themes and a research agenda. We find that open innovation and social capital theory increasingly complement the resource-based view as frameworks to understand business incubation. Moreover, the phenomenon of private corporate incubators and accelerators gains traction, both in entrepreneurship theory and practice.

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