Seed accelerators and the speed of new venture creation
Technology startups need to launch, simultaneously and quickly, innovative products (or services) and organizations, but some are able to launch more quickly than others. This paper explores how some ventures start up very quickly, and the mechanisms by which accelerator programs assist nascent technology ventures to minimize startup time. Through four in-depth case studies of clean technology ventures that started up quickly, two with and two without the aid of accelerators, the rapid launch of startups is explored and accelerator mechanisms are clarified: survival (starting up quickly is a matter of survival), resource network (starting up quickly requires leveraging pre-existing networks) and catching up (accelerators fill gaps to allow inexperienced entrepreneurs to start up quickly). The three mechanisms speed up the launch process and organize scarcity management to motivate the top management team. The paper proposes to extend the minimum viable product concept to the minimum viable start-up as a consequence of acceleration. These three mechanisms for speeding up innovative venture launch are tied to increasing entrepreneurial orientation in the startup technology firm. The practical perspective assists managers of accelerator programs (university-based, economic development, non-profit or for-profit) to design and implement programs that will more effectively fill gaps to help ventures to start up more quickly.
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