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Toward a better understanding of corporate accelerator models

Abstract

Corporate accelerator programs—accelerators managed by or directly sponsored by one or multiple established firms—are becoming an integral part of startup ecosystems and an important startup engagement vehicle for established firms. Previous research focused either on independent accelerators or on corporate accelerator programs that one established firm operates internally. However, new accelerator models emerged recently, making the corporate accelerator phenomenon more diverse. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the different types of corporate accelerators, along with their objectives and characteristics in order for managers to better understand which type best fits their organization. Our insights on corporate accelerators emerged from secondary data and interviewees from companies and accelerator programs. We used these insights to categorize the programs into four corporate accelerator models that vary according to number of participants and the accelerator’s management structure and explain how companies can select the right model for their objectives.

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