European business venturing in times of digitisation - An analysis of for-profit business incubators in a triple helix context

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Business incubators have been developed as a key component of entrepreneurial activities in countries all over Europe. These incubators have a non-profit or a for-profit profile, with one-third located in Germany. The increased engagement of private business in what was a public-dominated incubation landscape may influence established theoretical frameworks. Within this context, this paper analyses 11 German business incubators to look at the most common types of for-profit business incubators in Germany and their main characteristics. Moreover, it introduces classification criteria for these incubators. Another aspect of the analysis is the effect of the triple helix dimensions of the different incubation types. The results show that two additional types of incubators can be identified in addition to the traditional public business incubator model, namely 'company builders' and 'accelerators'. Implications for research and practice, as well as directions for future research, are also discussed.

JournalInternational Journal of Technology Management
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)104-136
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Business incubator, Business model, Business ventures, Company builder, Digitisation, For-profit incubators, FPIs, Non-profit incubators, NPIs, Start-up, Triple helix, University business collaboration