Vaasan yliopiston opinnäytteet

Kauppatieteellinen tiedekunta, 2013

Tsai, Kathy

The role of interactive networks in the creation and growth of accelerator-startups

Ohjaaja/Valvoja (DI):
Dr. Jorma Larimo
Kauppatieteiden maisteri
Master's Degree Programme in International Business
Tutkielman kieli:
The business accelerator has been a rising organizational model from the last two decades onward. As a subcategory of business incubators, these organizations assist startup potentials in the actualization, creation, and development of business ideas by providing access to mentors, seed funding, technical support, among others. They facilitate the young company in achieving greater economies of scale and higher likelihoods of survival than should the new firm attempt to rise on its own. However, the long-term benefits of accelerator presence are uncertain.

There are many aspects of accelerators, which may affect the startup outcome. The purpose of this research is then to analyze the possible influence of interactive networks on startup success. Studies in this regard have been somewhat scarce. The research commences by assessing the formation of the networked incubator, the entry of the accelerator and program process, the composition of social architecture and social network structures, startup development, and network influences on the startup. Additionally, there is a focus on the means through which information and resources spread via knowledge sources. The theoretical goals established in attaining the purpose are to evaluate the growing importance of accelerators in the current business setting regarding startups, the possibility of institutionalizing a socially interactive network as a component of the business accelerator program (BAP), and the advantages of participating in a BAP from the new venture point of view. Of the empirical goals, social network elements, such as the actors (mentors, investors, former startups, international accelerator members), frequency of meetings between these actors and startups, events, and international quality are measured against startup outcome.

A quantitative analysis was performed, and data were collected via an online survey filled and returned by accelerator representatives. The study was limited to accelerators located in the regions of North America, Europe, and North Africa and the Middle East (MENA). A total of 35 samples was generated: 13 North American, 18 European, and 4 MENA accelerator responses. A regression model was utilized, and possible direct and indirect effects of accelerator network actors, the involvement of these individuals with startup teams, accelerator events, and international connections on startup development were assessed. The results demonstrate that events linking startups to support members as well as the frequency of meetings between former startup members and current startup members exhibit the most significance of the network features tested. This turnout then presents some implications for accelerator management in the future.
business accelerator, business incubator, social capital, interactive networks, social networks, startups
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