Title: The importance of being known: evaluating companies for growth-oriented incubation

Authors: Päivi Eriksson; Tero Montonen; Juha Vilhunen; Kalevi Voutilainen

Addresses: University of Eastern Finland, Business School, P.O. Box 1627, FI-70211 Kuopio, Finland ' University of Eastern Finland, Business School, P.O. Box 1627, FI-70211 Kuopio, Finland ' Business Development Services, City of Kuopio, P.O. Box 1097, FI-70110 Kuopio, Finland ' Kio-Talents Ltd., Taivaanpankontie 8E3, FI-70200 Kuopio, Finland

Abstract: This article explores the early phases of the incubation process, in which small and medium-sized companies are evaluated for a project that aims to accelerate their growth. Guided by the justification theory approach, the objective was to analyse how different orders of worth (inspired, domestic, fame, civic, market and industrial) guided evaluation, selection and justifications thereof in a face-to-face meeting between project staff and business experts. Findings indicate that justifications for the companies having most potential for incubation were informed by the domestic order of worth in particular, emphasising evaluators' common history, mutual familiarity and personal relationships with the people and teams of the prospective companies. Concerning the industrial order of worth, professionalism, efficiency and a limited number of internal growth factors related to people were addressed.

Keywords: incubation; evaluation; selection; justification; growth-orientation; small and medium-sized enterprises; SME.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEIM.2019.102052

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 2019 Vol.23 No.5, pp.496 - 512

Received: 06 Jun 2017
Accepted: 12 Feb 2018

Published online: 04 Jul 2019 *

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