Title: Towards a taxonomy of services offered by start-up business incubators: insights from the Mediterranean region

Authors: Vasiliki Diamantopoulou; Aggeliki Androutsopoulou; Yannis Charalabidis

Addresses: School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, University of Brighton, Brighton, BN2 4GJ, UK ' Department of Information and Communication Systems Engineering, University of the Aegean, Samos, GR 83200, Greece ' Department of Information and Communication Systems Engineering, University of the Aegean, Samos, GR 8320, Greece

Abstract: Business incubation aims at stimulating entrepreneurship and nurturing ideas to transform them to viable ventures and drive economic growth. The paper defines a comprehensive framework that serves as a basis for the categorisation of all incubation services. The proposed taxonomy has been applied on ten Mediterranean university incubators. An indicative sample of five countries has been defined, focusing on university incubators as they bridge the innovation potential of research/academia communities with the real business world, underpinning a sustainable and robust entrepreneurship model. By mapping the sample with the categories of their services, we intended to investigate how they differentiate from other incubator types. It was concluded that university incubators fall shorter only in the provision of administrative services in relation to typical incubators. This framework shall be further used as a tool for policy makers supporting their resource allocation decisions and help internal stakeholders identify and adopt best practice models.

Keywords: university incubators; services; taxonomy; entrepreneurship; incubation types; Mediterranean.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2018.090333

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2018 Vol.33 No.4, pp.494 - 513

Received: 02 Apr 2016
Accepted: 19 Jul 2016

Published online: 21 Feb 2018 *

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