Defining and Differentiating Accelerators: Insights from the Australian Context

Posted: 4 Apr 2016 Last revised: 24 Feb 2017

See all articles by Martin J. Bliemel

Martin J. Bliemel

Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation

Ricardo G. Flores

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Management

Date Written: August 7, 2015

Abstract

The recent emergence of business accelerators around the world has positioned them as a key player in many regional innovation ecosystems. However, significant confusion exists among academics, industry practitioners and policy-makers about what these organizations are. The confusion stems from their association with incubators and from a lack of differentiation among accelerators. As a result of such lack of clear conceptualization academic and other stakeholders risk drawing false conclusions regarding how these organizations fit into different aspects of the regional innovation ecosystem. In this study we use archival and interview data from the Australian context to differentiate accelerators. While we find accelerators that fit the emerging definition of the concept, we also find several that stretch the definition and meaning of ‘accelerator.’

Keywords: Accelerators, incubators, start-ups, new ventures, innovation ecosystems, qualitative, high tech/high growth/high potential business, coevolution

JEL Classification: O31, O32, M13

Suggested Citation

Bliemel, Martin J and Flores, Ricardo G., Defining and Differentiating Accelerators: Insights from the Australian Context (August 7, 2015). UNSW Business School Research Paper No. 2016MGMT01, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2757536 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2757536

Martin J Bliemel (Contact Author)

Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation ( email )

15 Broadway, Ultimo
PO Box 123
Sydney, NSW 2007
Australia

Ricardo G. Flores

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Management ( email )

Gate 11, Botany Street, Randwick
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.asb.unsw.edu.au/schools/Pages/RicardoFlores.aspx

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