IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/respol/v49y2020i1s0048733319302021.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Meeting, mating, and intermediating: How incubators can overcome weak network problems in entrepreneurial ecosystems

Author

Listed:
  • van Rijnsoever, Frank J.

Abstract

To promote economic growth and overcome societal challenges, policy-makers often try to shape an entrepreneurial ecosystem (EE) that will facilitate technological entrepreneurship. An EE consists of a knowledge subsystem and a business subsystem, which are often unconnected. A financial support network (FSN) consisting of startups and private venture capitalists can bridge two subsystems and thus enable critical technology transfer in EEs. These FSNs remain underdeveloped in many European regions, however; the literature on innovation systems refers to this lack of connectivity as a “weak network problem.” While incubators can function as intermediaries to overcome such weak network problems, how they do so is poorly understood. This research thus poses the following research question: What is the effect of incubators’ support mechanisms on the occurrence of weak network problems in entrepreneurial ecosystems? We develop a theoretical model in which network development is a function of two processes: “meeting” and “mating.” We argue how different incubator support mechanisms influence these two processes; we then apply these insights in an agent-based model, which allows for estimating how much each support mechanism contributes to overcoming weak network problems in the FSN. Our simulation shows that developing a strong network among startups is key to overcoming weak network problems in FSNs. The most effective way to do so is to introduce incubated startups to non-incubated startups through field-building. Our results provide new theoretical insights into how networks in EEs and innovation systems develop, and what role incubators play as intermediaries in this process. The systemic benefits of incubators also greatly enhance their societal value proposition.

Suggested Citation

  • van Rijnsoever, Frank J., 2020. "Meeting, mating, and intermediating: How incubators can overcome weak network problems in entrepreneurial ecosystems," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(1).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:49:y:2020:i:1:s0048733319302021
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2019.103884
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048733319302021
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.respol.2019.103884?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marijn A. van Weele & Henk J. Steinz & Frank J. van Rijnsoever, 2018. "Start‐up Communities as Communities of Practice: Shining a Light on Geographical Scale and Membership," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 109(2), pages 173-188, April.
    2. William R. Kerr & Josh Lerner & Antoinette Schoar, 2014. "The Consequences of Entrepreneurial Finance: Evidence from Angel Financings," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 27(1), pages 20-55, January.
    3. Tristan Boyer & Régis Blazy, 2014. "Born to be alive? The survival of innovative and non-innovative French micro-start-ups," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(4), pages 669-683, April.
    4. Soetanto, Danny & Jack, Sarah, 2016. "The impact of university-based incubation support on the innovation strategy of academic spin-offs," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 50, pages 25-40.
    5. Rand, William & Rust, Roland T., 2011. "Agent-based modeling in marketing: Guidelines for rigor," International Journal of Research in Marketing, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 181-193.
    6. Catherine Casamatta & Carole Haritchabalet, 2014. "Dealing with Venture Capitalists: Shopping Around or Exclusive Negotiation," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 18(5), pages 1743-1773.
    7. Howells, Jeremy, 2006. "Intermediation and the role of intermediaries in innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 715-728, June.
    8. Sean M. Hackett & David M. Dilts, 2004. "A Systematic Review of Business Incubation Research," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 55-82, January.
    9. Zoltan J. Acs & Erik Stam & David B. Audretsch & Allan O’Connor, 2017. "The lineages of the entrepreneurial ecosystem approach," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 49(1), pages 1-10, June.
    10. Carlsson, B & Stankiewicz, R, 1991. "On the Nature, Function and Composition of Technological Systems," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 93-118, April.
    11. Clarysse, Bart & Wright, Mike & Bruneel, Johan & Mahajan, Aarti, 2014. "Creating value in ecosystems: Crossing the chasm between knowledge and business ecosystems," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1164-1176.
    12. Erik Stam, 2015. "Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and Regional Policy: A Sympathetic Critique," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(9), pages 1759-1769, September.
    13. Anna J. Wieczorek & Marko P. Hekkert, 2012. "Corrigendum to 'Systemic instruments for systemic innovation problems: A framework for policy makers and innovation scholars'," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(6), pages 842-842, December.
    14. Marijn van Weele & Frank J. Rijnsoever & Chris P. Eveleens & Henk Steinz & Niels Stijn & Menno Groen, 2018. "Start-EU-up! Lessons from international incubation practices to address the challenges faced by Western European start-ups," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 43(5), pages 1161-1189, October.
    15. Engel, Yuval & Kaandorp, Mariëtte & Elfring, Tom, 2017. "Toward a dynamic process model of entrepreneurial networking under uncertainty," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 35-51.
    16. Zoltán J. Ács & Erkko Autio & László Szerb, 2015. "National Systems of Entrepreneurship: Measurement issues and policy implications," Chapters, in: Global Entrepreneurship, Institutions and Incentives, chapter 28, pages 523-541, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    17. Henry Chen & Paul Gompers & Anna Kovner & Josh Lerner, 2010. "Buy Local? The Geography of Venture Capital," NBER Chapters, in: Cities and Entrepreneurship, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Lin, Yichen & Wang, Yichuan & Yu, Chiahui, 2010. "Investigating the drivers of the innovation in channel integration and supply chain performance: A strategy orientated perspective," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(2), pages 320-332, October.
    19. Davidsson, Per & Honig, Benson, 2003. "The role of social and human capital among nascent entrepreneurs," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 301-331, May.
    20. Michael Fritsch & Dirk Schilder, 2008. "Does Venture Capital Investment Really Require Spatial Proximity? An Empirical Investigation," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 40(9), pages 2114-2131, September.
    21. van Weele, Marijn & van Rijnsoever, Frank J. & Nauta, Frans, 2017. "You can't always get what you want: How entrepreneur's perceived resource needs affect the incubator's assertiveness," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 18-33.
    22. Hyytinen, Ari & Pajarinen, Mika & Rouvinen, Petri, 2015. "Does innovativeness reduce startup survival rates?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 564-581.
    23. Cetindamar, Dilek & Laage-Hellman, Jens, 2003. "Growth Dynamics in the Biomedical/Biotechnology System," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 287-303, June.
    24. George P. Huber, 1991. "Organizational Learning: The Contributing Processes and the Literatures," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 2(1), pages 88-115, February.
    25. van Rijnsoever, Frank J. & van den Berg, Jesse & Koch, Joost & Hekkert, Marko P., 2015. "Smart innovation policy: How network position and project composition affect the diversity of an emerging technology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(5), pages 1094-1107.
    26. Rotger, Gabriel Pons & Gørtz, Mette & Storey, David J., 2012. "Assessing the effectiveness of guided preparation for new venture creation and performance: Theory and practice," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 506-521.
    27. Scott Shane & Daniel Cable, 2002. "Network Ties, Reputation, and the Financing of New Ventures," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(3), pages 364-381, March.
    28. Geels, Frank W. & Schot, Johan, 2007. "Typology of sociotechnical transition pathways," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 399-417, April.
    29. Janna Alvedalen & Ron Boschma, 2017. "A critical review of entrepreneurial ecosystems research: towards a future research agenda," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(6), pages 887-903, June.
    30. Oliver Alexy & Joern Block & Philipp Sandner & Anne Ter Wal, 2012. "Social capital of venture capitalists and start-up funding," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 39(4), pages 835-851, November.
    31. Lopolito, A. & Morone, P. & Taylor, R., 2013. "Emerging innovation niches: An agent based model," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1225-1238.
    32. Nelson, Andrew J., 2014. "From the ivory tower to the startup garage: Organizational context and commercialization processes," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1144-1156.
    33. Chris P. Eveleens & Frank J. Rijnsoever & Eva M. M. I. Niesten, 2017. "How network-based incubation helps start-up performance: a systematic review against the background of management theories," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 676-713, June.
    34. Paul Westhead & David Storey, 1997. "Financial constraints on the growth of high technology small firms in the United Kingdom," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 197-201.
    35. Frank J. Van Rijnsoever & Marijn A. Van Weele & Chris P. Eveleens, 2017. "Network brokers or hit makers? Analyzing the influence of incubation on start-up investments," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 605-629, June.
    36. Robert Huggins, 2008. "Universities and knowledge-based venturing: finance, management and networks in London," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(2), pages 185-206, March.
    37. Rudy Aernoudt, 2004. "Incubators: Tool for Entrepreneurship?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 127-135, September.
    38. Levinthal, D.A. & Fichman, M., 1991. "Honeymoons and the Liability of Adolescence : A New Perspective on Duration Dependence in Social Organizational Relationships," GSIA Working Papers 1991-34, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    39. Yli-Renko, Helena & Autio, Erkko, 1998. "The Network Embeddedness of New, Technology-Based Firms: Developing a Systemic Evolution Model," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 253-267, November.
    40. Rice, Mark P., 2002. "Co-production of business assistance in business incubators: an exploratory study," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 163-187, March.
    41. Faber, Albert & Valente, Marco & Janssen, Peter, 2010. "Exploring domestic micro-cogeneration in the Netherlands: An agent-based demand model for technology diffusion," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 2763-2775, June.
    42. Anna J. Wieczorek & Marko P. Hekkert, 2012. "Systemic instruments for systemic innovation problems: A framework for policy makers and innovation scholars," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(1), pages 74-87, February.
    43. M. Teresa Fernández Fernández & Francisco J. Blanco Jiménez & Juan R. Cuadrado Roura, 2015. "Business incubation: innovative services in an entrepreneurship ecosystem," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(14), pages 783-800, October.
    44. Cooke, Philip, 2002. "Regional Innovation Systems: General Findings and Some New Evidence from Biotechnology Clusters," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 133-145, January.
    45. Julie Battilana & Bernard Leca & Eva Boxenbaum, 2009. "How actors change institutions : Towards a theory of institutional entrepreneurship," Post-Print hal-00576509, HAL.
    46. D. Patton & L. Warren & D. Bream, 2009. "Elements that underpin high-tech business incubation processes," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 34(6), pages 621-636, December.
    47. Poh Wong & Yuen Ho & Erkko Autio, 2005. "Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Economic Growth: Evidence from GEM data," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 335-350, January.
    48. Niels Stijn & Frank J. Rijnsoever & Martine Veelen, 2018. "Exploring the motives and practices of university–start-up interaction: evidence from Route 128," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 674-713, June.
    49. Autio, Erkko & Kenney, Martin & Mustar, Philippe & Siegel, Don & Wright, Mike, 2014. "Entrepreneurial innovation: The importance of context," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1097-1108.
    50. Matthew O. Jackson & Brian W. Rogers, 2007. "Meeting Strangers and Friends of Friends: How Random Are Social Networks?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 890-915, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Wenqing Wu & Hongxin Wang & Yenchun Jim Wu, 0. "Internal and external networks, and incubatees’ performance in dynamic environments: entrepreneurial learning’s mediating effect," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-27.
    2. Ana-Maria Grigore & Irina-Maria Dragan, 2020. "Towards Sustainable Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in a Transitional Economy: An Analysis of Two Romanian City-Regions through the Lens of Entrepreneurs," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(15), pages 1-21, July.
    3. Guo-Hua Cao & Jing Zhang, 2021. "Is a sustainable loop of economy and entrepreneurial ecosystem possible? a structural perspective," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 23(5), pages 7002-7040, May.
    4. Paraskevi Giourka & Pavlos Kilintzis & Elpida Samara & Giorgos Avlogiaris & Polytimi Farmaki & Yiannis Bakouros, 2021. "A Business Acceleration Program Supporting Cross-Border Enterprises: A Comparative Study," Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(2), pages 1-24, June.
    5. Cowling, Marc & Brown, Ross & Lee, Neil, 2021. "The geography of Business Angel investments in the UK: does local bias (still) matter?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 107814, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. van Weele, Marijn & van Rijnsoever, Frank J. & Nauta, Frans, 2017. "You can't always get what you want: How entrepreneur's perceived resource needs affect the incubator's assertiveness," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 18-33.
    2. Marijn A. Weele & Frank J. Rijnsoever & Menno Groen & Ellen H. M. Moors, 2020. "Gimme shelter? Heterogeneous preferences for tangible and intangible resources when choosing an incubator," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 45(4), pages 984-1015, August.
    3. Chris P. Eveleens & Frank J. Rijnsoever & Eva M. M. I. Niesten, 2017. "How network-based incubation helps start-up performance: a systematic review against the background of management theories," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 676-713, June.
    4. Marijn van Weele & Frank J. Rijnsoever & Chris P. Eveleens & Henk Steinz & Niels Stijn & Menno Groen, 2018. "Start-EU-up! Lessons from international incubation practices to address the challenges faced by Western European start-ups," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 43(5), pages 1161-1189, October.
    5. Angelo Cavallo & Antonio Ghezzi & Raffaello Balocco, 2019. "Entrepreneurial ecosystem research: present debates and future directions," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 1291-1321, December.
    6. Christina Theodoraki & Karim Messeghem & Mark P. Rice, 2018. "A social capital approach to the development of sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems: an explorative study," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 153-170, June.
    7. Niels Stijn & Frank J. Rijnsoever & Martine Veelen, 2018. "Exploring the motives and practices of university–start-up interaction: evidence from Route 128," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 674-713, June.
    8. Frank J. Van Rijnsoever & Marijn A. Van Weele & Chris P. Eveleens, 0. "Network brokers or hit makers? Analyzing the influence of incubation on start-up investments," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-25.
    9. Erik Stam & Andrew Ven, 2021. "Entrepreneurial ecosystem elements," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 56(2), pages 809-832, February.
    10. Janna Alvedalen & Ron Boschma, 2017. "A critical review of entrepreneurial ecosystems research: towards a future research agenda," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(6), pages 887-903, June.
    11. Frank J. Van Rijnsoever & Marijn A. Van Weele & Chris P. Eveleens, 2017. "Network brokers or hit makers? Analyzing the influence of incubation on start-up investments," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 605-629, June.
    12. Grillitsch, Markus, 2017. "Transformation Capacity of the Innovative Entrepreneur: On the interplay between social structure and agency," Papers in Innovation Studies 2017/2, Lund University, CIRCLE - Centre for Innovation Research.
    13. Niccolò Ghio & Massimiliano Guerini & Cristina Rossi-Lamastra, 2019. "The creation of high-tech ventures in entrepreneurial ecosystems: exploring the interactions among university knowledge, cooperative banks, and individual attitudes," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 52(2), pages 523-543, February.
    14. Ratinho, Tiago & Amezcua, Alejandro & Honig, Benson & Zeng, Zhaocheng, 2020. "Supporting entrepreneurs: A systematic review of literature and an agenda for research," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 154(C).
    15. Zhe Cao & Xianwei Shi, 2021. "A systematic literature review of entrepreneurial ecosystems in advanced and emerging economies," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 57(1), pages 75-110, June.
    16. Susanne Pankov & Vivek K. Velamuri & Dirk Schneckenberg, 2021. "Towards sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems: examining the effect of contextual factors on sustainable entrepreneurial activities in the sharing economy," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 56(3), pages 1073-1095, February.
    17. Dionisio, Eduardo Avancci & Inácio Júnior, Edmundo & Fischer, Bruno Brandão, 2021. "Country-level efficiency and the index of dynamic entrepreneurship: Contributions from an efficiency approach," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 162(C).
    18. Rakas, Marija & Hain, Daniel S., 2019. "The state of innovation system research: What happens beneath the surface?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(9), pages 1-1.
    19. Mian, Sarfraz & Lamine, Wadid & Fayolle, Alain, 2016. "Technology Business Incubation: An overview of the state of knowledge," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 50, pages 1-12.
    20. Guo-Hua Cao & Jing Zhang, 2021. "Is a sustainable loop of economy and entrepreneurial ecosystem possible? a structural perspective," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 23(5), pages 7002-7040, May.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:49:y:2020:i:1:s0048733319302021. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.