The intellectual capital of business incubators

Journal of Intellectual Capital, Volume 15, Issue 4, Page 597-610, October 2014.

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to propose a conceptual framework to analyze the intellectual capital (IC) of new generation business incubators. Design/methodology/approach – The paper carries out a literature-based analysis of the different components of the IC of business incubators and develops a conceptual framework that links the business incubators’ IC to the IC of incubated firms. Findings – The paper provides an analytical model able to support practitioners and scholars to better understand and evaluate the IC criticalities and requirements of incubators. The notion of incubation path is developed. Originality/value – The paper contributes to the extant literature about the intangible assets of business incubators by analyzing in detail how these structures use their IC to perform their activities.
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Building intellectual capital in incubated technology firms

Journal of Intellectual Capital, Volume 15, Issue 4, Page 516-536, October 2014.

Purpose – The value of relational capital generated by entrepreneurs with their internal and external environment (Hormiga et al., 2011a, b), provides considerable resources when properly leveraged. It is particularly important in environments such as the high tech sector of incomplete information and weak economic markets such as new products, markets or technologies (Davidsson and Honig, 2003). The purpose of this paper is to examine how incubated technology entrepreneurs build relational capital for a new venture formation in the social context of a Higher Education Institution. Design/methodology/approach – The study took a qualitative approach based on content analysis of business plans and in-depth interviews with 25 technology entrepreneurs on an incubation programme – South East Enterprise Platform Programme – for technology graduates in the South East of Ireland. Findings – The study found that technology entrepreneurs during new venture formation engaged in four types of relational capital activities, namely, development of networks and contacts, relationship building, accessing and leveraging knowledge experts and members of associations. Practical implications – Incubator programmes need to actively support social building activities of technology entrepreneurs. Higher Education Institutes knowledge assets and networks are critical elements in supporting incubator technology entrepreneurs. Originality value – The study identified four types of relational capital building. The authors also found using Jones-Evans (1995) categorisation of technology entrepreneurs that users, producers, opportunists and non-technical entrepreneurs engaged in client focused relational capital building, whereas researcher types networked with service providers and displayed arms length relational capital building styles.
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From services dealers to innovation brokers

Journal of Intellectual Capital, Volume 15, Issue 4, Page 554-575, October 2014.

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the strategies business incubators (BI) adopt in respect to the creation of incubatee intellectual capital, and it focuses in particular on links between BI structural capital and the creation of incubatee relational capital (RC). By crossing IC literature with the open innovation paradigm the authors consider the incubator as an innovation intermediary and the authors investigate how different incubator strategies of knowledge exchange take place within and across incubator boundaries. The main issues the authors seek to explore regard the mechanisms by which incubators shape the exchange of knowledge within and across their boundaries and the rationale underlying such an approach. Design/methodology/approach – The analysis is based on a multiple case study research involving five Italian incubators. Primary and secondary data were gathered through interviews with each incubator managing director and with relevant actors. Findings – The analysis allows us to propose a theoretical framework and to highlight how different structural capital shape heterogeneous processes by which incubatees build their RC. The authors find that important differences in RC formation are present both at an exchange of knowledge level within the incubator, and across incubator boundaries. Research limitations/implications – The main limitations of this study regard the generalizability of results. This is mostly an exploratory work and further research based on quantitative rather than qualitative analysis, would provide stronger evidence in order to validate the results with respect to the population of incubators and consequently lead to more precise policy implications. Originality/value – The analysis points to the importance of recognizing different BI approaches regarding the mechanisms by which incubatees develop their RC, and allows us to gain a knowledge-based conceptualization of incubators. This definition moves beyond the more diffuse classification based on public vs private and sectoral specificities, and introduces some new insights for further research.
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A quest for global entrepreneurs: the importance of cultural intelligence on commitment to entrepreneurial education

A quest for global entrepreneurs: the importance of cultural intelligence on commitment to entrepreneurial education
Marilyn M. Helms; Raina M. Rutti; Melanie Lorenz; Jase Ramsey; Craig E. Armstrong
International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Vol. 23, No. 3 (2014) pp. 385 – 404
This article extends the management construct of cultural intelligence (CQ) to the entrepreneurship literature by examining CQ in the context of commitment to entrepreneurial education as a proxy for entrepreneurial intentions. Using a convenience sample of students enrolled in an entrepreneurship class, we investigated the relationships of international experience, CQ and commitment to entrepreneurial education. Our findings suggest international experience is positively related to CQ (H1) and CQ is positively related to commitment to entrepreneurial education (H2). Additionally, CQ mediates the relationship between international experience and commitment (H3). This research demonstrates the usefulness of CQ within the entrepreneurial context in the expanding global economy. Discussion and areas for future research focus on further testing of the proposed relationships in other entrepreneurial populations. Also, implications for entrepreneurial training and education related to increasing CQ through study and travel/living/working abroad should be explored.

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Collaborative entrepreneurship and the fostering of entrepreneurialism in developing countries

Collaborative entrepreneurship and the fostering of entrepreneurialism in developing countries
Vanessa Ratten
International Journal of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Vol. 3, No. 2 (2014) pp. 137 – 149
The purpose of this paper is to consider collaborative entrepreneurship and its relevance to entrepreneurialism in developing countries. The paper provides some background to the role of collaboration in society including how individuals, businesses and organisations interact with governments to encourage economic and society activity in developing country economies. Read more

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Cognitive consequences of business shut down. The case of Ugandan repeat entrepreneurs

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to focus on the cognitive and motivational consequences of a business failure, and their relation with subsequent start up success. The paper hypothesizes that if previous business failure was attributed to an internal and stable cause, subsequent business would be less successful compared to where an entrepreneur attributed business failure to an internal and unstable cause. Design/methodology/approach – The authors reviewed the literature on attribution theory in an achievement context and derived a hypothesis about the relation between causal thinking and subsequent business success. A survey amongst entrepreneurs in Uganda was carried out to yield insights on how attributions to past performance influence subsequent business performance. Findings – Entrepreneurs who attributed previous business failure to an internal, stable cause were found to be less successful in subsequent business start up. When repeat entrepreneurs attribute previous shut down to a lack of ability, they are less successful in a subsequent business start up. However, attributing the failure to a lack of effort, does not affect subsequent business success. Originality/value – The study reaffirms the importance of attributional thinking in entrepreneurship and provides empirical evidence on the relationship between the way entrepreneurs think about their previous performance and subsequent performance. Attributional thinking influences subsequent business actions and outcomes, which offers important practical applications. For instance training to change attributions of entrepreneurs may be used to influence their eventual performance.
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How Innovation Ecosystems Turn Outsiders into Collaborators

Running a truly innovative company means constantly improving your innovation culture and process. Running a successful innovation ecosystem, however, demands more. Successful innovation ecosystems make people outside the company measurably smarter, richer, and more innovative. Biologically speaking, innovation ecosystems invest in symbiosis, not parasitism. Growth isn’t zero-sum.

Jeff Bezos knows. So do Larry Page and new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Mark Zuckerberg, Reed Hastings, Marissa Mayer, and Haier CEO Zhang Ruimin similarly grasp the strategic, operational, and cultural distinction. They’re leaders and entrepreneurs who are publicly committed to creating better ecosystems, not just better products.

While successful innovators reap new profits from new products and services, successful innovation ecosystems cultivate profitability by encouraging others to create valuable new offerings. Their financial futures depend on how innovative they make their customers, clients, channels, and partners. Truly effective ecosystems manage to turn outsiders into de facto collaborators. Enabling external innovation becomes as important as improving one’s own. In fact, successful innovation ecosystems create virtuous cycles of external creativity, which drives internal adaptation. In turn, internal innovation enables and inspires external investment.

Ecosystem innovators like Bezos and Hastings are constantly asking, “Who are we making richer? Who are we making more innovative? Who’s on both those lists?” The answers say everything about the future they’re trying to create.

This is beautifully highlighted by Flipboard cofounder and CEO Mike McCue’s recent comment about how empowering users to create their own “virtual magazines” redefined the reader experience. “It was totally transformative,” he observed. “There are over 7 million magazines that people made in the nine or 10 months since we launched it. It’s awesome.” These customers are now creating virtual magazines, not just reading them. And Flipboard is learning and adapting thanks to their expressive ingenuity.

This is the real IP — not “Intellectual Property” but “Innovation Partnerships.” Look at Amazon Web Services, GitHub, Toyota and YouTube’s investments in suppliers, and Apple’s App Store. Or consider Netflix’s efforts to procure binge-able viewing: With Netflix’s new commissions of series like House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, creative people are now producing for a Netflix audience the way they once did for syndication, cable, and HBO. The common denominator for all these companies isn’t simply an exchange of value, but offering new opportunities for collaboration. Success comes from exploring how to make one’s partners more valuable innovators.

Dramatically boosting an innovation ecosystem isn’t inherently expensive; a new API, a simulation tool, a training methodology, or slightly greater access to customer data are frequently all that’s necessary to seed mutual growth opportunities. But just as management isn’t leadership, innovation process improvement isn’t innovation ecosystem stewardship. Fostering an innovation ecosystem does require a culture and competence of stewardship — making the kinds of investments and improvements that aren’t just opportunistic, but reflect and respect the core values you want to endure.

How does your organization invite innovation partnerships? How do you recognize and reward innovation partners? (Of course, your answers matter less than their answers.) Similarly, how is your innovation ecosystem making participatory innovation possible?

It’s tempting, often irresistibly so, for stewards of innovation ecosystems to want to compete against customers, channels, and suppliers when lush new savannas of profitability and growth materialize. The strategic challenge becomes resisting the urge to gobble up that opportunity, and instead identifying the partnerships that would expand it even more. Indeed, innovation ecosystems triumph over innovative companies if and when the benefits of mutual value creation outweigh the costs. That, in no small part, is why Google acquired Nest and why its ecosystem is broader and deeper than Microsoft’s or Yahoo’s. In other words, if you’re not making your innovation partners richer in some measurable way, you’re simply running an innovation factory, not an ecosystem.

Again, the Googles, the Amazons, the Toyotas, and the LinkedIns know this. But does your organization mind and measure who it’s making richer and more innovative? If it doesn’t, it may not be your innovation ecosystem for long.


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