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What determines a successful business incubator? Introduction to an incubator guide

Published Online:pp 286-307

Business incubators have become an important pillar in the attraction and the support of innovation and entrepreneurship - in practice, and to a greater extent in theory as well. Based on earlier research, we give an overview of business incubator literature between 2001 and 2013. We review these results in a generic business incubation process model, which is elaborated in a pre-, main- and after-incubation phase. Finally, we introduce an incubator guide, which is summarising the key areas into a questionnaire. Hence, on the one hand, we foster future research on business incubation with our conceptual framework based on an extensive literature review. On the other hand, we support managers and policy makers with a practice-oriented and research-based evaluation tool for a status quo analysis as well as a solid basis for a further incubator development.


business incubators, incubation process, incubator guide, innovation incubation, business incubation