The Journal of Technology Transfer

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 83–91

The Role of Incubators in the Entrepreneurial Process


  • Lois Peters
    • Lally School of ManagementRensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Mark Rice
    • Murata Dean, F. W. Olin Graduate School of BusinessBabson College
  • Malavika Sundararajan
    • Lally School of ManagementRensselaer Polytechnic Institute

DOI: 10.1023/B:JOTT.0000011182.82350.df

Cite this article as:
Peters, L., Rice, M. & Sundararajan, M. The Journal of Technology Transfer (2004) 29: 83. doi:10.1023/B:JOTT.0000011182.82350.df


We outline a model that improves our understanding of the role of incubators in the entrepreneurial process. Specifically, we focus on the impact of the services offered, namely infrastructure, coaching and networks, on the graduation rates of the respective incubators' tenants. The model is tested among three different types of incubators, for-profit, non-profit, university-based incubators. Based on our qualitative findings, we conclude that our initial model is ineffective, in the sense that it cannot fully explain the role of the incubators in facilitating entrepreneurship. Interviews with directors of incubator centers were also carried out simultaneously. Further analysis of the results along with interview responses from incubator directors, led us to propose a more comprehensive model to explain how incubators affect the entrepreneurial process.

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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004