Corporate Accelerators: Motivations, Benefits, and Challenges

by Shariar Mofiz, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany

This blog post is about organization of innovation about the case accelerator. In the chapter that I have written it is described that the accelerators are an increasingly growing entrepreneurial phenomenon emerging within corporate entrepreneurship in various business contexts and business models.

  • Corporate accelerators are seen as an innovation-promoting solution to new projects offered by start-ups. The goal of the paper is twofold: firstly, to examine the impetus behind corporate involvement with start-ups in launching corporate accelerators and, secondly, to identify the corporate benefits and challenges of this business model of innovation. The research design is based on a qualitative interpretative approach using in-depth interviews (IDI) with corporate managers involved in corporate accelerator creation and a Focus Group Interview (FGI) with industry experts to leverage a triangulation of methods. In addition, secondary data has been used to reinforce exploratory studies. 
  • The study shows that the accelerator activities result in a wide variety of advantages that can eventually initiate improvements in large businesses. Our research builds on prior results and indicates that internal and external push and pull motives drive corporate accelerators. With regard to the challenges and advantages of corporate accelerators, the study helps to broaden the reach of corporate entrepreneurship studies. Corporations are searching for new business models of value creation that include a wide variety of market participants in the process of creating innovation to encourage corporate entrepreneurship in order to meet the demands of the contemporary market. Business models are described as a system of interrelated activities that decide how the organization “does business” with its clients, partners and suppliers.
  • The current corporate entrepreneurship research sub-stream focuses on the role of external investors and essential company capital in processes of innovation generation through the exploitation of new business models. In view of intense market competition and various technological advances, large established companies are experimenting with new business models that are atypical for large-scale companies, based on Crothers’s open innovation approaches.
  • An increasing interest in new business models of outsourcing innovation to the start-up sector has been identified by recent studies on corporate entrepreneurship which contributes to the optimum utilization of available opportunities for corporate entrepreneurship initiatives. Research findings suggest that in existing established businesses, corporate business accelerators offer a promising potential for business model innovation. 
  • Business model innovation is an alternative to or may supplement corporate product or process innovation, such as corporate accelerators. This implies that corporate entrepreneurship takes place in “formal or informal activities aimed at creating new businesses through product and process innovations and market developments in established companies” . A business model can be defined as a framework of interrelated and interdependent activities that decide how the company with its clients, partners and suppliers “does business. Innovation in the business model is therefore an important sub-stream of research in the field of corporate entrepreneurship.

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