Debunking Incubators and Moving Beyond the Start-Up Obsession

The Endeavor network provides a unique opportunity for research. Endeavor has access to thousands of high-performing entrepreneurs around the world, which is an ideal sample for research on entrepreneurship.

Thus, Insight has the ability to publish new, relevant, and high-quality research on trends in entrepreneurship. We have reported on everything from the top things that entrepreneurs look for in a city to the innovative programs that countries around the world are installing to promote entrepreneurship.

As part of Insight, I increase the publication capabilities of the team. Currently, I am researching incubators and accelerators. This project is important because very little research has been conducted in this field, and thus Endeavor has the opportunity to be one of the first researchers on the topic.

The entire purpose of our Insight branch is to inform policymakers and other leaders how they can best support their local entrepreneurs. This includes identifying what works and what doesn’t. my work on incubators and accelerators is important because setting up these companies has become a popular trend; often, local governments or universities will seek to stimulate local economic growth by setting up an incubator program. What we have found is that this is not necessarily the most effective way to promote growth; rather, the number of accelerators seems to far exceed the demand for their services.

Most accelerators cited finding quality companies for their program as the primary challenge they face. this means that the services the accelerators provide may not be entirely necessary or in demand, and in some cases it means accelerators will be promoting companies that are not necessarily going to be supported by the market.

This research is important for local policymakers because they can then make informed decisions based on what works and what doesn’t; in this case, setting up an accelerator or an incubator may not be the most effective way to promote economic growth. The implications for Endeavor are also important, as Endeavor promotes entrepreneurship at later stages of the company, and based on our metrics this seems to be far more effective in terms of long-term growth than promoting companies in the start-up phase.

Even if my actual report turns out not to be valuable, the data I have collected can be an asset to the company. I have reached out to over 100 incubators and accelerators, and that data can be used in the future as well as for current reporting. This information is also part of a very small pool of data collected on incubators and accelerators, and therefore is even more of an asset to the company.

Overall, I have allowed Endeavor to conduct projects that may not be a priority because they are not imperative to day-to-day operations, but that is still an important piece of work for the company.


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