2Incubators and Other Accelerators: the Joys of Diversity?

The background, I hope, has been established in a digestible way. Overall, it involves the wider family of MI, and in particular, one of the branches of this family, OI. This work concentrates on CI, one of the emblematic figures of OI over the last five years. As its name indicates, CI is above all an incubator. Thus, to discuss CI, it is useful to situate it within its other natural family, that of incubators.

CI has a double condition: corporate and incubator. If existence at the confluence of two sources – the world of incubators characterized by the logic of start-ups, and that of large groups and their MI – has its charms, nevertheless it is a charm that may prove uncomfortable on a daily basis.

This whole chapter aims, on the one hand, to give an overview of knowledge in the field of incubation and, on the other hand, to position CI among incubators, in particular through the issues that it represents for large groups, and finally to explain why it is complex to understand. Understanding in what way an object is complex is, I feel, the first step to managing its complexity.

2.1. Definition(s) and form(s) of incubators

The concept of the “incubator” refers to different approaches implemented to help entrepreneurs to create and develop their business. The possible variations in providing this support to entrepreneurs are diverse to the point that we might justifiably consider incubation today to be an umbrella ...

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