Networked Incubators: Hothouses of the New Economy
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Networking: "Networked incubators: Hothouses of the new economy"
The Harvard Business Review case study "Networked incubators: Hothouses of the new economy" was clearly written during the heady days of the dot.com revolution. It is a rosy vision of how a number of 'accelerator' firms attempted to capitalize on the dot.com boom by incubating start-up organizations by providing them support ranging from physical structures (including housing many of the firms within the same office space in divided cubicles) to actual venture capital support. Most of the firms in the article are no longer solvent. However, one lesson which can be learned from the article is that networking can be valuable: i.e., the creation of an environment where networking and connections between members of the organization can be fostered in a positive manner and profit both the incubator firm and the incubated firm. The organizations which were the most successful in these ventures actively encouraged networking between the firms in their portfolio of start-ups and engaged in networking with firms outside of the organization.
The design of all of the accelerator firms was fairly similar, although the different firms exerted varying degrees of control over the members of the portfolio. The accelerator firms would offer "information technology systems, public relations, recruitment, legal counsel, insurance, employee benefits, and accounting" and actual, physical office space to the member firms (Hansen