Business incubators should continue supporting the

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Business incubators should continue supporting the tenants after their graduation. Amezcua et al. (2011) found that though incubated fi rms demonstrate lower initial exit rates compared to their non-incubated peers, these rates are increasing in post-incubation and the difference is declining. It happens because companies leave a protected environment created by the business incubator and face the liability of newness again. Therefore, it is especially important to continue to support the graduates in the post- incubation period. Finally, business incubators could promote the tenant s internationalization by adding international elements in their own internal culture. For this purpose, the business incubator could attract international employees in its management team or as its internal experts and encourage international students to start companies within the incubator. Limitations and future research The empirical work is based on a single case study; hence, the data cannot be generalized ( Ghauri, 2004 ). Aernoudt (2004) also warns against inaccuracy in assessment of the business incubator s impact if the type of incubator is not taken into account. The incubator is a public business incubator focusing on technology-oriented and knowledge-intensive start- ups, which means that the fi rms internal characteristics are already facilitating their rapid internationalization ( Bell et al. , 2004 ; Sharma and Blomstermo, 2003 ). Moreover, the incubator is located in Austria, which is a country with a small open economy, and IJOA 26,3 512 Downloaded by Victoria University of Wellington At 02:57 17 September 2018 (PT)
internationalization is therefore vital for a fi rm s growth and development (WKO, 2013b). The interviewed companies con fi rmed this as well. Thus, the fi ndings of the case study could be different if they were based on another type of business incubator, pursuing different goals and/or located in a different country. Another limitation of the study lies in the choice of the embedded cases. Despite having a relatively large amount of tenants and graduates, their managers are often reluctant to participate in any kind of interviews. Therefore, the list of potential interviewees consisted of fi ve companies recommended by the incubator CEO, and only three of them agreed to take part in the case study. However, it is plausible that these companies may not be the most representative ones for the study. All three companies represent the IT sector, which requires relatively little effort to internationalize. Two fi rms graduated from the business incubator, while another one was just at the beginning of the incubation process. The above-listed limitations result in suggestions for further research. The theoretical model developed requires further empirical veri fi cation. The signi fi cance and strength of the linkages discovered should be carefully tested in different types of business incubators, taking into consideration their sources of fi nancing, primary goals and managerial vision.

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