Due to technological progress and the rise of digital economy, the cost and time of starting a business are greatly reduced, and the number of entrepreneurial opportunities and entrepreneurs is constantly increasing. Therefore, problems arise:（1）the proliferation of entrepreneurs leads to a fiercer competition for scarce resources, and（2）younger entrepreneurs have less experience and knowledge. Traditional incubation models are unable to effectively meet the challenges of new trends, and the mainly reason is that it is unable to provide critical resources and lacking in knowledge-intensive business services. Therefore, incubation models for startups have entered the third generation, represented by seed accelerators. Seed accelerators, as an innovative organization form combining incubation function with financial intermediary function, provide specific services to help startups grow rapidly within limited time. With the rapid development of seed accelerators on a global scale, it has been successful in supporting start-ups and improving the regional entrepreneurship ecosystem. The related literature shows that seed fund, mentorship, cohort mode, time efficiency and the demo day are the key components which make the operation mode of seed accelerators different from other incubation. With the success of the seed accelerator mode and its rapid expansion on a global scale, the seed accelerator is not only an" investment tool”for investment institutions, but also a target set by the government, large enterprises, universities and other entities to learn from the operation mode of seed accelerators to realize enterprise incubation and optimize the entrepreneurial ecosystem. In this paper, we proceed to examine what is known about such programs from past research, and present summary statistics on a number of basic seed accelerator outcomes: （1）What is a seed accelerator, and how is it different from existing incubation models?（2）What are the operating entities of seed accelerators, and what are the differences?（3）How do seed accelerators work, and how about seed accelerators’ performance?（4）What is the impact of seed accelerators on the macro environment and regional economic development?（5）What are the shortcomings of seed accelerator research and the future research direction? In view of the above research questions, we systematically sorts out the relevant research of seed accelerators from the connotation, operating entities, operation model & performance and external effects, summarizes the shortcomings of existing research, and points out the direction of future research.
A Review of the Research on Seed Accelerators and Prospects
Foreign Economics & Management Vol. 41, Issue 01, pp. 30 - 44 (2019) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.fem.2019.01.003
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Cite this article
Pan Yong, Mao Ning. A Review of the Research on Seed Accelerators and Prospects[J]. Foreign Economics & Management, 2019, 41(1): 30-44.