Insights from analysing accelerators as entrepreneurial micro-ecosystems

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Entrepreneurial ecosystems (EEs) have been characterised by abstract or aggregated elements that interact to produce entrepreneurial outcomes. This aggregation is convenient because studying individual actors, interactions and outcomes for such complex systems is empirically difficult. However, the aggregation simultaneously limits our ability to study how EEs generate entrepreneurial outcomes as a consequence of the actions and interactions of actors who represent these aggregated elements. To work around the empirical challenge of surveying entire ecosystems or even a representative set of actors in an ecosystem, this study focusses on a temporally and spatially limited ecosystem. This study posits that accelerators are EEs, albeit entrepreneurial micro-ecosystems, which are analogous to the petri dish version of EEs. This study then adopts an EE lens and uses a mixed-methods approach to (1) explore the social and temporal boundaries of EEs, (2) illustrate the generative interactions between actors in EEs; thereby (3) revealing how EEs are maintained.
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