Start-up factories, transnational entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial ecosystems: unpacking the lure of start-up accelerator programmes

Ross Brown, Suzanne Mawson, Neil Lee, Lauren Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the role of accelerator programmes in promoting transnational entrepreneurship. Designed to assist the growth of start-ups by providing seed finance and structured entrepreneurship support, these programmes are now a prominent feature in many entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world. Drawing on in-depth qualitative evidence focused on one particular programme, the paper shows accelerators play an important intermediary or ‘brokerage mechanism’ providing start-ups with enhanced relational connections and networks. Transnational entrepreneurs attracted to these programmes are highly focused on exploiting these networks whilst maintaining multiple levels of embeddedness in various contexts to maximize the opportunities afforded by accelerators. While many governments are attempting to replicate accelerators programmes within the public sector, the paper concludes that such attempts may prove problematic within weaker entrepreneurial ecosystems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)885-904
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Planning Studies
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2019


  • transnational entrepreneurs
  • entrepreneurial ecosystems
  • accelerators
  • Silicon Valley
  • networks

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