Technology Incubator and Entrepreneurship Development

Technology Incubator and Entrepreneurship Development

Saidi Adedeji Adelekan, Benneth Uchenna Eze
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9810-7.ch012
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The importance of technology in advancing experiential learning and building entrepreneurs that can withstand the challenges and explore the opportunities in the fourth industrial revolution are enormous. The chapter adopted a literature review approach to establish the link between technology incubator and entrepreneurship development. The concepts of technology incubator and entrepreneurship development as well as other related concepts were extensively discussed. It identifies the need for adequate investments toward tech entrepreneurship development and tech-savvy for the future through technology incubation programmes. Such programmes set to aid innovativeness, creating jobs, fast-tracking research to industry linkages, building wealth by fostering the formation of new ventures, among others. The chapter concludes that institutions for entrepreneurship development need to shift their tents to cover major areas of technological revolution, particularly technological incubation to promote entrepreneurship development in Industry 4.0.
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The formal concept of technology incubation began in the United States in 1959, when Joseph L. Mancuso opened the Batavia Industrial Centre inBatavia, New York warehouse (CSES, 2002). Incubation expanded in the United States in the 1980s and spread to the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe through a variety of incubation vehicles such as innovation centres, enterprise centres, technology and science parks.

According to the International Business Innovation Association, there are about 7,000 incubation centres worldwide. A study funded by the European Commission in 2002 acknowledged about 900 incubation environments in Western Europe (CSES, 2002). In 1980, there were only 12 incubators in North America. This increased to more than 1,400 incubators as of October 2006 in the same continent. The treasury unit of Her Majesty identified about 25 incubation centres in the United Kingdom in 1997. By 2005, UKBI identified about 270 incubation centres across the country. Knopp (2007) explains that North American incubation programmes aided more than 27,000 companies that provided employment for more than 100,000 workers and generated annual revenues of $17 billion in the year 2005.

Technology Incubation in Africa

Incubation activity has not been limited to developed countries; incubation environments are also implemented in developing countries, particularly in Africa. The introduction of incubation programmes in Africa can be traced to the year 1988, when the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) testran the concept on a pilot scheme in four countries: Coted’Ivoire, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Equatorial Guinea. Ndagi (2017) observes that the incubation programmes have spread across Africa with one hundred incubation centres. Nigeria has about forty-four incubation centres; South Africa with about thirty-six, while the other African countries have the remaining twenty.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Technology: These are methods, systems, and devices which are the result of scientific knowledge being used to aid business operations and to propel the growth and development of business entities.

Incubation Centre: These are centres where transitory and facilitative assistance is given to small enterprises or start-ups. It is geared towards small business development, innovation and application of technology, and promotion of growth from within local economies, while additionally giving a tool for technology transmission.

Entrepreneurship Development: This refers to the steady growth of entrepreneurial activities, such that it turns out to be further developed and more grounded.

Technology Incubation: These are assistance given to start-ups ventures through the transfer of complex administration and unique environment with the objective of enhancing their opportunities of survival in the early period of enterprise life cycle, and building up their later development.

Startups: A startup is an enterprise initiated by individual founders or entrepreneurs to take advantage of identified business opportunities and scale the enterprise over-time. Startups usually search for a repeatable and scalable business model.

Entrepreneurs: An entrepreneur is a person who organises, manages, owns, controls, and assumes the risk of a business venture.

Entrepreneurship: This is a process, which involves looking out for opportunities and creating what will meet these opportunities, through innovativeness, proactiveness and risk-taking.

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