The Roles of Innovation Agents in New Technology-Based Firms

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Sergio Evangelista Silva
Carlos Alberto Gonçalves
Joaquim Ramos Silva
Ana Isabel Ortega Venâncio


The main role of innovation agents (IAs) is to provide support for the development of new technology-based firms (NTBFs). These agents include business accelerators (BAs), business incubators (BIs), and science parks (SPs). Studies addressing these three types of agents all together are relatively recent in the literature. This indicates that this is a new but promising topic due to the economic importance of NTBFs and innovation environments. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to examine the roles, similarities, and differences among these three types of IAs, concerning their support for the NTBFs' development. The qualitative research method was used to investigate and collect data from a sample of twenty-three agents consisting of BAs, BIs, SPs, and NTBFs, located in Brazil or in Portugal. As a result, a comprehensive and systematic view of these three types of IAs is presented based on the following constructs: physical space, basic and managerial services, acculturation, and social networks. Furthermore, as a practical implication, this article can be used as a reference source for the development of IAs and NTBFs.


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Silva, S. E., Gonçalves, C. A., Silva, J. R., & Venâncio, A. I. O. (1). The Roles of Innovation Agents in New Technology-Based Firms. Journal of Contemporary Administration, 22(2), 201-225.