Business incubators : from theory to practice
This thesis is a theoretical and practical approach of the incubation process in Greece. It is structured in parts in order to examine all the different components of the concept of incubation. The structure that is followed, aims at providing the reader with all the necessary information in relation to the general framework of incubators and to cover all the related fields concerning the incubation process. The opening part of this thesis explains the transition to the new knowledge based economy, in order to be better informed about the changes in the economic environment that led to a new type of entrepreneurial activity. Following, examines the basic concepts of the incubation framework, and presents the necessary theoretical background. This part provides a first approach to ideas such as Venture Capital, S&T Parks and the importance of Partnership. After abrief reference to the policy framework of the E.E about the incubation activity, the second part concludes with an extend description of the evolution of the type of incubators and with an integrated presentation of the different types of incubators that we meet today. The third part presents an integrated model of the incubation process, and provides an overall description of the incubation activity. The reader can be efficiently informed about the various functions of the incubation process through this extend report on each incubator’s operating processes. The next part is a complete presentation of the incubation activity in Greece. In the fourth part of this thesis, there is a description of the current economic environment with references to the national innovation system that supports the incubation activity, and a detailed report of the Greek incubators. The final part is a conclusive view of the writer of this thesis. An attempt is made in order to support the incubation activity as an effective business practice in the case of Greece and to examine the political and economic perspectives that will ensure its viable growth.