Start-ups and mentors in health tech accelerating: Cohesion or confusion?
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CitationPalo-oja, Outi-Maaria. Eriksson, Päivi. Montonen, Tero. (2019). Start-ups and mentors in health tech accelerating: Cohesion or confusion?. Evolving Business Models in Ecosystem of Disruptive Technologies and Social Media, 217-224.
Accelerators offer a new model to support start-up companies. Compared to the better known incubator model, accelerators are more intensive, based on mentoring, and include a pitching or demo-day event as their culmination point. This case study investigates mentors’ and start-ups’ experiences of a pilot accelerator program and pays attention to the critical aspects of these participants’ sensemaking. In the program, six start-up teams worked together with their mentors, took part in educational on-site events and had the opportunity to participate in a pitching competition. The data for the case consists of 25 interviews, feedback material from the on-site events and project documents. The findings illustrate how, through on-going sensemaking, confusion about the program in the beginning was turned into cohesion, according to which an incubation model served as a point of comparison for evaluation and also seemed more preferred than an acceleration model among the participants.