Incubator and accelerator: start-up, watch out for icebergs!

Incubator and accelerator: start-up, watch out for icebergs!

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Incubator and accelerator: start-up, watch out for icebergs!

News

30 July 2018

Pascal Latouche

30 July 2018

Pascal Latouche

In a previous post " start-up... how to drop masks? ", I shared with you the four questions that a start-up should ask to the manager of an incubator or accelerator, before "signing" ... These questions concern the "structure", the "actors", the "tasks" and the "tools" that should be mobilized to carry out the support. Assuming that the answers to these questions are convincing (i.e. the start-up signs), I can only invite the start-up to remain vigilant during the coaching. Assuming that the answers to these questions are convincing (i.e. the start-up signs), I can only invite the start-up to remain vigilant during the coaching.

The answers to these questions are the tip of the iceberg of coaching. This iceberg also has a submerged part which refers to the quality of the management carried out to accompany well. It is this quality of management that will give a real and tangible value to the answers given to the questions.

The quality of management is made up of 3 elements (submerged because they are invisible a priori) that the person in charge of the incubator or accelerator must be able to handle with skill. These are complexity, ambiguity and relative advantage.

In the book « Innovation Ouverte, l’incubateur corporate » (Pascal Latouche, ISTE, 2018, Wyley, 2019), based on my many observations (4 years), I take the time to dissect « complexity », « ambiguity » and « relative advantages » before qualifying them and showing their influence on the « tasks », the « structure », the « actors » and the « tools » implemented in the support. For those who followed the reasoning, I showed how the submerged part of the iceberg (complexity, ambiguity, relative advantages) influences the emergent part of the iceberg (tasks, structure, actors, tools).

For the purposes of this article, I think readers won’t mind me going straight to the results. To implement an efficient management of his device, the manager of an incubator / accelerator of start-up will have to manipulate:

  • the « irrational » complexity (understanding of the system, relationship with the start-up) and “rational” complexity (resources),
  • he relative advantages (top management involvement; autonomy; communication “flagship” posture; start-up focus; and finally, malleability),
  • functional ambiguity (width, depth, nature of functions performed).

It is through the manipulation of these three elements (often unknown) that the person in charge of the incubator/accelerator will be able to keep the commitments to the start-up, and this, in real time. It is a permanent adaptation process of the support system so that the answers initially brought to the start-ups are translated into the real world.

Start-up support is definitely not a work of improvisation. It is up to the start-up to make sure that their projects are respected… in their personal and professional life…

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