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Title: International opportunities through accelerator networks : a study of startups becoming embedded in Edtech context
Author: Kairikko, A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 9358 3953
Awarding Body: University of Westminster
Current Institution: University of Westminster
Date of Award: 2020
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This thesis examines edtech startups in the Finnish context. It focusses on the role of accelerator networks as embedding mechanisms for internationalising startups. The topic is pertinent because the role of accelerators in the internationalisation of startups has been understudied, despite growing interest in them. The characteristics of startups are decisive for this study, as startup ventures differ from other small and new ventures and continue to adjust and iterate to develop a scalable business model while internationalising. This study is positioned at the intersection of entrepreneurship, international entrepreneurship, and innovation. Conceptually, this study draws on the concepts of network embeddedness and on international opportunities defined as non-linear, iterative, and interactive development. This research was conducted as a single case study within the emerging edtech sector in the Finnish context and it adopts abductive approach. The extensive data consists of 46 interviews, observations, and documents, and the analysis is based on the method of constant comparison. The research identifies accelerator networks, which are relevant for international opportunity development, and thus, it enriches the literature on accelerators. The analysis demonstrates the mechanisms of international opportunity development through networks, resources, and collaboration. A typology is applied to classify internationalising startups in terms of accelerator networks, international opportunities, and product development. Finally, all findings are synthesised in a conceptual model. This study contributes to the emerging academic literature on accelerators by explaining the role of accelerator networks during the parallel process of venture creation and international opportunity development. Propositions are developed to advance future accelerator studies. Researching the community of internationally mixed startups in various locations and embedded in various environments challenges to reconsider the geographical location as an operationalisation of spatial dimension. Thus, this research joins the discussion on contextual dimensions in entrepreneurship studies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral