How business accelerators impact startup’s performance: Empirical insights from the dynamic capabilities approach

Celia Polo García-Ochoa, Carmen De-Pablos-Heredero, Francisco José Blanco Jiménez


Purpose: Accelerators are seen as powerful entities that provide critical support to startups in their development. However, little is known about the acceleration practices by which they help their startups. The present study has as its aim to investigate whether business accelerators do assist their startups in the generation of their dynamic capabilities and in their performance and which processes and organizational routines of accelerators programs become effective drivers.

Design/methodology/approach: Drawing from the dynamic capability perspective, this empirical research explores the impact of business acceleration programs in their startups by applying a Canonical discriminant analysis using data from 24 Spanish business accelerators.

Findings: This study reveals that certain accelerators practices indeed enhance startups’ dynamic capabilities. Further, absorption, integration, and innovation capabilities had a positive influence on startups’ performance while sense the market capability showed a negative one.   These findings enable us to identify which business acceleration practices lead to better startups’ performance improvements.

Research limitations/implications: This is a preliminary attempt to help in the untangling of the dynamic capability and the business incubation black box. The cross-sectional design of the study and the fact that the data was gathered from a single country and based on survey results in bias and in a limited generalization of its findings.

Practical implications: This research can help decision makers’ in business accelerators to put in practice organizational mechanisms aimed to be more successful in their objectives.

Originality/value: This study is pioneer to empirically analysis the relationship between business accelerators’ practices and the generation of dynamic capabilities.


Accelerators, entrepreneurship, start-ups, dynamic capabilities

Full Text:



Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Intangible Capital, 2004-2024

Online ISSN: 1697-9818; Print ISSN: 2014-3214; DL: B-33375-2004

Publisher: OmniaScience