Review of 20 Business Incubation Models – Gibson & Wiggins Model_2003; Sahay Model_2004 (Parts 10-11 of 20)

These two business incubation models can be easily put in one post. Thus, this part of the Business Incubation Model Series contains description of two models. These models desribe operational blocks of technology business incubators.

2003, Gibson, Wiggins, black-box, structure, operations

Gibson & Wiggins Technology Business Incubator Model (2003)

Gibson & Wiggins Technology Business Incubator Model (2003)

This is basically a copy-paste of a Smilor model (1987). Authors in the article[1] reviewed US technology incubators and changed the Smilor model. The main scheme is the same. Authors consider incubvator as a black-box which transforms inputs into outputs by adding value. The difference in the changed outcomes is adding product/process commercialization, industrial competitiveness, global networks, experimental laboratory. Inputs were also changed. Authors added technology dimension. As for support systems, Wiggins and Gibson argued that capital and know-how networks are more valuable building blocks rather than secretarial service and simply business expertise. This is obviously true and we have no doubts about that.

In overall, I would argue that this model brings no significant value to the body of knowledge on business incubation. However, we believe that it was important to mention this model in the map of models.

Source (Author, Year): Gibson, Wiggins, 2003
Purpose of a model: To introduce a model for technology business incubator
Type of a model: Structure model
Abstraction technique: Mixed
Theoretical background: Smilor, 1987
Resources: Support systems (capital, know-how networks, administrative, facilities), incubator affiliation
Processes and practices:

Key success practices are:

1)     credibility development,

2)     the shortening of the learning curve,

3)     faster troubleshooting,

4)     access to the network of entrepreneurs.

Efficiency and effectiveness: Clearly stated outcomes of the business incubator: profits of tenants, viable companies, economic development of an area, job creation, profits of business incubator, product commercialization, industrial competitiveness, global networks, experimental  laboratory.
Linkages “Entrepreneur – Business Incubator – Innovation Ecosystem”: Strong emphasis on the external perspective, neglecting the internal one (entrepreneur’s process and incubation process).
Key contribution: Added inputs (technology) and outcomes of business incubator in comparison with Smilor model (1987).


[1] Joel Wiggins and David V. Gibson. Overview of US incubators and the case of the Austin Technology Incubator, 2003

2004, Sahay, black-box, structure model, operations

Sahay Techology Business Incubator Model (2004)

Sahay Techology Business Incubator Model (2004)

The concept of a business incubator[1] is explained in a very simple way in Figure above. It can be seen from the figure that the objective of the business incubator is to transform entrepreneurs with ideas into businessmen with a successful ventures. So, nothing new in this model also. Even though this sounds too optimistic and there is no business incubator which has no failures. In the process of incubation BI provide access to knowledge, expertise, technology, networks, money and markets. These are building blocks of technology-based business incubator according to Mr. Sahay.

Source (Author, Year): Sahay, 2004
Purpose of a model: To show main building blocks of business incubator
Type of a model: Structure model
Abstraction technique: Black-box
Theoretical background: No information
Resources: People, idea, money, knowledge and networks.
Processes and practices: No information
Efficiency and effectiveness: No information
Linkages “Entrepreneur – Business Incubator – Innovation Ecosystem”: No linkages stated
Key contribution: No contribution


[1] Sahay, The Role of Technology Business Incubator, Angel Investor and Venture Capital Funding Industrial Development, 2004

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