Florence Law a eu le plaisir de participer au 16ième CIFEPME, congrès de l’AIREPME, qui s’est tenu à Lyon du 25 au 28 octobre 2022. Elle y a présenté une communication co-écrite avec Bertrand Sergot intitulée « Business incubation models and place: the case of a French academic incubator ».
This paper aims at enhancing our understanding of business incubation models using the concept of place. Indeed, the current epidemic situation has now put forward digitalization of businesses and questioned the place dimension of incubation programs. To our knowledge, academic literature paid little consideration to this emplaced dimension which is mostly understood in terms of the working space incubation programs offer. We argue for understandings of place that go beyond mere location to include the material dimension of place and its symbolic dimension. To better understand the role of place in business incubation programs, we have carried out the study of a French academic incubator of a French engineering school. The case study emphasizes the importance of place on the attractiveness of business incubation programs. Managers of business incubations hold a decisive role in making business incubations a distinctive place and therefore attractive. The attractiveness of business incubators may also rely on the embeddedness of business incubators in reputed places. The digitalization of work can help these reconfigurations of BI as a place. Finally, our research suggests that business incubators as a place are a construction relying on managers and the proximity of other distinctive places.