Abstract

As large firms increase their efforts to pursue open innovation, Corporate Accelerators Programs (CAPs) are emerging as a new form of collaboration with entrepreneurial ventures. Despite their exponential growth in the entrepreneurial ecosystem (Cohen & Hochberg, 2014), few academic studies exist. Our research intends to contribute to literature by increasing our understanding of CAPs and how the diverse goals of the corporate sponsor, the accelerator management and the participating ventures are aligned. Drawing from agency theory (Arthurs & Busenitz, 2003; Jensen & Meckling, 1976; Sapienza & Gupta, 1994), we examine the mechanisms used for this purpose. Goal misalignment has been pointed out as a recurrent difficulty in establishing fruitful collaborations between large firms and new ventures (Katila, Rosenberger, & Eisenhardt, 2008; Weiblen & Chesbrough, 2015). We consider CAPs a particularly interesting context, as equity stakes held in the startups are much lower compared to VC investments, where agency issues have been extensively studied.

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