This content is also available in: Español, Português

"The recent emergence of business accelerators around the world has positioned them as a key player in many regional innovation ecosystems. However, significant confusion exists among academics, industry practitioners and policy-makers about what these organizations are. The confusion stems from their association with incubators and from a lack of differentiation among accelerators. As a result of such lack of clear conceptualization academic and other stakeholders risk drawing false conclusions regarding how these organizations fit into different aspects of the regional innovation ecosystem. In this study we use archival and interview data from the Australian context to differentiate accelerators. While we find accelerators that fit the emerging definition of the concept, we also find several that stretch the definition and meaning of 'accelerator'."