As Publisher

"Over the last six months, Nesta has been working with the Impact Management Project to explore how we think about evidence of impact. This document provides guidance on both using existing evidence of impact, and building your own evidence base."

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"Building on Nesta's 2014 Good Incubation report, this research draws on case studies to highlight strategies for good incubation in challenging environments. It focuses on weaker entrepreneurial ecosystems and offers advice to incubation managers and other ecosystem players, from policymakers to funders alike. Our report aims to support the UK's Department for International Development (DfID) in implementing Innovative Ventures and Technologies for Development (INVENT) by exploring how to do social incubation effectively in India’s low-income states. It draws on empirical evidence from around the world, over 30 interviews with incubator managers and experts in India, and UK best practice."

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"This report addresses the question: 'How do support programmes fulfil different roles for startups within startup ecosystems?' To put it another way, terms used for programmes supporting startups include: accelerators, coworking spaces, incubators, active seed investors, courses, competitions. But what is the difference?
In trying to answer this, this study interviewed over 30 practitioners, and undertook site visits to startup programmes operating in cities in high-income countries in Europe (Berlin, London, Munich, Cambridge), with the addition of Israel as a close neighbour."

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"Accelerators constitute a new incubation model, which has developed into an umbrella term for any programme providing structured mentoring, networking opportunities and access to funding. The challenge is to understand the service profiles geared towards reinforcing business startups. How do accelerators assist their startup clientele and strategically position themselves?

This report is intended for programme managers, policymakers and investors with an interest in grasping the opportunities established by the newer incubation models. Its main objective is to extend our understanding of the emerging number of accelerator initiatives across Europe without conducting a comparative analysis of the regional ecosystems. This inductive study investigates a number of accelerators across Europe and explores their internal systems."

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"This report charts the rise of social venture incubation with a particular focus on what can be learned by this burgeoning sector from programmes around the world. It is intended for people and organisations wanting to support social ventures either as policymakers, investors or people running incubation programmes, to ensure that ventures have the best support."

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"This paper provides an overview of the Nesta Standards of Evidence. Our aim is to find alignment with academically recognised levels of rigour, whilst managing to ensure impact measurement is appropriate to the stage of development of a variety of different products, services and programmes. The Standards of Evidence were developed based upon those used in Project Oracle (see text box for further details)."

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"This paper is part of the Compendium of Evidence on the Effectiveness of Innovation Policy Intervention. This paper examines publicly supported policies for entrepreneurship development. Entrepreneurship policies are directed to encouraging socially and economically productive activities by individuals acting independently in business. Their principal objective is to increase a level of entrepreneurial activity which is considered to be below the social optimum. Policies may be implemented directly to address entrepreneurs' needs e.g. business advice programmes or through broadcast methods such as education policy. We have attempted to locate and focus on evaluations that reported on additionality / net effect or that use methods of causal inference to determine the effectiveness and impacts of policy. While policies and programmes for entrepreneurship can be simplistically modelled as a series of inputs beginning with cultural change followed by general and then more specific skill development, it is hard nevertheless to assess impact or trace causality because of the difficulty of defining discrete units of input, the presence of confounding factors and the length of time over which effects can build."

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"Over the past six years, a new method of incubating technology startups has emerged, driven by investors and successful tech entrepreneurs: the accelerator programme. Despite growing interest in the model from the investment, business education and policy communities, there have been few attempts at formal analysis. This report is a first step towards a more informed critique of the phenomenon, as part of a broader effort among both public and private sectors to understand how to better support the growth of innovative startups."

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This paper is part of the Compendium of Evidence on the Effectiveness of Innovation Policy Intervention. This paper examines publicly supported policies for entrepreneurship development. Entrepreneurship policies are directed to encouraging socially and economically productive activities by individuals acting independently in business. Their principal objective is to increase a level of entrepreneurial activity which is considered to be below the social optimum. Policies may be implemented directly to address entrepreneurs’ needs e.g. business advice programmes or through broadcast methods such as education policy. We have attempted to locate and focus on evaluations that reported on additionality / net effect or that use methods of causal inference to
determine the effectiveness and impacts of policy. While policies and programmes for entrepreneurship can be simplistically modelled as a series of inputs beginning with cultural change followed by general and then more specific skill development, it is hard nevertheless to assess impact or trace causality because of the difficulty of defining discrete units of input, the presence of confounding factors and the length of time over which effects can build.

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"The Government has put high-growth, innovative businesses at the heart of its economic agenda, and is focusing policy on how to back the big businesses of tomorrow. The aim of this research was to provide: "a thorough and focused literature review on business incubation." The purpose of which was to identify models of incubation that have the greatest impact on the mission of building high-growth, innovative firms."

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