In 2016, Barcamper, an accelerator program for the cultural and creative sector, was launched. An office on wheels, Barcamper traveled through Skåne to help 82 entrepreneurs further develop their business ideas. With an international team of creatives, investors, and business coaches, Barcamper minimized the search for business resources, instead delivering them straight to their users. In its core, Barcamper was about making the business development process fun and simple rather than complex and difficult; one of xPlot's core values to this day.
On our journey through Skåne, we also had the privilege to be joined by Dr. Diamanto Politis of Sten K. Johnson Centre for Entrepreneurship, Lund University and Dr. Jonas Gabrielsson of Halmstad University. Politis and Gabrielsson, who are both professors and experienced researchers within the field of entrepreneurship, came along to conduct research on entrepreneurial learning in a venture accelerator program like ours. Joining our team as outsiders gave an objective dimension to the quality of our work. In addition, the findings of their research has proven highly valuable for our future projects. Their study was recently published in The Learning Organization, an international journal focusing on challenges to current thinking around organizational learning.
Rather than focusing on the one-sided growth of accelerator programs, measured by e.g. the number of start-ups that survive and the number of employees they have, Politis and Gabrielsson focus instead on the individual.
- Conducting our work, we wanted to research how individuals take in, retain, and carry knowledge with them into the future. One of our core aims was to study the entrepreneurial spirit; the ideas an individual has and chooses to focus on may change, but the entrepreneurial qualities and knowledge remain, says Gabrielsson.
In their study, Politis and Gabrielsson investigate how the environment in and around accelerator programs creates conditions for enhanced entrepreneurial learning. In their research, they identified three catalysts that create conditions for entrepreneurial learning to flourish:
Politis and Gabrielsson also identified some core challenges to designing accelerator programs. For example, Politis points out that it may be difficult to tailor content to a heterogenous group of participants:
- Some participants had a lot of previous entrepreneurial experience and thus absorbed knowledge differently from those who were entirely new to the field. This is an important challenge to remember for everyone designing accelerator programs.
Whereas different accelerator programs may have different aims and end goals, it is important to remember that a theoretical approach can benefit from Politis and Gabrielsson’s ideas of social learning and peer atmosphere.
- In the world of academia, we tend to forget the importance of being able to gain experience from others and that we also gain experience and are strengthened by helping others. Social and collective learning is the basis for acquiring entrepreneurial knowledge and skills, says Politis.
- Those who work with incubator and accelerator programs should, of course, not neglect theoretical knowledge, but they need to be aware that peer learning can contribute with dimensions that academia sometimes might struggle to include in their courses, says Gabrielsson. As such, the social learning that can be incorporated into accelerator programs has the possibility to complement the more theoretical approach of entrepreneurship that exists in academia, thus promoting a collaboration between the two. Entrepreneurial education can have different pros and cons without having to compete with each other; it doesn’t have to be one or the other. In Lund, we aim for them to work in an integrated and intersectional entrepreneurial ecosystem, in which each individual may find their niche.
Finally, Gabrielsson concludes by stating the importance of collaboration between academia and projects run out in the field, such as Barcamper, in which both sides can learn and benefit from each other.
- We have experienced great openness in the Barcamper project and its coaches, Lars Mattiasson and Katarina Scott, who have been very open to learning from our research. It’s been a mutual benefit; our results not only benefit the research community but can also impact the entrepreneurial education for decades ahead, Gabrielsson concludes.
We at xPlot are thrilled to have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Diamanto Politis and Dr. Jonas Gabrielsson and are looking forward to future collaborations.
Politis, D., Gabrielsson, J., Galan, N. & Akele Abebe, S. (2019) Entrepreneurial learning in venture acceleration programs, Learning Organization. 26(6), 588-603.
Nordic entrepreneurship Hubs (2019). Project Summary.
Gabrielsson, J., Politis, D. & Billström, A. (2019) University spin-offs and triple helix dynamics in regional innovation ecosystems: A comparison of technology intensive start-ups in Sweden, Global Business and Economics Review, 21(3/4), 362-381.
Gabrielsson, J., Politis, D., Persson, K.M., & Kronholm, J. (2018) Promoting water-related innovation through networked acceleration: Insights from the Water Innovation Accelerator, Journal of Cleaner Production, 171, 130-139.
Gabrielsson, J., Dahlstrand, Å. & Politis, D. (2014) Sustainable high-growth entrepreneurship: A study of rapidly growing firms in the Scania region. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 15(1), 29-40.
Politis, D. Gabrielsson, J. & Lindholm Dahlstrand, Å. (2014) Academic entrepreneurship: multi-level factors associated with female-led incubator projects, in Lewis, K., Henry, C., Gatewood, E. & Watson, J. (ed.) Women's Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century: An international Multi-level Research Analysis. Edward Elgar Publishing, p. 32-49.
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TONIGHT, during our annual get-together, we present the winner of Creative Business Cup Sweden! Curious to hear more? Meet this year’s jury and our impressive top two finalists!Read more
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On the Swedish CBC Finals on the 19th of May, xPlot welcomes Chelsea Linder from gener8tor and Suai Kee from gener8tor’s Motown Musician Accelerator, to speak about the creative economy and the music industry in the United States and globally.Read more
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On the Swedish CBC Finals on the 19th of May, xPlot welcomes Aaron Greiner, founder and director of CultureHouse, to speak about the importance of social infrastructure and how free pop-up community spaces can make a lasting impact.Read more
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Time to put your thoughts into action – here’s five reasons YOU should apply to the Creative Business Cup!Read more
At xPlot, we believe in the collective power of the entrepreneurship ecosystem. But what is an entrepreneurship ecosystem, really? We ask researcher and scholar Dr. Jasna Pocek to explain and elaborate.Read more
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Start the week fresh with inspiration – enjoy daily visits to Klump cultural incubator to learn and discuss cultural entrepreneurship with knowledgeable guests and passionate speakers. The webinars are informal, informative, and completely free!Read more
Dreaming of growing your creative endeavors? Thinking about starting your own business? Ready for the opportunity of a lifetime? Join the annual Creative Business Cup and turn your thoughts into action! We are here to guide you along the way.Read more
On March 4th, 2021, The creARTive Sessions begin! Aiming to promote and facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experience amongst entrepreneurs within the Cultural and Creative Sector, this is a digital series you do not want to miss.Read more
Reset and recharge; let’s have some fun! On February 10–12, 2021, you can join xPlot at the fourth annual – and first digital – Folk och Kultur! 250 activities packed into three days of fun and festivities; and best of all, it’s completely free!Read more
Do you need to finance a project in 2021? Navigating the Creative & Cultural industries for funding just got a bit easier.Read more
Even during a tumultuous year of COVID lock-downs and economic uncertainty, Kirill Noskov – founder and CEO of the backpack company IAMRUNBOX – has achieved momentous success.Read more
xPlot and Creative Business Network launch an international educational program for the Creative Industries.Read more
Välkommen att delta vid ett interaktivt event om finansiering och ekonomi i det nya normala. Oavsett om du driver en startup eller ett etablerat företag så hjälper vi dig att reda ut begreppen och se möjligheterna.Read more
In order to create the companies of the future, entrepreneurs need to learn about personal sustainability. For this reason, we’ve invited four top athletes to join the Swedish final of the Creative Business Cup.Read more
Gather your thoughts and sharpen your pens, because the applications for CBC (Creative Business Cup) are open!Read more
We can help you take your business idea to the world together with investors, business coaches and a massive international network!Read more
To support the entrepreneurs in our network, we’ve, therefore, joined forces with Creative Business Network, a global organization whose main focus is to support startups in the creative industry.Read more
Ever wondered how the old train station looked like or how the main city square was used 200 years ago? In October, one of our startups who made it to xPlot's national finals during 2018 launched their time machine app in the city of Lund in Sweden.Read more
I have always believed that good design and creativity can help solve the most complex problems in the world.Read more
Compete for SEK 20,000, business coaching, marketing, mentoring and other profits that will bring you to fruition.Read more
Sweden's incubators for culture and creative industries gathered at Brewhouse's cultural factory to form a new association for incubators within the culture and creative sector.Read more
Creative Business Cup National Competitions are organized in more than 70 countries, sending winners annually to the Global Finals in Copenhagen. Read more
Johanna Forsman, co-founder of Story Tourist takes part in the Baltic-Nordic Bootcamp June 4-5 in Helsinki.Read more
We are happy to announce the winner of Creative Business Cup Sweden. Next step for Story Tourist is the global finals in Copenhagen the 1-2 of July.Read more
The story about a small Italian village that became a leading film and multimedia hub. On the 8th of May, you will hear the full story from Luca Tesauro, CEO of Giffoni Innovation HubRead more
Fierce competition and strong inflow of applications made it really hard for the jury to evaluate and choose the finalists for the 8th of May in Lund.Read more
Next, the finals 8th of May at Mejeriet in Lund.Read more
Apply today to the Creative Business Cup Sweden and check if your idea has the potential to succeed globally.Read more
On the 4th of April in Stockholm, the Sweden Demo Day will take place!Read more