Ende der 'Gemischtwarenläden': Spezialisierung von Technologie- und Gründerzentren als Option kommunaler Wirtschaftsförderung
In the context of policy measures that focus on the promotion of entrepreneurship and innovative start-ups on the level of cities and municipalities, since the beginning of the 21st century, there is an explicit tendency to establish a new type of business incubators and technology centers. These support facilities focus their support infrastructure and processes on firms from one specific sector and its particular needs. In Germany, since 1999, nearly one-third of all new business incubators opened with a sector-specific focus. Despite the continuously increasing importance of such specialized business incubators in local and regional development strategies, there is no analysis of these support facilities. On the basis of the key principles of business incubation functionality, supplemented by recent findings of incubator/ incubation research, this article investigates the evolution of this incubator concept in Germany, its regional distribution and describes the benefits to firms of being part of a specialized incubator. Moreover, this article details what are the general conditions and requirements for the long-term success of specialized business incubation initiatives.