From Incubation to Sustainability: a Case-Study of Graduated Companies in Portugal


Maria Teresa Almeida Cunha Alegre Silva
Cristina Clara Ribeiro Parente


The purpose of this article is to discuss business incubators as a new way to boost companies and create jobs in a very competitive economic context.  From a sociological perspective inspired by concepts such as those of “network” and “social capital”, we analyse the entrepreneurial ecosystem as an instrument to overcome challenges during post-incubation. A qualitative research based on a multiple case-study in companies formerly incubated at the Science and Technology Park of the University of Porto (UPTEC) was conducted to analyse the impact of incubation on graduation and growth. The research objective was to understand the importance of business incubators for business sustainability. Our findings show that companies from the UPTEC were strengthened during incubation, particularly as a result of available low cost services and the reproduction of their networking context through the implementation of business communities after incubation.