The Role of Accelerators in Shaping Entrepreneurial Identity


  • Anita Tobiassen Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway
  • Ingunn Elvekrok Kristiana University College, Norway
  • Line Skreosen Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway



accelerator, entrepreneurial identity, team identity, venture identity, effectuation, start-ups


This study explores how a Norwegian accelerator influenced the entrepreneurial identity of those accellerated. The importance of entrepreneurial identity, or how entrepreneurs see themselves and their business ventures, is highlighted in effectuation theory as one of the means that drives entrepreneurial action and is seen as important for entrepreneurs’ perceived opportunity space. The study is an explorative single-case study of a Norwegian accelerator targeting new ventures. Data were collected through in-depth interviews with seven entrepreneurs who had recently participated in the accelerator. The findings indicate that the accelerator had an impact on entrepreneurial identity, both at the individual and team levels and on start-up identity. Participation in the program also influenced related factors, such as business model development and customer- and capital access. The impact on identity varied according to how the entrepreneurs saw themselves pre-participation and how far they had come in developing their firms’ business concepts. The study contributes to the literature on the effects om accelerators in general, and its role in fostering entrepreneurial identity at different levels in particular.