The use of design thinking in the creation of academic incubators
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Aim/purpose – More and more universities invest in business incubators. However, different aspects of their creation are not extensively described in the literature. The main purpose of this paper is to identify the possibility of using design thinking (DT) in the creation of academic incubators. Design/methodology/approach – A case study is used in this research. The approach of Lodz Technical University to the creation of a business incubator by using the design thinking method is presented. Findings – It is significant that all the participants thought design thinking was a useful methodology for the creation of academic incubators. Furthermore, the participants had a sense of social contribution to the local people, the university, and communities. It was very important to use their knowledge, experience, skills, and needs in the field of collaboration with incubators. The common works provided an opportunity to share their ideas with other teammates from different perspectives. The advantages of using DT are very meaningful for participants, allowing them to keep in mind why they are doing this and for whom. The DT process can be very difficult to describe, but its use by the creation of a business incubator will yield many benefits and new initiatives. DT is a great solution to this problem because it relates programme activities to their effect, it helps keep stakeholders focused on achieving outcomes, while it remains flexible and open to finding the best means to enact a unique story of change. Research implications/limitations – The limitations of the described study are observer bias and difficulty of replication. The effect of this process was not implemented because there was insufficient funding and the decisions regarding the implementation of this idea have changed. Originality/value/contribution – This paper is a one-of-a-kind description of the implementation of design thinking methodology in the creation of an academic incubator.
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