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Technology development centers in Turkey

Akçomak, İbrahim Semih
It is widely accepted that small and new firms are important in creating income and employment. Their flexible structure enables them to adapt quickly to changes in economic environment and technology. The main purpose of this thesis is to evaluate whether the Technology Development Centers (TEKMERs) established by the Small and Medium Size Industry Development Organization (KOSGEB) in Turkey encourage new firm creation in high-technology sectors and boost the performance of small and new firms both in terms of economic and technological aspects. Information on 48 on- and 41 off-incubator firms is gathered through face-to-face interviews to compare and contrast those that benefit from incubators with those that do not. The data set also covers information on 79 on- and 61 off-incubator founders. Our findings indicate that TEKMERs are important in supporting start-ups in their vulnerable stages and help them to survive. There are profound differences between on- and off-incubator firms regarding their economic performance, highly in favor of on-incubator firms, but the same cannot be put forward concerning technological performance. The claim that the founders of on-incubator firms are more educated is not supported by the data.