Abstract

This interpretive grounded theory study describes and analyses how early-stage mobile app developer startups utilize an accelerator’s facilities to develop and publish their game applications on a platform. The data was collected by interviewing 20 startups participating in an accelerator operated by a mobile platform-owner. Our model shows that the accelerator is affecting our early-stage startups in five areas of: their 1) market-related activities, 2) resources, 3) startup’s capabilities, 4) experimenting activities, and 5) game design activities. We discuss how the startups utilize the accelerator’s facilities to improve their capabilities and knowledge inside their firms which can affect their game design, access to resources, and improve their market-related activities. Furthermore, they make the accelerator into a social boundary resource through which they aim 1) to collaborate with and impact the platform decisions more effectively, and 2) to gain access to resources from other members of the ecosystem, in order to increase the chance of acquiring more users and building a reputation for entering other platforms. Our study enriches the existing literature in the areas of mobile application development and accelerators by shedding light on the game development activities of early-stage startups that have been selected to a platform-owned accelerator. Keywords: Mobile App Development, Boundary Resource, Accelerators, Grounded Theory study.

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