NURCE - The Nazarbayev University’s Research Centre for Entrepreneurship
Title: Technology Entrepreneurship in Kazakhstan: The Role of Incubators in Enabling Entrepreneurship Restarts (2022-2024).
PI: Ona Akemu (PI) and Atanu Rakshit (Co-PI)


Technology entrepreneurship, the development of opportunities for profit using technology-intensive products and services, is inherently risky. While we may be familiar with technology clusters such as Silicon Valley that have nurtured world-beating firms such as Facebook and Google, failure of companies and entrepreneurs stay out of our radar. It is essential that we pay close attention to failed experiences as they are the drivers of innovation and can help us build a strong system.

As Kazakhstan invests in building a technology ecosystem, including incubators that nurture technology-intensive entrepreneurial ideas, in the framework of our project we have set couple of objectives:

  • Understand how technology entrepreneurs in Kazakhstan revise, update and configure their business models to cope with their customer and regulatory needs.
  • Learn about the role that incubators play in helping technology entrepreneurs cope with failure.

The methodology includes longitudinal study of networks that entrepreneurs bring to and develop after graduating from an incubator. We are planning to conduct research in Nur-Sultan, Almaty and Karagandy. The hypothesis is

The project is expected to contribute to entrepreneurship literature with an empirical study of early stage ventures, since there is a limited number of research involving empirical analysis. Additionally, we want to contribute to the body of academic knowledge about entrepreneurial failure, and expand the scope of study of context and culture in which such failures take place.

We understand that Silicon Valley was not built in a day, however, we hope the work of the centre will inform Kazakhstan's policies towards the incubators and results of research will be used to develop better conditions for tech entrepreneurs. Thus, we are excited to launch this research project to study Kazakhstan's budding technology incubators.