“The Basis of Aaaalll of Our Program!” The Start-Up Chile Playbook as Metagenre




Sabaj, Omar
Spinuzzi, Clay
Varas, Germán
Cabezas, Paula
Gerard, Valentin

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication


Background: Following previous professional communication research into entrepreneurship, we examine key genres of a specific business accelerator, Start-Up Chile (SUP). Through a triangulated study of interviews, texts, and videos, we examine how the Playbook serves as a regulatory metagenre that represents the SUP experience to the participating firms. We find that aspects of the Playbook’s representation are at odds with the other data, divergences that we argue emerge from a broader tension among SUP’s stakeholders and goals. Literature review: We review the professional communication literature on entrepreneurship, literature on startups and accelerators, and on writing, activity, and genre research (WAGR). Specifically, we examine WAGR research on metagenres and professional identity formation. Research question: How does this successful international accelerator regularize the learning experience of its exceedingly diverse startups? Specifically, how does SUP regulate the startups’ different experiences, reframing the experience of entrepreneurship and teaching these startups to form their professional identity as entrepreneurs? Research methodology: We structured this research as a qualitative case study of SUP. Data included documents, videos, interviews, and social media. We triangulated these data sources to identify points of convergence (in which different data sources supported the same assertions) and divergence (in which data sources contradicted each other). Results: SUP provides the Playbook and Newsletter as metagenres that regulate complex interactions among other genres and events, guiding firms into having roughly equivalent experiences as well as maintaining relationships among volunteers such as mentors. But the Playbook also reframes the experience of entrepreneurship so that it can fit into SUP’s program: it reframes the cyclical entrepreneurship process as linear, and it reframes promises of future action as tracking of past actions. In undergoing these experiences, the startups form their professional identity as entrepreneurs. Conclusion: We conclude by discussing implications for accelerators as well as for how professional communication genres and metagenres regulate neophytes’ experiences in training programs more broadly.



Final published version: O. Sabaj, C. Spinuzzi, G. Varas, P. Cabezas and V. Gerard, "“The Basis of Aaaalll of Our Program!” The Start-Up Chile Playbook as Metagenre," in IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, doi: 10.1109/TPC.2023.3284774.

LCSH Subject Headings