The objective of this study is to shed light on what drives industrial patterns in overcoming legitimacy problem in high-tech sectors. This study focuses on the role of public incentives and R&D policies for entrepreneurs in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This study hypothesizes that public subsidies get new entrants better aligned to high-technology oriented sectors, supporting establishing a reputation and fostering strategic partnerships with other companies. The resource acquisition through public incentives is seen as a key legitimacy indicator of companies and especially SMEs. This study performs regression analysis of resources acquired via the European Space Agency and national schemes in the Dutch space sector, in order to support Dutch companies and shape opportunities in the space industry. In the case of the Dutch space sector, it was demonstrated that companies with more national public funding do have a significant higher chance of getting ESA contracts, pointing at higher legitimacy.