Fostering Digital Start-ups: Structural Model of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

AbstractDespite rising scholarly, policy and practical interest in the concept of entrepreneurial ecosystems, much of the research to date has remained descriptive in nature and has not considered the fundamental driver of the phenomenon - digitalization. We theorize that entrepreneurial ecosystems represent a novel, distinctive type of regional cluster that facilitate digital start-ups which leverage digital affordances for disruptive business model innovation. Entrepreneurial ecosystems are distinguished from other forms of regional agglomeration by their relative lack of industry and technology specificity; by their organization around the start-up process, by the way they combine and leverage spatial and digital affordances, and by their shared experiential knowledge base on business model innovation. We build a structural model of entrepreneurial ecosystems that comprises four key elements: ecosystem community, resource dynamic, knowledge spill-over dynamic, and general framework conditions.

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