Knowledge Acquisition Strategies of SME’s

This study predicts the conditions under which firms that engage in an innovation project
choose for one of three knowledge acquisition strategies (KASs): internal R&D, buy and
collaborate. This is done by linking the KASs to a series of attributes using a discrete
choice experiment that is conducted on 427 SMEs. We find that risk and finance models
have a large influence on the choice for a KAS. Moreover, we identify four latent classes
of firms that have distinctive choice patterns. We demonstrate that the choices for a KAS
are related to the past behavior of the firm and that a limited number of firms are likely
to change their KAS.

Presentation:

KASs of SMEs

Report:

ManuscriptDRUID

New Climate-KIC report on start-up funding: The (mis)alignment of financiers and start-ups in The Netherlands

As we have come to know, for a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem, sufficient capital needs to flow towards high-risk entrepreneurial activities. But in the Global  Entrepreneurship monitor (GEM, 2013), access to entrepreneurial finance was rated as the poorest condition for the Dutch entrepreneurial ecosystem. Especially high tech start-ups often lament the lack of capital available to them. Financiers on the other hand want to invest their money in the most profitable way within a range of investment opportunities. They often criticize the availability of good investment options in the world of start-ups.

This new Climate-KIC report on start-up funding sets out to identify barriers to the alignment of supply and demand of capital for high  technology start-ups. Hereby, the study addresses two introductory questions:
1. How do financiers evaluate the different high tech start-ups in the market?
2. How do entrepreneurs evaluate the different funding sources in the market?
These two questions guide us to the main research question:
3. What are the barriers in start-up financing in the Netherlands?

Based on interviews with 22 financiers (including large VC funds, public VCs, angel investors, family offices and banks) and 23 entrepreneurs (across 4 industries; high tech systems, ICT, LS and clean tech), this report elaborates upon the financing landscape and the preferences of financiers within the Netherlands. Moreover, it introduces a typology of entrepreneurs and their preferences in relation to funding, showing a positive attitude towards informal investors, Supply Chain Finance, subsidies and Flexible Finance Facilities.Last, but not least, the report discusses the barriers for financing of start-ups within the Netherlands and reflects on the three most apparent issues and discusses their implications.

Read the report by clicking the link below:

Start-up funding: The (mis)alignment of financiers and start-ups in The Netherlands

Brazil & Mexico – Exploration of the startup-incubator-accelerator-investor scene throughout Latin America

The Climate-KIC Innovation Scout program conducted an exploratory study in both Brazil & Mexico to assess the current state of the start-up scene in Latin America, focussing on whether the startup scenes in both countries are worthwhile investing time and resources to learn from and connect with.

Overall, the increasing activity both from the government and accelerators have led to more startup companies. There is a big difference between startups in university incubators –mostly high-tech hardware companies -, and startups accepted by private accelerators – mostly software startups that require low-investment to gain high growth. Brazilian startups are focused mostly on the internal market which is usually large enough for them. The barriers they face are mainly bureaucratic, complex tax systems and lack of business and marketing skills. Next to that, both seed funding and capital investment is difficult to acquire. Government initiatives try to ignite startups by providing them some startup funding, but after that startups have few options to continue.

We conclude that both startup scenes are very young and immature; little lessons can be learned. However, these start-up scenes are growing, vibrant and dynamic. Therefore, an eye should be kept on Latin America.

Read more in both reports below:

Climate-KIC report Brazil

Climate-KIC report Mexico City

Boston – Supporting entrepreneurship in a highly academic environment

The Boston start-up ecosystem is one of the most well educated and balanced high-tech start-up clusters in the world. But in comparison, the Boston area is less known as a major start-up ecosystem than other start-up ecosystems such as Silicon Valley, as it is not leading in the consumer Internet industry. Also, the diversity of the clusters in Boston has made storytelling more diffuse. Nevertheless, the Boston start-up ecosystem generates several clusters with multi-hundred dollar- or over- exits and hundreds of millions in both software, life sciences, robotics and materials industries. This spring, the Climate-KIC Innovation Scout program conducted a study to reveal Boston’s  best practices and interesting support models for high-tech start-ups, focusing on the role of universities in supporting start-ups.

For this study, a total of 42 interviews were conducted among entrepreneurs, universities, incubators, accelerator programs, government programs and investors in the Boston start-up ecosystem.

The following conclusions were drawn:

  • A culture of “paying it forward” among entrepreneurs and supportive organizations is fundamental to the support of entrepreneurship.
  • Diverse and stage-related entrepreneurship support contributes to a balanced and inspirational start-up ecosystem.
  • Universities and start-ups naturally have the incentives to sustainably collaborate.
  • Universities can promote entrepreneurship as a career path.
  • Teaching entrepreneurship demands an “action-based” approach.
  • Ownership, leadership and engagement lead to successful collaboration.
  • Universities can be excellent piloting sites for new technologies and products.

 

Read more by clicking the link below:

Climate-KIC report Boston

Climate Scout Reporting: Start-up scene Brazil

Pepijn Veling visited Brazil to assess the current state of the start-up scene.

The study is part of a wider exploration of the startup-incubator-accelerator-investor scene throughout Latin America. The goal of the trip to Brazil was to explore whether the Brazilian startup scene is worthwhile investing time and resources to learn from and connect with it.

Overall, the increasing activity both from the government and accelerators have led to more startup companies. There is a big difference between startups in university incubators – mostly high-tech hardware companies -, and startups accepted by private accelerators – mostly software startups that require low-investment to gain high growth. Brazilian startups are focused mostly on the internal market which is usually large enough for them. The barriers they face are mainly bureaucratic, complex tax systems and lack of business and marketing skills. Next to that, both seed funding and capital investment is difficult to acquire. Government initiatives try to ignite startups by providing them some startup funding, but after that startups have few options to continue.

The conclusion is that the Brazilian startup scene is very young and immature; little lessons can be learned. However, the Brazil start-up scene is growing, vibrant and dynamic. Therefore, an eye should be kept on the Brazil start-up scene.

Read Pepijn’s presentation by clicking the link down below:

Startup Scene Brazil

Start-up funding: The (mis)alignment of financiers and start-ups in The Netherlands

We all know that entrepreneurs are important for economic development. However, sufficient capital needs to flow towards high-risk entrepreneurial activities to create rapid entrepreneurial growth. And let it be this, the access to entrepreneurial finance, that was rated as the poorest condition for the Dutch entrepreneurial ecosystem (GEM, 2013).

The study  Start-up funding: The (mis)alignment of financiers and start-ups in The Netherlands sets out to identify barriers to the alignment of supply and demand of capital for high technology start-ups.The report is based on a case study among 22 financiers (including large VC funds, public VC’s, angel investors, family offices and banks) and 23 entrepreneurs from 4 industries (high tech systems, ICT, LS and clean tech). It elaborates upon the financing landscape and the preferences of financiers within this landscape and analyses the barriers that emerge when different types of financiers and entrepreneurs are trying to do business. Finally, the report presents  an alternative financing instrument.

Read the report by clicking below:

Scout Report Startup Funding

 

 

Start-ups down under: How start-up communities facilitate Australian entrepreneurship

Although the number of incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces and science parks is rapidly increasing around the world, little attention has been paid to the start-up communities that these initiatives create. Based on a case study in three cities in Australia, a country that has seen a rapid growth in entrepreneurial activity, three Startup-insights affiliated researchers from Utrecht University found communities to create legitimacy, and to attract new stakeholders. The communities  provide entrepreneurs with an inspiring environment, a shared sense of belonging, encouragement and ambition. For start-ups, the community is a source of both tangible and intangible resources.

However, being in these communities doesn’t come without the risks, as it can be difficult for entrepreneurs to stay focused, maintain a work-life balance, protect the start-up’s IP, and create a unique company culture. The benefits and risks associated with the community were found to be conditional to the community’s size and diversity. The study found incubators and co-working spaces to influence these conditions, by introducing communitymanagers and selection processes, thereby creating optimal circumstances for start-up communities to prosper.

Read the paper by means of clicking the link below.

Start-ups down under- How start-up communities facilitate Australian entrepreneurship

How to facilitate the learning processes of entrepreneurs?

Marijn van Weele studies the processes through which start-up support organizations, such as incubators or accelerators, facilitate the learning processes of entrepreneurs. In doing so, he specifically focuses on the role of the context in which both start-ups and incubators operate. As such, Marijn conducts an international comparison of incubators across different industries. Since the beginning of his research in 2012, Marijn conducted research in different countries (The Netherlands, France, United Kingdom, Switzerland, United States and Australia), and different industries (life sciences, ICT and clean tech).

Incubators & accelerator programs: do they really matter?

Recently started, Chris Eveleens has set out to research the impact of incubators and accelerators and the role of networks of start-ups. Incubators stimulate the start-up of new firms by offering value-adding facilities and services to the entrepreneur. However, the effectiveness of incubators in increasing the performance of start-ups is debated and conclusive evidence is lacking. His PhD project aims to address this by first reviewing the current state of the literature with respect to the theoretical and conceptual foundations of the incubator and the incubation concept. Also, it will analyse the role of network capabilities of clean-tech entrepreneurs and networks of clean-tech start-ups in their performance and the impact that incubation programs have on these capabilities and networks. Finally, this project will quantitatively assess the factors that determine the overall impact of incubation programs on start-up performance.

The Chinese start-up scene: best practices and barriers for market entry

Based in Shanghai, Henk Steinz is looking into the Chinese start-up scene. In Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong he interviews entrepreneurs, investors and managers of incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces. Hereby focusing on best practices and on how the Chinese unique ecosystem influences the growing start-up scene. Special attention will be paid to the opportunities and barriers for (western) cleantech start-ups to enter the Chinese market.

Image: Kwartstuiver.nl