Case Studies in Knowledge Intensive Entrepreneurship
Edited by Maureen McKelvey and Astrid Heidemann Lassen
Chapter 6: The nexus between technology, organizational and market development: the case of NanoSpace Inc.
A common characteristic of knowledge intensive entrepreneurship (KIE) firms is the desire to pursue a detected opportunity, but often with a lack of necessary resources to do so. In this connection, the value of networks is widely acknowledged in the literature (for example, Aldrich and Zimmer, 1986; Hite and Hesterly, 2001). Networking is considered a system by which entrepreneurs can tap into resources that are external to them, that is, resources over which they have no direct control. In its simplest form, networking consists of the use of all personal relationships to obtain advice, financing, sales and so on. In its most sophisticated form, entrepreneurs make use of elaborate webs of relationships between companies, which makes them extremely efficient and flexible at delivering a product or service to the market. As such, networking is an important topic in relation to KIE; and evidence suggests that the process of managing KIE ventures is strongly affected by the network activities of these ventures. In this case study we see how leveraging networks in a KIE venture is a way to overcome problems related to resources, knowledge and legitimacy alike. In particular, in KIE ventures, the entrepreneurial activities and the importance of networks are not only related to the development of the venture itself. As we illustrate in the case of NanoSpace Inc., the entrepreneurial use of networks is equally significant for developing an immature market and technology as well as further developing the immature organization. As such, the questions addressed through the case study are:
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