Outcomes and Perspectives
Chapter 8: From Forecast to Realisation – A Systemic Approach to Understanding the Evolution of High-Tech Start-ups
Michel Bernasconi and Franck Moreau INTRODUCTION Management researchers have been interested in the analysis of the development of new enterprises for many years. Work on new enterprises in general has been supplemented progressively by a research stream directed at hightech start-ups, of which the current research study forms part. The difficulties inherent in the creation of high-tech start-ups are a burden for entrepreneurs, investors and public actors. Research shows that the development process during the first years is critical and that many promising projects fail in spite of their use of competitive technology, relevant business models and skilled entrepreneurs. The objective of this work is to deepen our understanding of how in practice, high-tech start-ups evolve during their initial years. The first issue that arises is one of definition. Numerous definitions of entrepreneurship exist, but not all of them are necessarily useful or relevant in terms of the observation of the phenomenon of project evolution. If we define entrepreneurship as ‘a new economic activity’ (Davidsson, 2001), we have a broad and dynamic definition that suits the subject of our research, that is enterprises building a new economic activity based on technological innovation. The choice of the definition of an enterprise in the specific case of a new venture is important for the research positioning and the methodological design. We have selected the definition of an enterprise as ‘the implementation of a project’ as proposed by Bréchet (1994) as it gives a systemic and dynamic paradigm of the new enterprise...
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