Chapter 3: Digital innovation and entrepreneurship in and around institutional voids: the case of Fundacin Cardiovascular (FCV) in Colombia
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Entrepreneurial action is increasingly associated with innovation ecosystems that are driven by digital technologies. Such network-based models are celebrated as engines of growth because they allow the scaling of businesses without rising transaction and bureaucratic costs. However, in the context of many emerging economies, the growth of such ecosystems might not be feasible because of malfunctioning market and nonmarket institutions. Assumptions that markets can be built and operated or that firms interested in participating in the market can join would be risky. Nonmarket factors, such as social values and political power structures, can undermine ecosystems. This chapter examines institutional voids—the absence or under-development of market and nonmarket institutions—and chronicles the activities of an entrepreneurial firm in Northeastern Colombia that was able to innovate with digital technologies despite these voids. This firm pursued an entrepreneurial path different from the innovation ecosystem. The firm’s experiences might challenge some of the prevailing assumptions about digital innovation in the context of emerging economies.

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