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Robert Isaak, Andrew Isaak and Jan Zybura

What makes Silicon Valley the hottest high-tech cluster in the world and can such a highly successful high-tech cluster develop elsewhere? If so, what are the prerequisites to establish a comparable nexus of innovation and which elements are the most significant in order to attract the best and brightest minds? Expanding on previous research we outline 15 hypotheses that embody key success factors in the context of the Bay Area and help us to derive implications on what a potential Silicon Valley candidate must consider. Following a conceptual mapping approach supplemented by qualitative interviews with actors in Silicon Valley, we posit our hypotheses for further empirical testing and cross-cluster comparison. We argue for a combination between bottom-up cultivation and top-down support that enables a system of serendipity and attracts and maintains world-class talent. Our chapter contributes to ongoing research on replicating Silicon Valley, building high-tech clusters and entrepreneurial ecosystems.

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Stefan Berwing, Andrew Isaak and René Leicht

There has been a long-standing debate among scholars about the nature of migrant self-employment. A popular assumption of the narrative is that migrants are forced into low-wage sectors with poor working conditions due to a lack of resources and opportunities. Here, we study the extent and determinants of precarious self-employment in Germany as well as which types of fields and occupations are most affected by precarious working conditions. To answer these questions, we develop an indicator to operationalize precarious self-employment using the 2011 German Microcensus. Quantitative analysis reveals that while migrants are more frequently engaged in precarious self-employment in absolute terms, this difference does not reach statistical significance. However, we do find clear differences for the sector of economic activity and profession, which can be interpreted as endowment effects. Overall, our results tend towards debunking the assumption that equates migrant self-employment in Germany to precarious work.