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From Innovation to Entrepreneurship

Connectivity-based Regional Development

Yasuyuki Motoyama

Innovation and entrepreneurship are often considered two sides of the same coin. But are the links between innovation and entrepreneurship as inextricable as we think? From Innovation to Entrepreneurship questions this seemingly interdependent relationship, highlighting the different requirements of innovation and entrepreneurship. This book disentangles theories of innovation and entrepreneurship, empirically revealing the overlaps and differences between them. Demonstrating that the pursuit of entrepreneurship is the key to economic development, Yasuyuki Motoyama explores the concept that people are at the heart of entrepreneurship ecosystems.
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Yasuyuki Motoyama

This chapter starts with a tale of two entrepreneurs, one scientist with cutting-edge technology and a grant from the federal government’s innovation fund, and one casual entrepreneur who has been thinking about new business aside from his main job. It presents a hypothesis that, while the current innovation theory and policy supports the former entrepreneur, the one more likely to succeed in business is the latter. It then lays out a set of premises fundamental to entrepreneurship that the book will uncover in each chapter.

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Yasuyuki Motoyama

This chapter reviews theories of innovation and entrepreneurship. The past theories argued much overlap between the two, while this chapter disentangles the two concepts and highlights differences. It further points out that the innovation theories captured primarily inputs of innovation, but failed to capture outputs of innovation, and are biased toward high-tech sectors and patents-oriented innovation. Instead, it proposes to capture regional dynamics based on entrepreneurship.

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Yasuyuki Motoyama

Like innovation, it is hard to measure entrepreneurship. This chapter uses three measures of entrepreneurship and tests regional factors associated with high entrepreneurship activities. It demonstrates that most factors emphasized in the innovation theories are not associated with entrepreneurship rates, such as patents, research expenditure by universities and the federal government. What is associated with entrepreneurship is primarily human capital factors, such as the level of education among the population. It then proposes more in-depth analysis of regional cases to uncover what factors and structures are hidden inside those human capital factors.

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Yasuyuki Motoyama

This chapter examines entrepreneurship activities through a large-scale survey of high-tech firms and focus groups of entrepreneurs attending at 1 Million Cups, a grassroots-based networking activities started in 2012. The survey demonstrates that the companies in the high-tech sectors valued informal local access to innovative people or ideas, but, at the same time, the research-related factors came at the bottom of their list. The focus groups uncover that entrepreneurs value the peer-based learning from presenting their business ideas and receiving feedback.

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Yasuyuki Motoyama

This chapter, first, examines recipients of the Arch Grants, a regionwide business plan competition started in St. Louis in 2012. While these are all winners of the competition, many of them report that they made major modifications in business plans after winning the competition. Moreover, the ideas to modify business plans came from interactions with other peer entrepreneurs by exchanging information and providing feedback to each other. Different from startup companies, Inc. companies are established companies with at least $2 million annual revenue. However, interviews from those companies also demonstrate that entrepreneurs face major changes in business, often hinted at by their mentors. In addition, many companies started small and grew incrementally, not through external investment from venture capitalists.

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Yasuyuki Motoyama

This chapter identifies 255 entrepreneurship-related Twitter accounts in Kansas City and St. Louis, extracts over 170,000 followers, and analyzes network patterns of those followers. First, this analysis helps to identify specific entrepreneurship support organizations. Previous chapters identified those support organizations, but based on a small-scale surveys or interviews. Second, it uncovers the localized nature of entrepreneurship system, meaning that major entrepreneurship support organizations are highly different between Kansas City and St. Louis. Third, it reveals different kinds of entrepreneurship communities and associated followers even within each region.

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Yasuyuki Motoyama

This final chapter synthesizes all the findings and induces a theory of entrepreneurship by contrasting with the innovation theory. In short, the fundamentals of entrepreneurship development are peer learning and experimental adjustment, which does not fit with the currently dominant theory and policy based on the so-called linear model of development. This chapter then provides policy recommendations (three dos and two don’ts) and provides implications for data collection and entrepreneurship policy.

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Yasuyuki Motoyama

This content is available to you

Yasuyuki Motoyama