Venture Failure and the Timing of Telecommunications Reform
Chapter 6: Survey of Internet Entrepreneurship in Germany
6. Survey of internet entrepreneurship in Germany When this research in uneven internet development was initiated in late 1997, very little was known about internet entrepreneurship in countries other than in the United States. There, entrepreneurs already had been pursuing internet opportunities for around two years.1 In other countries, however, including Germany, remarkably little information existed on internet start-up companies, indeed, one was justiﬁed in wondering whether there were entrepreneurs pursuing internet opportunities at all. Only a handful of internet ventures had entered media awareness, and most of these were not started as internet ﬁrms and had refocused on the internet only later.2 Only a single German company had carried out a public oﬀering at the time of the survey which could be labelled an internet company.3 Yet, practitioners in touch with the computer and software communities nevertheless suggested that an entrepreneurial wave associated with the internet opportunity had long been brewing in Germany. Some emphasized that German entrepreneurs had begun to address the internet opportunity as early as their US counterparts. An entrepreneurial wave seemed evident only at the end of the 1990s. At this time, the new German alternative stock exchange, the Neuer Markt, listed signiﬁcant numbers of German internet ventures. The landscape seemed transformed and a revolution in internet entrepreneurship seemed under way in Germany. Yet, the companies listed on the Neuer Markt as internet ventures were not necessarily representative of internet entrepreneurship in Germany. The stock segment was dominated by web developers and...
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