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Internet Entrepreneurship in Europe

Venture Failure and the Timing of Telecommunications Reform

Niko Marcel Waesche

From its launch in 1997, the Frankfurt technology stock exchange developed spectacularly as did other European technology exchanges. Many Europeans thought that a new age of entrepreneurship had dawned. Following the downturn, however, the search for blame began. Much of this blame was undifferentiated and subjective. Public policy lessons were not drawn. Written by a well-known commentator of the European venture capital community, this book analyses the rise and decline of European internet entrepreneurship. The effects of both the public promotion of venture capital investments as well as the timing of telecommunications reform are examined in detail in various European countries, in particular in Germany and Sweden. The book contains a wealth of unique data on the failure of European internet ventures and draws several technology and telecommunications policy conclusions.
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Appendix A: Procedure and Results of the Globalstartup Survey

Niko Marcel Waesche


As stated in Chapter 6, in early 1998, a representative list of internet startups in Germany was not available. Nor had the press identified internet companies beyond a small handful of high-profile firms. For this reason, firms had to identify themselves by responding to a publicity campaign. The response rate was boosted by the participation of the monthly business publication manager magazin. The magazine announced that it would publish an article on a selection of start-up case studies in Autumn 1998 drawn from the pool of survey participants.1 The editors of manager magazin as well as ‘Spiegel Online,’ the web publication of Der Spiegel, are thanked here for their indispensable and very kind cooperation. An important factor which had to be taken into consideration was that entrepreneurs in the first months of their start-up phase have very limited spare time. In order to speed up the registration process, a web site was set up which allowed on-line registration (under and The initial questionnaire was comprised of a brief set of basic questions. These were specifically devised to be filled out by entrepreneurs: questions on possibly confidential data such as sales figures were avoided. A selection of these internet start-ups were identified as potential high-growth companies. These entrepreneurs were asked to spend additional time on a second questionnaire. They were personally contacted by the author who assured them that he would respect their confidentiality concerns. The second questionnaire was...

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