Regional Entrepreneurial Opportunities in the Biotech Industry: Exploring the Transition from Award-winning Nascent Entrepreneurs to Real Start-ups
Knowledge of factors that determine the transition from nascent entrepreneurship into real entrepreneurship is of major importance for policies aiming to effectively stimulate start-ups. Whereas scholars concentrated on person-specific factors to explain transition probabilities, environmental characteristics have been fairly neglected. Given that entrepreneurship is a strongly localized phenomenon, this paper argues that regional entrepreneurial opportunities are a driving force behind the transition from nascent entrepreneurship to new venture creation. Based on unique data on 103 nascent entrepreneurs in the German biotechnology industry, we empirically assess the importance of regional entrepreneurial opportunities on transition probabilities. Further, we introduce a new approach to measure nascent entrepreneurship by capturing individuals that actively participate in start-up competitions and have won at least one competition. Controlling for technology and individual characteristics, we find strong support for our hypotheses relating to the significant impact of general regional opportunities, specific regional opportunities and the entrepreneurial environment for the probability of transition from award-winning nascent entrepreneurs to real start-ups.