Start-up Competitions as an Instrument of Entrepreneurship Policy: The German Experience
European Planning Studies,
The number of aspiring entrepreneurs in high-tech industries who successfully complete the transition from a nascent start-up project towards an operational new venture is comparatively low in Germany. Since the mid-1990s, policy-makers have initiated numerous start-up competitions (SUCs or business plan competitions) to facilitate this important step in the venture creation process. SUCs have two key objectives. They are aimed at increasing start-up activity by motivating potential entrepreneurs, while they should also help to increase the likelihood of subsequent entrepreneurial success through providing necessary entrepreneurial skills to prospective entrepreneurs. With our explorative study, we provide the first comprehensive empirical evidence from a cross-sectional survey of existing SUCs in Germany. Overall, 71 SUCs are identified which are analysed regarding their development, regional distribution, and main structural characteristics. Finally, we outline an agenda of future research questions concerning the effectiveness and efficiency of SUCs as an instrument of entrepreneurship policy.
Regional Entrepreneurial Opportunities in the Biotech Industry: Exploring the Transition from Award-winning Nascent Entrepreneurs to Real Start-ups
European Planning Studies,
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.
Von der Intention zur Gründung - Gründerwettbewerbe in Deutschland
List Forum für Wirtschafts- und Finanzpolitik,
The number of aspiring entrepreneurs in high-tech industries that succeed in completing the transition from nascent entrepreneurship to new venture creation is too low in Germany. Responding to this unsatisfactory situation, since the mid 1990s, numerous start-up competitions (or business plan competitions) have been established to stimulate the transition from nascent to real entrepreneurship. Those competitions have too major objectives: Increasing start-up probabilities by mobilizing potential entrepreneurs while simultaneously increasing the probability of start-up success of the prospective start-ups. Despite their importance as (policy) measure to encourage entrepreneurship, a discussion of their effectiveness is missing so far. The present article tries to contribute to the understanding of start-up competitions by providing broad empirical evidence on the development, on the regional distribution and on the most important characteristics of existing start-up competitions in Germany. Further, the article presents and discusses most important empirical results regarding the effectiveness of those start-up competitions (and other important factors as well) to act as a driving force behind the transition from nascent entrepreneurship to new venture creation in high-technology industries. Finally, we derive conclusions for an agenda of main future research questions.