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Evolution of Collaborative Networks Supporting Startup Sustainability: Evidences from Digital Firms

Renato Passaro (), Ivana Quinto (), Pierluigi Rippa () and Antonio Thomas ()
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Renato Passaro: Department of Engineering, University of Naples Parthenope, 80143 Naples, Italy
Ivana Quinto: Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, 80125 Naples, Italy
Pierluigi Rippa: Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, 80125 Naples, Italy
Antonio Thomas: Department of Engineering, University of Naples Parthenope, 80143 Naples, Italy

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 22, 1-20

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to investigate whether startup evolution can be conceptualized in a life cycle model intended as an unpredictable sequence of stages, where startups need to find actors with whom to collaborate to acquire knowledge and resources supporting the effectiveness and the sustainability of their mission. The creation and implementation of collaborative networks is observed through the lens of the holistic approach to the entrepreneurial ecosystem, whose purpose is to build “bridges” between different actors through the creation of communities of best practices or entrepreneurial networks. The creation of a specific ecosystem is suggested to ease the new digital entrepreneurship generation toward acquiring an appropriate level of knowledge, skills, financial facilitations, and entrepreneurial culture. Following a multiple case study analysis based on nine successful Italian digital firms, the empirical evidence seems to confirm that firms collaborate with different actors in different stages, as knowledge and resource networks play a critical role in sustaining the evolution and success of new firms.

Keywords: startup; innovation; ecosystem; life cycle; case study; Italy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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