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Technology-Based Entrepreneurs: Does Internet Make a Difference?

Massimo G Colombo and Marco Delmastro ()

Small Business Economics, 2001, vol. 16, issue 3, 177-90

Abstract: This paper is an empirical analysis of the personal characteristics of Italian high-tech entrepreneurs. We analyze differences in the characteristics of founders according to the sector of operation of the start-up. In particular, we investigate whether entrepreneurs in Internet related activities differ from those operating in other ICT industries (especially in manufacturing). For this purpose, we analyze a sample composed of 246 entrepreneurs that between 1984 and 1999 established 116 new firms that operate in ICT manufacturing and service industries and are located in Northern Italy. The findings highlight that Internet entrepreneurs generally are younger and less educated (especially in technical fields) than the other sample founders. They quite often are at their first professional experience; if they have prior working experience, it generally is in unrelated industries. Such findings are related to evolutionary theories that emphasize the role of the nature of technical change and of the stage of the industry life cycle in influencing the characteristics and behavior of new firms and their founders. Copyright 2001 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Date: 2001
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