The Campus as Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: The University of Chicago

59 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2017  

David Joshua Miller

Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, George Mason University

Zoltan J. Acs

Schar School of Policy and Government

Date Written: March 5, 2017

Abstract

This paper employs Frederick Jackson Turner’s “Frontier Thesis of the United States” to construct a framework for understanding the U.S. university campus as an entrepreneurial ecosystem. One question that immediately comes to mind when studying ecosystem performance is what the proper unit of analysis is: the country, the state, the city, the region, or something smaller, like an incubator or accelerator? This paper suggests that the open, innovative American frontier that closed at the end of the 20th century has reemerged in the entrepreneurial economy on the U.S. campus. The contemporary campus entrepreneurial ecosystem offers the characteristics of Turner's frontier: available assets, liberty and diversity while creating opportunity, and fostering entrepreneurship and innovation. A case study of the University of Chicago explores governance of the campus as an entrepreneurial ecosystem and the output produced by that campus ecosystem.

Keywords: Frontier, Frederick Jackson Turner, Growth, Campus, Ecosystem, Higher Education, Unicorns, Innovation, American Exceptionalism, New Venture Creation

JEL Classification: B1, B2, I2, L26, M1

Suggested Citation

Miller, David Joshua and Acs, Zoltan J., The Campus as Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: The University of Chicago (March 5, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2927850

David Joshua Miller (Contact Author)

Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, George Mason University ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
7039931768 (Phone)
7039931768 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://CampusEntrepreneurship.com

Zoltan J. Acs

Schar School of Policy and Government ( email )

Founders Hall
3351 Fairfax Dr.
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
703-993-1780 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://home.ubalt.edu/zacs

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