How Entrepreneurs Can Build Ecosystems for New Venture Creation
30 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2020 Last revised: 4 Dec 2020
Date Written: October 16, 2020
Despite extant research on how established firms manage interdependences and complementarities in an ecosystem, little is known regarding the ecosystem strategies that entrepreneurs can take to found and grow a new firm with resource constraints. Especially, there was no study on how startups may pursue specialization and ecosystem value co-creation when located in a region lacking co-specialized firms as potential ecosystem partners. Through a longitudinal study of Suntech from its founding and growth to the world’s largest solar PV producer, we identify two distinct ecosystem strategies of the founder-entrepreneur in the founding and growth stages: initially, engaging globally-dispersed ecosystem partners; and subsequently, cultivating new local ecosystem partners. Our analysis shed light on the entrepreneuri-al motivations and enablers for the staged ecosystem strategies, as well as the economic driver behind the shift of strategies across the founding and growth phases. Our findings contribute to the research on ecosystem strategy, by elucidating how entrepreneurs build ecosystems to build new ventures.
Keywords: Ecosystem strategy, ecosystem building, new venture, entrepreneurship, solar PV
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