How Entrepreneurs Can Build Ecosystems for New Venture Creation

30 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2020 Last revised: 4 Dec 2020

See all articles by Wei Zhang

Wei Zhang

Tsinghua University

Steven White

Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management

Jianxi Luo

Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)

Date Written: October 16, 2020

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Zhang, Wei and White, Steven and Luo, Jianxi, How Entrepreneurs Can Build Ecosystems for New Venture Creation (October 16, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3713478 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3713478

Wei Zhang

Tsinghua University ( email )

Beijing, 100084
China

Steven White

Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management ( email )

Beijing
China

Jianxi Luo (Contact Author)

Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) ( email )

8 Somapah Rd
Singapore, 487372
Singapore

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