Understand That Everything is Different and be Humble to the Task : An Exploratory Study on Establishment Challenges for Swedish Micro-Sized Tech Businesses in NYC

University essay from KTH/Skolan för elektroteknik och datavetenskap (EECS)

Abstract: Swedish micro-businesses are encouraged by the government to internationalise and participate in entrepreneurial ecosystems. Yet research on how they should be supported while doing so is thin. Current research on entrepreneurial ecosystems shows that value co-creation breads sustainability, and increased attention is given to intermediary organisations. While scholars stress aligned expectations as key to value co-creation, intermediaries today are basing their actions on what they think businesses need and expect. This study challenges that logic. This study focused on the entrepreneurial ecosystem of New York, specifically looking at Swedish technology startups, intermediaries and investors. Trough semi-structured interviews the study sought to understand how congruent startups’ and intermediaries’ perceptions of challenges during business establishment in NYC are, and also, how they could be aligned. The study employed the framework of Gioia et al. (2012) when distilling challenges from the interviews. The results show congruence in some identified challenges, with a key difference in their temporal approaches. The intermediaries primarily focused on instrumental challenges and initial barriers-to-entry, while the startups (and investors) in higher regard focused on open-ended challenges related to relationships and legitimacy. This was considered proof of intermediaries employing an outdated theoretical perspective on their role as an instrumental broker. The study thus concluded by suggesting an alternative perspective, emphasizing dynamic and situation-based support.

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