Technological Entrepreneurship: Birth, Growth, and Success
This book has attempted to explain the origins of high-technology entrepreneurs and the causes of their successes and failures. Data were developed from over forty integrated research studies carried out over a twenty-five year period of time, covering many aspects of high-technology enterprise. This chapter reviews my findings, identifies what still needs to be learned, and contemplates the future of technological entrepreneurship.
New technological enterprises are given birth by engineers and scientists deciding to become entrepreneurs, developing or adopting the technological bases for their new firms, investing or raising the financial resources needed to get going. Chapters 2 through 5 cover these elements.
Though not quantified by Chapter 2 the complex environment of the Route 128 region surrounding Greater Boston clearly has had tremendous influence on many decisions to become an entrepreneur. The positive influence of MIT on its own faculty, lab employees and alumni has been particularly noteworthy in this regard. And the resulting early formation of high-technology companies from MIT and its surrounds has gradually produced a strengthening positive feedback effect on future prospective entrepreneurs. The associated infrastructure of venture capital and knowledgeable bankers, accountants, lawyers, as well as the technical industry support structure of specialty vendors, machine shops, contract assemblers has grown to be a vital aspect of persuasive influence on those considering entrepreneurship.
The most striking predecessor influence on technical entrepreneurs is their family background: Between half and two-thirds share the "entrepreneurial heritage" of having a self-employed father. This is even evident