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Startups, Innovation, Technology, and the Entrepreneurship Economy

Mon, May 28, 14:00 to 15:15, Hilton Prague, M, Karlin II

Session Submission Type: Panel

Abstract

What is a startup? Ries (2011) defined a startup in his bestseller book The Lean Startup: “A startup is a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty” (Ries, p.27). Yet successful startups are full of activities associated with building an institution: hiring creative employees, coordinating their activities, communicating with a wide diversity of stakeholders, and creating a company culture that delivers results. People often neglect the fact that a startup is not just about a product, a technological breakthrough, or a brilliant idea. It’s also important that the word innovation be understood broadly. Startups use many kinds of innovations: novel scientific discoveries, repurposing an existing technology for a new use, devising a new business model that unlocks value that was hidden, or just bringing a product or service to a new location or a previously underserved set of customers. In all these cases, innovation is at the heart of the company’s success.

Furthermore, in their book, The Emergence of Urban Entrepreneur, Cohen and Munoz (2016) explained three key driving forces changing the shape of innovation and entrepreneurship for the coming decades: collaborative, democratized, and urbanized. Meanwhile, The World Bank’s researchers developed a framework consisting of five elements critical to the success of urban technology ecosystems. These include people, infrastructure, enabling environment, economic assets, and networking assets.

Academic research on startups and entrepreneurship has been conducted primarily in the business finance and management disciplines. However, crucial aspects such as the diffusion of innovations, the organizational design of a startup, the strategic development of a startup, the communicative resilience among entrepreneurial labors, and the interactive process in a startup team, provide rich research opportunities to communication scholars.

This is a time for communication scholars to develop and share their voice on the interrelated topic of Startups, Innovation, Technology, and the Entrepreneurship Economy.

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