From Ideas to Opportunities: Exploring the Construction of Technology-Based Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Technology Innovation Management Review 06/2013;


The transformation of business ideas into market opportunities is at the core of entrepreneurship. Nevertheless, the complexity of such a transformative process is seen to change depending on the variables influencing the opportunity-entrepreneur nexus. Although technology-entrepreneurship is regarded as a force of change and dynamism in socio-economic growth, it also depends upon an intricate process of opportunity development. The interest in understanding better how technology-based entrepreneurs simultaneously cope with technological uncertainty while trying to gain stakeholder support and access to resources, highlights a relevant research gap. The research described in this article uses the constructivist view to deepen our understanding of the technology-based entrepreneur’s conceptualization of the opportunity as a process of social construction. Our results show how initial consensus-building efforts and iteration with knowledgeable peers are an essential part of the emergence of the opportunity, changing both entrepreneur's and stakeholders' perceptions of the early business idea. Consequently, our results provide evidence in support of policy programs and measures that favour social-construction support mechanisms to foster technology-based entrepreneurship.

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