Examining the Connections within the Startup Ecosystem: A Case Study of St. Louis

Yasuyuki Motoyama, Karren K. Watkins
2014 Social Science Research Network  
Recent research has shown that the job-creating potential of new, young and growing companies is vital to the U.S. economy. Other studies show that a community's entrepreneur support network-the organizations and institutions that make up its "ecosystem"-is critical for new firms to succeed. What we do not know much about, however, is how to establish such an effective local ecosystem. Traditional methods used to evaluate entrepreneurial ecosystems have focused on sizing up risk capital,
more » ... isk capital, incubators, a supportive culture, or other elements in an entrepreneurial community. We believe there is significant room for improvement by focusing instead on the relationships between these elements and the evolution of an ecosystem over time. As a region seeks to successfully cultivate entrepreneurship, a keen understanding of how, when, or why different players interact with one another and how the ecosystem evolves is likely to make both public-and private-sector behavior more effective. Similarly, to identify potential policy implications, it is far more useful to analyze how successful ecosystems have developed over time-particularly how each got its start-than to attempt to copy a developed ecosystem. This research is based on a case study of the startup ecosystem (a segment of an entrepreneurial ecosystem) in the St. Louis area. St. Louis was chosen because it has not been known as an entrepreneurial hub and because the recent, substantial transformation of its local entrepreneurship ecosystem provides greater implications for the evolution of the ecosystem.
doi:10.2139/ssrn.2498226 fatcat:dfyyoui7ene53eyoywobzx2lpm