Unlike many other academic concepts that never find their way outside a small circle of adepts, ‘innovative entrepreneurship’ sounds immediately familiar to the general public. Images of Steve Jobs or Bill Gates immediately come to mind—or possibly the recent blockbuster ‘The Social Network’ (inspired by the entrepreneurial story of Mark Zuckerberg): plucky modern-day heroes whose perseverance and good luck turn insights into multi-billion firms. Some academic literature panders to the general public's romanticized idea of ‘innovative entrepreneurship’ as an explanation of business success, with endless case studies on successful (or unsuccessful) high-tech start-ups by super-talented science geeks. However, Franco Malerba, the book's editor, makes it abundantly clear at the outset that this edited volume will not be going in this direction. First, the book ‘moves away from a person-centric view of entrepreneurship and links entrepreneurship to innovation systems’, looking at knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship as ‘context dependent, specific to the systems in which it operates – national, sectoral or local’ (p. 3). Second, the book considers entrepreneurship as a dynamic and multi-stage process: not only is the start-up phase relevant for the understanding of entrepreneurship but the entrepreneur's pre-entry experience is also important, along with survival and growth. Third, the book brings to the fore the analysis of the two-way nexus between innovation and entrepreneurship: entrepreneurs may transform new ideas into economic activity but entrepreneurship itself is also a ‘major engine of growth and transformation of technologies’.
Crescenzi, R. (2012). Knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship and innovation systems. Evidence from Europe. JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY, 12(2), 569-572 [10.1093/jeg/lbr027].