Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and the Diffusion of Start-ups




“Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and the Diffusion of Start-ups”

Catania, Italy, May 23-25, 2013

Submission Deadline for 5-page Abstracts: January 31, 2013
Submission Deadline for Full Papers: April 10, 2013


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AOM Entrepreneurship Division

Conference Chairs
Sharon A. Alvarez, Ohio State University
Jay B. Barney, University of Utah
Giovanni Battista DagninoUniversity of Catania
Rosario Faraci, University of Catania

The First International Entrepreneurship Research Exemplar Conference will be held in Catania, Italy, on May 23-25, 2013, and will be co-sponsored by the Department of Economics and Business of the University of Catania, and the Academy of Management’s (AoM) Entrepreneurship Division, as part of the Entrepreneurship Research Exemplars Conference Series. In the spirit of the Division’s Research Excellence Initiative, the goal of this conference is to stimulate and acknowledge research excellence in entrepreneurship generally, and for this year in entrepreneurial ecosystems and start up specifically.

The event intends to gather leading scholars in the field of entrepreneurship and strategy, with specific interest in “Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and the Diffusion of Start-ups”, featuring the best efforts made in serious research that advances significantly the evolution in the relevant knowledge domain. The conference will seek to explore ideas, provoke debate, and deliver high level forward-looking investigation in areas related to entrepreneurial ecosystems and start ups, as well as to shed light on these emerging phenomena.

In a broad sense, an entrepreneurial ecosystem regards the actors and the environment affecting the rise and diffusion of entrepreneurship at the ?glocal? level. It encompasses a group of firms, including start-ups, and one or more coordinating entities, such as firm incubators or accelerators and local policy agencies, which share similar goals and decide to form a network to leverage scale economies, as well as entrepreneurial flexibility and robust drive.
Simultaneous with the recent outburst of entrepreneurship at the glocal level, the rise of new start ups and start up ecosystems around the world, as well as a new found development in existing ones has peaked up. For instance, the Startup Ecosystem Report 2012 argues that countries and cities are shifting from service-based economies to become increasingly driven by a new generation of fast-moving software and technology-rooted business organizations. To be sure, with entrepreneurial ecosystems we wish not to limit the enquiry to spatially bounded intra-industry or inter-industry contexts, but extend our reach to virtual entrepreneurial ecosystems that are global in nature.

In addition, we acknowledge that today is widely recognized that entrepreneurial ecosystems are inherent drivers of innovation and new business energy and power. Successfully start up ecosystems usually foster the long-term view, process-structure recombination across boundaries, and entrepreneurial dynamics to shore up communities of entrepreneurs and investors who share the aspiration to cultivate each other?s talent, creativity, and network support.

The Catania conference calls for relevant conceptual and empirical contributions from various parts of the world that can facilitate conversation and scholarly debate, so as to inform academic thinking and offer implications for a range of practitioners such as entrepreneurs, executives, consultants and policy makers.

Schedule and Events
An opening reception will kick off the conference at 6:30 pm on Thursday May 23, 2013 and the program will end by 2:00 pm on Saturday May 25, 2013. A special Sicilian food tasting banquet is planned for Friday May 24 in the evening.

Conference Fee
There is no conference fee. Room blocks in accommodation sites at a walking distance from the conference location (such as Grand Hotel Excelsior, Jolly Hotel and Residenza Alcantara), are being pre-reserved with a special fare for participants. While the conference has no fee, participants are expected to fully support their trip to and accommodation in Catania during the time of the conference.

We have a specific two-step submission process. We expect to receive the titles and 5-page abstracts of papers no later than January 31, 2013 at the email that follows: Giovanni Battista Dagnino ( Files in PDF and MS Word format are accepted. Please use single spacing and 11 or 12 point font. On the ground of the abstracts received, the conference organizers will make the selection of the presentations in the conference program by February 20, 2013 thereby inviting authors to submit their full papers.

Conceptual and empirical papers that significantly advance our knowledge by exploring this theme and that have been invited to appear in the conference program should be submitted by March 31, 2013. Please note that the submission of the full paper within the deadline indicated is required to paper authors to appear in the conference program. Please submit your work with the subject heading ?International Entrepreneurship Exemplars Conference? Paper submission.

Conference Location
The conference will be held in the premises of the Department of Economics and Business of the University of Catania, Corso Italia 55, 95129 Catania, Italy. The Department of Economics and Business of the University of Catania compound is located in the new city center about fifteen minutes away from Catania Airport, and 2 hours from the Palermo Airport in beautiful Sicily. The Catania airport provides direct service to a number of European destinations and frequent connecting flights to the major airports of entry for international and overseas flights (e.g., Milan, Rome and Munich airports).

Additional Information
For more information on the conference, please address your inquiries to the conference organizers:

The University of Catania – Established in 1434, the University of Catania ? Siciliae Studium Generale ? one of the oldest universities in Southern Italy and the first one in Sicily, is a 578-year-old academic institution that enrolls today more than 55,000 students; courses and seminars are given by over 1,500 professors in the 23 Departments and faculties, which the University is composed of. In 1997, the University launched the Advanced School for Excellence in Science Development, with in-house students and courses at all levels (undergraduate, graduate, masters, PhD), which is very selective and aims to forge and educate Europe?s future leaders.

The Department of Economics and Business
The Department of Economics and Business of the University of Catania was established in 2011 from the merger of two traditionally renown departments, the Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods and the Department of Business Economics and Management (both established in 2000). It embraces four main research and teaching areas, which stand as its key ‘scientific souls’: (a) the Economics and Quantitative Methods Area, (b) the Management Area, (c) the Historical and Social Area; and (d) the Business Law Area.
The Department institutionally promotes significant cross-cultural scientific interchange among its constituting areas and the internationalization processes of faculty members and PhDs. The Department gathers more than 72 professors at different stages of their academic career (full, associate and assistant professors), 12 post-doctoral fellows, and 8 staff employees. The Department offers a four-year PhD Program in Economics & Management, entirely taught in English, which started its operations in 1990, and is today highly recognized in Italy and at the international level. The PhD Program currently enrolls 16 doctoral students. The Department is also instrumental in supporting the educational activities at the graduate level; i.e., a series of Masters of Science and Master Degree Programs in: (1) MSc in Corporate Finance, (2) MSc in Management, (3) MSc in Public Administration, (4) Masters in Business Administration for Small and Medium Enterprises, (5) Masters in Marketing Management, (6) Masters in Quality Management, (7) and (8) Masters in Sports Management (organized together with Catania Football team), a book series that is nationally renowned and, as well, the organization of a variety of relevant venues.

Previous Events in Catania
Among the most recent international venues sponsored in the management field, we mention:

  • the 30th Strategic Management Society Annual International Conference “Strategic Management at the Crossroads”, Rome on September 12-15, 2010;
  • the 2010 Strategic Management Society Conference Extension “Entrepreneurship at the Crossroads: New Challenges & Emerging Issues”, hosted in Catania on September 17, 2010;
  • the Illinois International Accounting Symposium, June 4-6, 2009;
  • the Strategic Management Society Special Conference “New Frontiers in Entrepreneurship: Strategy, Governance and Evolution”, held in the premises of the School of Economics and Business of the University of Catania in May 23-25, 2007,
  • the International Workshop “Private Equity and Entrepreneurship: Mobilizing Capital for Fostering Firm Growth in Italy’s Southern Regions”, which took place in Taormina, July 18, 2008 (attendees from entrepreneurial practice, industry, finance as well as academia).