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Internationalisation of high-tech start-ups and fast growth-evidence for UK and Germany

  • Bürgel, Oliver
  • Fier, Andreas
  • Licht, Georg
  • Murray, Gordon

For firms acting in technological niches the expansion into foreign markets can be a way to increase sales and to thus to recover initial sunk costs over a shorter time frame. Our research, based on survey data for nearly 600 British and German high-tech start-ups, examines whether internationalisation leads to faster growth among high-tech start-ups. Results show that firms with international sales have higher sales growth than firms that sell only domestically. We find that technological sophistication of products and the experience of entrepreneurs has a positive impact on growth. In addition, intense competition and shorter windows of opportunity increase the pressure to grow rapidly to appropriate the returns from innovation. The findings suggest that high tech firm founders should be more determinedly international in their vision and strategies from the very start of their business to increase the economic success of their efforts.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 00-35.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5318
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  1. Cressy, Robert, 1996. "Are Business Startups Debt-Rationed?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(438), pages 1253-70, September.
  2. Porter, Michael E, 1979. "The Structure within Industries and Companies' Performance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(2), pages 214-27, May.
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  9. Ericson, Richard & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Markov-Perfect Industry Dynamics: A Framework for Empirical Work," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82, January.
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  12. Evans, David S, 1987. "The Relationship between Firm Growth, Size, and Age: Estimates for 100 Manufacturing Industries," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 567-81, June.
  13. Bürgel, Oliver & Fier, Andreas & Licht, Georg & Murray, Gordon & Nerlinger, Eric A., 1998. "The internationalisation of British and German start-up companies in high-technology industries," ZEW Discussion Papers 98-34, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  14. Robert E. Carpenter & Bruce C. Petersen, 2002. "Is The Growth Of Small Firms Constrained By Internal Finance?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 298-309, May.
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  16. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, June.
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  18. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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