The aim of this paper is, based on a number of in-depth case studies, to illuminate some of the key internal and external mechanisms influencing the foundation and early growth of high-tech and knowledge-intensive entrepreneurial ventures. Following a detailed sampling procedure, a number of semi-structured interviews were carried out between May 2000 and January 2001. The firms were chosen among those established during the last 3 years both inside and outside Danish business incubators in order to evaluate the possible effects of the presence/absence of such structures on the creation and subsequent development of new firms. The sampling was carried out in such a way as to include both male and female entrepreneurs. Our preliminary findings indicate that, in the early phases of the business, prior social relations between members of the entrepreneurial teams play an important role in both the recruiting of key employees and managers and in the success of the entrepreneurial venture. Moreover, the weak ties resulting from the personal and/or business experience of at least one of the members of the entrepreneurial team appear to enhance the likelihood of the firm being "born global".
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The Society for the Advancement of Management International Conference, Nevada, 2001