Established companies in countless industries have recognized the need to access globally dispersed knowledge networks to develop and acquire innovations necessary to better serve their customers. To maximize and coordinate their access to this diverse knowledge, some incumbents have developed innovation platforms whereby new ventures and smaller companies contribute their discoveries and innovations. These platforms allow incumbents to shape and control their ecosystems. These ecosystems have been fertile grounds for the creation of new ventures of different types. In this article, we explore the role of innovation ecosystems in birthing and supporting new ventures and inducing heterogeneity among them; discuss how these ventures’ entrepreneurial activities within these innovation ecosystems are likely to vary from those in other contexts; and consider the implications of such ecosystems for the strategic shifts that new ventures might experience in the course of their evolution. We pay special attention to the managerial challenges new ventures may encounter in developing, leveraging, and balancing their technological and marketing capabilities.
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© 2011, Academy of Marketing Science.
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