Abstract

This study utilized the setting of a technology incubator to analyze how nascent entrepreneurs develop and leverage networks to secure resources as part of the venture creation process. The literature supports the importance of social networks in the emergence of entrepreneurial ventures (Aldrich, Rosen & Zimmer, 1987; Hoang & Antoncic, 2003). The size of the network (Aldrich et. al.; Larsson & Starr, 1993), strength of ties within a network (Elfring & Hulsnik, 2003; Uzzi, 1999) and the content or resources provided within a social network (Tornikoski, Lyon & Newbert, 2007) have each been found to contribute to the emergence and success of entrepreneurial ventures. Although the literature clearly supports the importance of networks to new ventures it is still unclear how entrepreneurs develop their networks and what factors may influence the dynamics of the network formation. Over the course of one year, we interviewed and observed six nascent entrepreneurs as they accessed the resources and networks associated with this incubator in order to better understand how they develop network relationship and how these relationships change over time.

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