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Title: Supporting entrepreneurship policy: an overview of Italian start-up competitions

Authors: Renato Passaro; Ivana Quinto; Antonio Thomas

Addresses: Department of Engineering, University of Naples Parthenope, Centro Direzionale di Napoli, Isola C4, 80143, Naples, Italy ' Department of Engineering, University of Naples Parthenope, Centro Direzionale di Napoli, Isola C4, 80143, Naples, Italy ' Department of Engineering, University of Naples Parthenope, Centro Direzionale di Napoli, Isola C4, 80143, Naples, Italy

Abstract: Innovative start-ups are currently considered to be an important channel for industrial change and for the renewal of economic systems. Among the initiatives that have been implemented to promote their diffusion, start-up competitions (SUCs) have received much recognition from policy-makers, followers and participants. Although the number of SUCs has grown, there are no comprehensive or systematic overviews of SUCs in the literature. Hence, this paper presents a cross-sectional exploratory analysis of Italian SUCs to provide an overview of their core characteristics. This in-depth study will support the diffusion of SUCs and will provide a foundation for the creation of a suitable ecosystem to improve the processes of business start-ups. The results show that the diffusion of SUCs is accompanied by deep structural changes, which can be interpreted as a consequence of the growing involvement of private organisations in promoting SUCs. Nevertheless, wide-ranging public intervention appears to be necessary to increase the effectiveness of SUCs.

Keywords: entrepreneurship policy instrument; start-up competitions; SUCs; business plan competitions; start-up ecosystem; entrepreneurial process; innovation; policy-maker.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEIM.2020.105274

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 2020 Vol.24 No.1, pp.1 - 30

Accepted: 21 Oct 2017
Published online: 13 Feb 2020 *

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