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The role of serial entrepreneurs in the internationalization of global start-ups. A business case
JSME Vol 6: Issue 1, 2010
Author(s): Alberto Onetti (Insubria University, Italy), Marco Talaia (University of Pavia and Insubria University, Italy), Vincenza Odorici and Manuela Presutti (University of Bologna, Italy), Sameer Verma (San Francisco State University, USA)
This article aims to understand how serial entrepreneurs can foster the development of born-global ventures. In this paper we analyze Canonical Ltd., a high-tech company that is fostering the development of Ubuntu, a customizable and user-friendly version of the Linux-based operating system. Using a qualitative methodology, we try to demonstrate that the success and the “internationalization from the inception” of this firm are tightly linked to the prior entrepreneurial experience of its founder. This hypothesis has been previously tested in earlier work (Presutti, Onetti and Odorici 2008), where the precocity of the internationalization process of Funambol, a Silicon Valley software company operating in the mobile industry, was explained through the knowledge acquired by the founder in previous ventures.
The aim of this work is to extend hypotheses from one entrepreneurial context to another. The next step will be a more quantitative analysis about the influence that serial entrepreneurs exert on the precocity of the internationalization process, to shift the analysis from born-global start-ups to global serial entrepreneurs.
Although this article is structured as a research case, it provides in-depth insights about a business case. Thus it can be also be used as a teaching case.
Keywords: serial entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, born global, open source, business models, community, networks, entrepreneurial experience
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