Established theories in international business come to different conclusions when specifically applied to the analysis of the international activities of start-up companies in high-technology industries. Using a new dataset of 495 British and German start-ups operating in high-technology industries, we analyse the differences between those companies that have built up international activities and those which only compete in their home country. Our findings suggest that the key discriminatory variables are: age, the extent to which the product requires customisation, regularity of R&D activities, and the international professional experience of the founders. These findings suggest that internationalisation of New Technology Based Firms is best explained by adopting elements from a number of different theoretical frameworks.
Bürgel, O., Andreas Fier, Georg Licht, G. Murray and E. A. Nerlinger (1998), The Internationalisation of British and German Start-Up Companies in High-Technology Industries, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 98-34, Mannheim. Download