The project covers three modules:

  1. Business founding activity in high-tech sectors: High-tech foundations in Germany are observed with respect to their numbers, their share of the total number of foundations and their quantitative development over time. The high-tech sector includes both manufacturing and services. Manufacturing is distinguished into the industries high technology and superior technology while the service sector consists just of one class which is technology-intensive services. In addition, the two ICT sectors (information and communication technologies) software and IT-services are analyzed. The development of the founding activity in these sectors is compared with the overall founding activity development in all sectors. The analysis is conducted for the period from 1995 to 2008. For this analysis Now-Casting-Methods are implemented for the estimation of the development of the business formations in 2008.
  2. Qualitative analysis of the behavior patterns and current developments of high-tech firms in the current economics crisis (10 case studies): Within the scope of this module 10 case studies are drawn. These studies shall contain information on how the young high-tech firms are influenced by the current economic and finance crisis and how they react upon the crisis situation. The basis of the data for the case studies shall be interviews with the founders of young high-tech firms. The interviews are geared to an interview guide.
  3. Characteristics of high-tech founders: A current study based on U.S.-data shows that the public opinion about who high-tech founders are is a distorted image rather than reality. Within the scope of this module an image of the typical high-tech founder shall be drawn up on the basis of representative data. However, the analysis shall have a particular focus on the age of the founders. Thus, the age structure of high-tech and non-high-tech founders shall be highlighted and possible differences shall be elaborated. In addition to that, a comparison between the age structure of high-tech founders in Germany and in the USA will be drawn. Finally, an analysis shall be conducted, whether the age structure of founders has changed considerably during the last ten years.