This project continues the cooperation between the ZEW and Microsoft Germany’s “unternimm was.” initiative to encourage start-ups. Projects relating to high-tech start-ups in Germany were previously carried out in 2006 and 2007.

The project is composed of three modules:

The first module makes use of data from the ZEW Foundation Panel to investigate how the number of businesses founded in Germany’s high-tech sectors has developed. For our purposes, the term “high-tech sectors” refers to the manufacturing sectors superior technology and cutting-edge technology, as well as technology-intensive services. Subsets of these sectors which specifically involve information and communication technologies (ICT) are also considered separately. The development of the number of businesses founded in high-tech sectors is compared with the development in other sectors of the economy.
This first analysis centres on the use of nowcasting methods to estimate how start-up activity developed in 2007. As well as tracking the number of start-ups over time for the whole of Germany, regional observations are recorded. The regional analysis takes two main levels into account, the larger being the Bundesländer (Federal States) and the smaller the local regions that make them up (Raumordnungsregionen). In addition to these, Germany’s metropolitan areas are analysed.

The second module is divided into two main themes:
a) High-tech start-ups by women
b) Young high-tech firms’ internationalisation strategies.
Work on the topic of high-tech start-ups by women relies on the ZEW Foundation Panel and data from the 2007 high-tech survey. The ZEW Foundation Panel is used to look into gender-specific differences in the probability that young enterprises will survive. The survey data is intended for use in answering the following questions, which have largely been ignored in economic literature: Within the high-tech sectors, are there particular industries in which women typically start businesses? Are there differences between innovative behaviour in female and male founders? Is the financing structure of a typical start-up different if the founder is a woman? What proportion of academic spin-offs are founded by women, or teams that include women?
A new survey of high-tech enterprises was carried out to collect data for the work focussing on young high-tech enterprises’ internationalisation strategies. This survey centres on enterprises that participated in the 2007 high-tech survey. Among the uses of the survey results will be to make concrete statements about the extent of young high-tech enterprises’ sales abroad, as well as showing where and under what conditions these sales are realised, i.e. which distribution channels the enterprises use, or which instruments they apply to motivate and monitor their foreign distribution partners.

The third module involves carrying out  case studies. The case studies will focus on two main topics, “high-tech start-ups by women” and “young high-tech enterprises’ internationalisation strategies”.

Selected Publications