The project consists of three modules:

1. Development of business founding activities in the high-tech sector
In the first module, the founding activity in the high-tech sector is depicted for Germany regarding its number, its share in the total founding occurrence and its quantitative development over time. In addition, an observation of the development over time as well as of the regional disparity of founding activities in the high-tech sector on the level of IHK districts will follow.
2. Obstacles to high-tech start-ups
In the second module, the analysis of obstacles to new firms is the focus of the observation. (1) Initially, obstacles to the founding as well as the growth of the enterprise shall be identified. (2) Subsequently, obstacles detected shall be reflected in case-study-interviews with high-tech founders and shall be put into the current context of high-tech enterprises. In order to enrich the consequent, quantitative evaluation with empirical findings, an evaluation of the obstacles on the basis of empirical literature available follows. (3) Furthermore, a deepened analysis of financing difficulties, which to date always has turned out to be among the most frequently mentioned obstacles and recently has significantly gained in importance due to the impact of the economy crisis being thus right now in the focus of the economic discussion. This analysis puts a specific emphasis on financing supply and its changes in recent years (especially as a result of the economy crisis).

3. High-tech start-ups and new technologies     
In the third module, the relevance of high-tech founding activities for the development of promising technologies shall be highlighted. In a first approach, their relevance for the development of key enabling technologies shall be investigated. By combining patent data with enterprise data of the MUP, high-tech start-ups which hold patents in this area can be identified and, accordingly, contribute to the technological progress in key enabling technologies. Here, it is of peculiar interest which contribution falls upon high-tech start-ups in the IT-sector. In a second approach, the relevance of high-tech start-ups for technology trends in the IT sector shall be elaborated. It shall be assessed how much new high-tech start-ups contribute to the establishment of technology trends. Additionally shall be analysed when emerging technology trends – for instance Cloud Computing as top theme 2010 – will be taken up by enterprise founders. It is of interest whether a distinct temporal forerun will become apparent in the process, whether high-tech founders therefore anticipate technology trends early or if, vice versa, technology trends will rather motivate high-tech founders to deal with the relevant topics.

Selected Publications