Purpose – The paper aims to examine the locational determinants of the internationalization flows of high-tech start-ups. It also provides a picture of the current patterns of internationalization of high-tech start-ups, through a map of the most attractive countries in terms of inbound and outbound internationalization flows. Design/methodology/approach – The empirical data have been obtained from a cross-country survey on internationalized high-tech start-ups operating in the ICT and electronics sectors. To explore the determinants of the intensity of internationalization flows of high-tech start-ups between a pair of countries, this study adopts a modified gravity model. Findings – Results highlight that USA, UK and China are the most competitive countries in terms of inbound flows. This paper obtains evidence that internationalization flows of high-tech start-ups are motivated by the sourcing of host country locational advantages, identified by the strength of the legal and regulatory framework, the availability of VC financing, the innovation potential and the strength of IPR protection. Originality/value – This paper adds to the international business literature in two ways. First, it provides a picture of the current patterns of internationalization for high-tech start-ups through a map of the most attractive countries in terms of inbound and outbound internationalization flows. Second, this research is an empirical attempt to understand the relationship between internationalization patterns of high-tech start-ups and attractiveness of host countries. To date, the authors are unaware of any other study that has examined the extent to which the internationalization flows of high-tech start-ups are affected by host country conditions in a cross-country context.
European Business Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 12, 2015