We propose an empirical framework for assessing the vibrancy and trajectory of regional entrepreneurial ecosystems. We apply this framework to study the US National Capital Region’s localized cluster of biotechnology-related entrepreneurship by building our analysis around a set of indicators of ecosystem vitality proposed by Stangler and Bell-Masterson (2015). This application constitutes an initial attempt at mapping the dynamics of an industry cluster within the adaptive life cycle of a wider regional ecosystem. We find that the biotechnology cluster in the National Capital Region entered a “reorientation” stage in the early 2000s, building up stored energy, capital, and connectedness in non-research-oriented activities. An increasing regional presence of large biotech firms in the past 5 years, a highly active and diverse start-up sector, increasing merger and acquisition activity, and declines in regional public funding for medical and clinical trials all suggest a transition of entrepreneurial activity in the region from a dynamic driven by federal research spillovers to one increasingly driven by private sector actors.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: May 22, 2017
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