IMPORTING THE INSTITUTIONAL FIELD OF DIGITAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP How students initiated the contemporary startup scene in Finland

Authors: Jarmo Nikander*, University of Turku, Päivi Oinas, University of Turku
Topics: Economic Geography, Business Geography, Social Geography
Keywords: entrepreneurship, startup, institutions, economic geography, entrepreneurial ecosystems
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Regent, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper presents a case in entrepreneurial ecosystem evolution which is influenced by a wider, even global institutional frame of what has been dubbed colloquially as “the startup scene”. We look back to the recent developments in Finland which were kick started to a large degree by the 2008 financial crisis and fueled by the concurrent fall of the Nokia mobile division. These events along with other developments resulted in a significant student-powered movement which effectively imported and established the vibrant, current form startup-scene, culture and ecosystem in Finland. The Finnish experience which we capture by key agent interview accounts presents a clear case in obtaining, tailoring, application and solidifying of an institutional field with its loci, artifacts and culture that is “the scene”. This field with its active members and ever growing number of affiliated non-profit organizations, programs and events inspires to dream big and not to fear failure. The field actively shapes attitudes and the whole entrepreneurial environment towards a functioning ecosystem that better serves digital startup-entrepreneurship making it a legitimate part of the economy and society in the process. The Finnish experience provides a contribution in the understanding of formative processes called for in the entrepreneurial ecosystem literature. It emphasizes the institutional component to ecosystem development, the culture, and life style that is startup entrepreneurship. It also demonstrates, that while the institutional field of startup entrepreneurship could be considered near global, its local iterations still exist in the pressure of local institutions and other factor endowments.

Abstract Information

This abstract is already part of a session. View the session here.

To access contact information login