Purpose: Despite the relevance of innovation in entrepreneurship literature, empirical research on the innovation-performance relationship in start-ups is underdeveloped and shows controversial results. To bridge this gap, the aim of this paper is to investigate the role of innovativeness on new venture performance in the early stage of the life cycle. Design/methodology/approach: Regression modelling and propensity score matching are used to reveal systematic differences in growth between innovative start-ups (ISUPs) and non-innovative start-ups. We use an ad hoc dataset obtained through merging the financial database AIDA with data from administrative sources (Italian Chambers of Commerce and the Italian Ministry for Economic Development). Findings: The results show that differences in growth can be explained by the different levels of innovativeness in new ventures. Moreover, unlike in prior studies, the innovation inputs matter more than innovation outputs. Indeed, the results support the idea that innovation policies can contribute to maximising the potential of start-ups. Practical implications: The findings provide suggestions for policy makers and entrepreneurs to help firms configure ex ante appropriate actions to support the growth of new ventures in the start-up stage. Originality/value: This study is the first to use the new objective measure of start-up innovation, available from the Italian LD 221 register. Second, different types of innovation are investigated as antecedents of firm growth. Third, we employ propensity score matching, which favours revealing systematic differences in growth between ISUPs and non-innovative start-ups. Fourth, the results of our study are the first to offer evidence on the effectiveness of the new Italian sustaining ISUPs policy.

The early growth of start-ups: innovation matters. Evidence from Italy

Fiorentino R.;Longobardi S.
;
Scaletti A.
2020

Abstract

Purpose: Despite the relevance of innovation in entrepreneurship literature, empirical research on the innovation-performance relationship in start-ups is underdeveloped and shows controversial results. To bridge this gap, the aim of this paper is to investigate the role of innovativeness on new venture performance in the early stage of the life cycle. Design/methodology/approach: Regression modelling and propensity score matching are used to reveal systematic differences in growth between innovative start-ups (ISUPs) and non-innovative start-ups. We use an ad hoc dataset obtained through merging the financial database AIDA with data from administrative sources (Italian Chambers of Commerce and the Italian Ministry for Economic Development). Findings: The results show that differences in growth can be explained by the different levels of innovativeness in new ventures. Moreover, unlike in prior studies, the innovation inputs matter more than innovation outputs. Indeed, the results support the idea that innovation policies can contribute to maximising the potential of start-ups. Practical implications: The findings provide suggestions for policy makers and entrepreneurs to help firms configure ex ante appropriate actions to support the growth of new ventures in the start-up stage. Originality/value: This study is the first to use the new objective measure of start-up innovation, available from the Italian LD 221 register. Second, different types of innovation are investigated as antecedents of firm growth. Third, we employ propensity score matching, which favours revealing systematic differences in growth between ISUPs and non-innovative start-ups. Fourth, the results of our study are the first to offer evidence on the effectiveness of the new Italian sustaining ISUPs policy.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11367/86052
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