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Uncovering the secrets of the success and failure of innovative companies



VTT has started Finnentre, a project studying the success and failure factors behind Finnish innovative companies and entrepreneurs. The project investigates entrepreneurship and innovativeness over firms’ and innovations' life-cycle, and especially the way innovative activities relate to the birth, survival and success or failure of firms. In the main focus of the research are companies, which have developed and commercialized one or more technological innovations.

The research project is divided into 3 main research modules. The first module addresses the determinants of firm creation, the way innovative entrepreneurial ideas get implemented, and how this may be related to firms’ early-stage survival and performance, as well as the way innovative ideas get to the market, at any stage of the firm life-cycle.

The second module investigates the product life-cycle of innovations themselves, and the way innovation timing may relate to the survival and growth of firms, or otherwise to their failure and exit from the market.

The third module analyses the way location, and the possibility to profit from incoming knowledge spillovers, may relate to the innovative activity and performance of multi-plant firms.

The three research modules are complemented by a strategy- and policy-focused analysis, aiming to provide policy makers and managers with insights about innovativeness and entrepreneurship, about how to better develop and commercialise new ideas.

Among other partners, two renowned experts in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship studies, Prof. David B. Audretsch (Indiana University, USA, and Max Plank Institute) and Prof. Reinhilde Veugelers (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), participate in the Finnentre project.

The Finnentre project is funded by Tekes and is due to be completed by the end of 2011.