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Table 1 Characteristics of an entrepreneurial ecosystema

From: Serial entrepreneurs in the Waterloo ecosystem

Place-specific assets Distinguishing features of Waterloo
1. Large high-tech firms Research In Motion (RIM)/BlackBerry
Entrepreneur blockbuster led Initially Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin
Talent magnets Global recruiting
Business training Acquire skills as technology manager
Produce spin-offs Downsizing led to new start-ups
2. Universities Undergraduate and graduate programs
University of Waterloo Engineering/technology with co-op program
Wilfrid Laurier University Business/management with co-op program
Research Centers Innovation, entrepreneurship and R&D
3. Entrepreneurial recycling Exits and cash outs
Reinvesting wealth Business angels
Reinvesting skills Serial entrepreneurs
Reinvesting experience Mentors, advisors, teaching
4. Information rich Access to information and knowledge
Formal Forms, blogs, organizations, etc.
Informal Connector socio-cultural norm
5. Deal makers Informal key linchpins
6. Culture of inclusion All means all
Open to newcomers Wide sharing of knowledge and experience
Failures are not shunned Philosophy of experimentation and failure
Porous boundaries Accepts moving from one company to another
7. Funding sources Critical mass for seed and start-ups
Angel investors Cashed out and current entrepreneurs
Accelerators and incubators Start-up to scale-up
Venture capital Local investors connected to internationals
8. Structured entrepreneurship help Industry-led innovation cluster
Centers of support Communitech, incubators, accelerators, etc.
9. Service providers Lawyers, accountants, consultants, etc.
10. Local support Municipal and regional
  1. aSuggested by Mason and Brown (2014; pp. 8–12); Napier and Hansen (2011; pp. 1–24); and Ucbasaran et al. (2001)